VICE presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos laughed off claims made by President Aquino to the effect that “two senators” are to blame for the failure of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to pass Congress.
Marcos said he is sure Aquino was alluding to him and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
On the last day before adjournment, Enrile was asking questions regarding the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) that Marcos authored after extensive consultations with stakeholders in Mindanao.
This is the second time Aquino assigned blame for the non-passage of his favored BBL on “two senators” he never named.
The first time Aquino assigned blame on members of the Senate was during his Edsa commemoration speech. After his speech, Marcos issued a statement clarifying that since the BBL is a law of local application, it should first pass the House of Representatives before the Senate could act on it.
He said the BBL never passed the House, mainly because congressmen absented themselves from the plenary sessions. After successive session days without a quorum, the bill creating an autonomous region crafted by the peace panel and the MILF could not complete the period of amendments.
Marcos noted that soon after the BBL died a natural legislative death at the House, the MILF’s spokesman blamed the fiasco entirely on President Aquino. The MILF lamented the fact that Aquino failed to muster the political will to see the measure through a Congress the administration completely controls.
Marcos said that apparently failing to grasp his riposte that a bill of local application must first pass the House, and also failing to grasp the MILF assessment of the bill’s demise, Aquino repeated his assignment of blame during his speech at the PMA graduation ceremonies.
Contrary to Aquino’s inaccurate version of events, Marcos said he worked very hard at crafting a version of the autonomy bill on the basis of extensive consultations with the immediately affected communities.
He said the BLBAR version crafted by him took out the obviously unconstitutional provisions inserted in the BBL favored by the administration.
The BLBAR is more acceptable to other stakeholders, including the MNLF and the Christian communities. Had the BBL passed the House with minimal amendments, it will have to be reconciled with the BLBAR, which is supported by a majority of senators, he said.
Marcos said that in Aquino’s rush to blame others for what should be an administration failure, the President glosses over the standard processes of a bicameral legislature. He said it was the principal duty of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to coordinate with the President’s congressional allies to help passage of the bill.
From all accounts, however, the PLLO was largely inactive during the period when the BBL was deliberated at the House of Representatives, Marcos said. (advt)