By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Dec. 17 (PNA) – The Senate may not be able to pass the substitute bill of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) this year but it is not yet dead, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.
”The is not yet dead,” Drilon told the Kapihan sa Senado forum when as to react on Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos’ statement that BBL may not be able to pass under the current 16th Congress.
Drilon said the Senate leadership has discussed the status of the BBL with Marcos and “we share the belief that there is no serious objection in the Senate.”
”There are lot of interpellations, for clarifications, amendments on doubts of constitution. We don’t see effort to block it,” he added.
Drilon said the Senate would continue the interpellation despite the argument of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile that BBL should be passed first in the House of Representatives “since it is a bill of local application.”
”Whatever it is, we are taking the conservative approach. We will await the passage of the BBL in the House but we will continue to debate so that when the House will be able to transmit its version in our chamber we can immediately pass our own version,” Drilon said.
Drilon said the same process was practiced when both houses of Congress passed Republic Act No. 6734 or the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Organic Law in 1989.
The ARMM will be replaced by the Bangsamoro political entity once the BBL or BLBAR is enacted into law.
Drilon assured that the Senate will not encounter quorum in the remaining session days from Jan. 18 to Feb. 5 next year. (PNA)