Press Release
December 18, 2015

There May Still Be A Slim Chance To Save Dying
Bangsamoro Bill--Sen. Marcos

While the proposed law on the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region is practically on its death throes there may still be a slim chance it could be saved, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. today said in a radio interview with former Sen. Orly Mercado.

Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government and sponsor of the measure in the Senate had expressed fears that Congress may ran out of time to pass the proposed BLBAR with the bill still in the period of interpellation and there being just a few session days next year for the Legislature to act on it.

However, Marcos has not given up and will try to find possible means to save the measure up to the last minute.

"In our version, if we finish the period of interpellation I think we can find a compromise so we no longer have to debate on the proposed amendments in the plenary," Marcos explained.

The suggestion, according to Marcos is for the Senators to send him all their proposed amendments, agree on what they could, and let the Committee propose the amendments to speed up the process.

"But I don't know how things will go in the House of Representatives. The House terminated the debates on their own version of the bill before adjourning for the Christmas break."

Marcos said it may be difficult for the House to muster a quorum when they resume sessions in January because most of the Congressmen would already be busy then for their own campaign.

Marcos clarified that in the Senate there is no time limit for Senators to ask their questions on a proposed measure. In addition, he said the Senate has yet to rule whether or not the BLBAR is a bill of local application and thus they would need to await the House version before voting on the measure.

"Even if the Senate and the House manage to pass the measure, a big hurdle remains as it may prove difficult for the Bicameral Conference Committee to reconcile the differing provisions given the limited time," opined Marcos.

"In the Senate we are discussing the substitute bill I filed but in the House they are essentially deliberating on the so-called Palace version. A possible solution may be for the House to adopt the Senate version or the Senate to adopt the House version to speed up the process," Marcos recommended.

Earlier, Marcos stressed that he remains committed to the search for peace in Muslim Mindanao and that the quest for peace must continue even if the proposed Bangsamoro Law fails to pass under the present Congress.

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