By Marlon Purificacion | People's Journal
THE Senate committee on local government assured that a report on the Malacañang-backed proposal to cancel the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) polls in favor of Palace appointees will come out early next week, giving enough time for debates on the floor and a vote in plenary.
“I have informed my colleagues, Senator Franklin Drilon (sponsor of SB 2756) and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, of the schedule of the committee so as to give them enough time, following procedure, to ensure that a vote by all senators takes place before adjournment,” Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate panel, added that his committee also “communicated this agreement in the Senate to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Robert Llamas, assuring them that the committee report will be submitted in time for a vote.”
“I have been asked to comment on the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda ‘urging me to let the entire Senate body decide on it and not unilaterally allow the bill to be archived.’ I am not familiar or privy to the workings of the Malacañang Communications Group (I’m not sure anyone is) but it’s either Mr. Lacierda is not being informed about the status of the bill and where it’s headed or he is being too clever by half by putting a spin on the issue,” Marcos quipped.
The Senate committee has scheduled a final hearing on Tuesday, May 31 in which high-ranking Malacañang officials would be invited as resource persons before coming out with a committee report.
Among those invited to the hearing are Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles, and Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Robert Llamas.
Also invited are Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes and Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan of Comelec legal department.