Press Release
September 10, 2014

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

On the submission of the Bangsamoro Basic Law draft to Congress

SPFMD: This is a historic opportunity that we can't afford to miss. The bill is going to be referred to the Committee on Local Governance headed by Sen. Bongbong Marcos and the Committee on Peace and Unification headed by Sen. TG Guingona. There is a wide bipartisan support on this measure.

Q: Have you read the entire BBL draft?

SPFMD: I have just received it today, at exactly 10:15 am. It is 100 plus pages.

Q: Ano po yung nakikita niyong mga contentious issues?

SPFMD: One thing that we will closely look at is that is should fall within the four corners of the Constitution. The President has assured us that there is no need for constitutional amendments.

Q: Copy of the BBL draft for the media and the public?

SPFMD: It is available at the Senate website.

Q: Sabay bang itatackle ng House at ng Senate ang BBL?


Q: Initial funding for the new political entity for the BBL?

SPFMD: The funding is not in the bill. It is in the General Appropriations Act. I think the budget for the ARMM is P 2.7 billion in the 2015 budget, for regular budgets. What I know is that there are a number of official development assistance offers once the bills becomes law.

Q: Sen. Miriam walked out earlier due to the quorum issue raised by Rep. Farinas. Gusto niya raw maresolve yun.

SPFMD: There is a legal counsel in the Commission on Appointments. That is the duty and the obligation of that legal counsel of the Commission on Appointments if that is raised. That is precisely what the legal counsel will have to study.

Q: What will the Senate do with the BBL?

SPFMD: We will refer it to the Committee on Local Government headed by Sen. Marcos and the Committee on Unity, Peace and Reconciliation chaired by Sen. TG. It has bipartisan support.

The Minority Leader has signed as co-author of the bill. We will, nevertheless, examine the bill extensively to make sure that it complies with the Constitution and the implementation will not require amending it. The committees will call a public hearing to hear the concerns of all sectors concerned.

Q: Briefing muna sabi ni Sen. Marcos?

Well, that's part of the examination. That is the prerogative of the committees and I will endorse that, because this is a complicated law. Therefore a briefing for a full understanding of the bill is necessary before Sen. Marcos would call various sectors express their views. I would endorse that. Q: Sabay ba talagang madidiscuss ng House at ng Senate ang BBL?

SPFMD: We will discuss it simultaneously. But since the budget is already coming, we are already expecting to hold plenary debates on the budget by the third week of October and the whole of November , we will expect to tackle in plenary the BBL if it is finished in the committee level by December, but to be safe, probably in January. Q: When the legislative break comes, may hearing pa rin?

SPFMD: That is for Sen. Marcos to decide. Q: Diba icecertify as urgent itong BBL? Ganun pa rin, first quarter of 2015 pa rin?

SPFMD: The certification of urgency will only dispense with the three day rule between the 2nd and 3rd hearing.

Q: Sen. Marcos mentioned inviting Nur Misuari.

SPFMD: The matter of inviting resource persons is the prerogative of the committee chair. Q: But he is a wanted man.

SPFMD: Well they will have to take that into account.

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