Rep. Lobregat scrutinizes the new version of the proposed BBL Print
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:32

Congressman Celso Lobregat reiterated his firm and consistent stand in scrutinizing the new version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is now one of the big issues being deliberated in Congress.

This as the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the new BBL version which still contains the same and even more contentious and questionable provisions, according to Lobregat.

In an interview with ANC HD Channel yesterday morning, Congressman Lobregat made it clear that from the beginning the issue about ARMM and its expansion cropped-up, he pledged to the people to be vigilant and consistent with his stand with regard to the BBL. He is not opposing it, but it should be constitutional and should not expand its area of coverage to areas who are strongly opposed to be under its governance.

“I am for peace, I am not anti-peace, but we need a Bangsamoro Basic Law that is just, that is fair, that is acceptable, feasible and more importantly, it should not be contrary to the Constitution and existing laws,” Cong. Lobregat stressed.

The solon pointed out in the same interview that there are a lot of issues like under the present version, contiguity is not defined, second, many of these areas mentioned in the Tripoli Agreement are not contiguous, so if 10% of the population of these provinces and cities make a petition that they want to join, they will be automatically included in the next plebiscite.

In the new version it’s mandated, but that is not the way to do it, Lobregat said.

The proposal should be to limit the ARMM in its present area. Have only one more time plebiscite. Because we already had plebiscite in 1989 and 2001 and in the two plebiscites we voted 95% and 96% NO to inclusion to ARMM.

Among the contentious provisions in the present version of the BBL is that there will be six plebiscites. One for ratification of the law, and second the periodic plebiscite every 5 years for a period of 25 years in the cities, municipalities and other geographic areas outside the ARMM which did not join the Bangsamoro after the ratification of the BBL.

Congressman Lobregat further said that the fight will be one sided, because under the old and new BBL the Bangsamoro can extend assistance and even projects outside its present territory.

Like in the previous Congress, Lobregat said, where he actively took part in the deliberations of the old BBL, he will again be active and vigilant in the committee deliberations, plenary debates and caucuses to ensure that the interest of Zamboanga City and the rest of Mindanao are protected.

Lobregat is hopeful that there will be the necessary amendments, deletions or additions to the bill removing the unconstitutional, controversial and disadvantageous provisions as the deliberation in the plenary continues. – Dexter Yap