(Speakership problem derails passage) No signing of Bangsamoro Law in SONA Print
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:19

By DEXTER YAP

The House of Representatives has failed to ratify the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law, thus preventing President Rodrigo Duterte from signing the bill into law during his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday.

First District Congressman Celso Lobregat attributed the failure to pass the bill into law to challenges confronting the House Speakership which he described as “getting a little bit shaky.”

“Definitely not today,” Lobregat said yesterday, adding that congressmen will tackle the bill “very very” soon after the speakership issue has been resolved.

Congressman Lobregat confirmed  a serious threat to oust Speaker Alvarez from his present post, the reason why the 3rd regular session was adjourned to prevent further trouble in time for President Duterte’s SONA.

“Ya man-adjourn ya lang kame cay chene movimiento quita era con Speaker Alvarez na su puesto, y tormento si man-pelyahan pa amediante el SONA del Presidente, so man move ya lang kame el ratification del Bangsamoro Law na siguente session de amon,” Lobregat said.

Rep. Rimpy Bondoc then moved to adjourn the session until President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address at 4 p.m. The motion was supported by Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia.

Because of the abrupt adjournment, the House was unable to ratify the proposed bill as planned.

The lawmaker also said that during the one-hour suspension, the political parties expressed their stand on the matter of declaring a vacancy in the top post of the chamber.

In the afternoon, majority of lawmakers signed a manifesto backing Arroyo as House Speaker.

Later, Arroyo was seen going up the podium and taking her oath supposedly as the new House Speaker.

Congressman Alvarez, however, was spotted welcoming President Rodrigo Duterte during his arrival at the House of Representatives and taking his seat at the same podium occupied by Arroyo earlier.

The SONA had been delayed for at least an hour while the issue on the speakership of the House remains unresolved as of presstime.

Meanwhile,  the Senate was able to ratify the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law hours before the supposed SONA.

Although the Senate had ratified the proposed law, this means that Duterte can no longer sign the bill, which he certified as urgent, when he delivered his third SONA yesterday.

Senators and congressmen reconciled their versions of the measure in bicameral meetings last week.

Duterte, the first President who hails from Mindanao, earlier certified the bill as urgent, prompting Congress to fasttrack its passage. The bicameral conference committee approved the final version of the bill on July 18.

The OLBARMM will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) established in 1989 through Republic Act 6734. The ARMM groups the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. (Dexter Yap)