Manila forum: Celso denies blocking passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 February 2014 12:48

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat on Saturday denied that he would block the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law when it reaches Congress, saying he is the one spearheading for long-lasting peace in Mindanao.

Lobregat said there are some unidentified groups trying to discredit him because he is questioning why there are some cities and municipalities which rejected joining the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the past, but are among the local government units to be asked in the plebiscite once the basic law is approved.

“Let me clarify first that I am not blocking the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, but just raising some clarification. In fact I am campaigning since time immemorial for long-lasting peace in Mindanao,” Lobregat told reporters at the weekly Saturday Forum @ Annabel’s in Quezon City.

The former mayor for nine years of Zamboanga City said his city was among those asked when the government tried to expand the scope of ARMM, but voted to reject the proposal.

He said he wants to see the peace process succeed and not to see a failed one, just like in the Tripoli agreement during the Ramos administration and the MOA-AD (memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain) during the Arroyo regime which was declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

“We should amend provisions in the agreement that will ask for Charter Change to avoid further debates. The President has said his piece that Cha-cha is not his priority in his administration,” Lobregat explained.

He added that the agreement should toe the line of the Constitution and no provisions of the draft law should contradict the present charter.