SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate on Monday met in bicameral conference to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of their respective proposals, House Bill 6475 and Senate Bill 1717, on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas headed the House conferees while Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri led the Senate panel.
In his opening statement, Fariñas emphasized that the provisions of the Constitution shall be the primary guide in the bicameral deliberations.
“We have to ensure that anything we do and everything we do will be compliant with the Constitution because surely this [piece of legislation] will be challenged. So it is our task to see to it that whatever we agree and come up here will have to pass the test of Constitution,” he said.
For his part, Zubiri said five guideposts must remain at the center of the panel’s discussion: constitutionality, autonomy, acceptability, social justice peace, and development.
Certified urgent by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the measure seeks to establish the organic law of the Bangsamoro in the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao.
The House delegation is composed of Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sinsuat Sema, and Reps. Juan Pablo Bondoc, Arthur Defensor Jr., Johnny Ty Pimentel, Eugene Michael De Vera, Pedro Acharon Jr., Mauyag Papandayan Jr., Ruby Sahali, Rodolfo Albano III, Amihilda Sangcopan, Wilter Wee Palma II, Celso Lobregat, Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo, Abdullah Dimaporo, Romeo Acop, Seth Frederick Jalosjos, Shernee Abubakar Tan, and Rodante Marcoleta.
On the other hand, the Senate panel includes Senators Sonny Angara, Aquilino Pimentel III, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Francis Escudero, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Loren Legarda, and Francis Pangilinan. Senate President Vicente Sotto III was also present for the deliberations. / CMB Engracia