Bongbong to resume BBL hearing even if Congress ‘is at rest’

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos has vowed to conduct public hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) even if Congress “is at rest.”

This developed as Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte reportedly had agreed to pass the BBL by June.

“We can still continue working during the (adjournment). Pwede namang mag-hearing kahit na mag-break (ang Senado),” he said.

According to the legislative calendar for the Second Regular Session of the 16th Congress, the Senate will adjourn on March 21, 2015 until May 3, 2015 and the session will resume on May 4, 2015 until June 11, 2015. The current regular session will end on June 12, 2015.

The public hearing is part of the legislative process of Congress in enacting a bill into law.

Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, suspended public hearings on the BBL after the January 25 Mamasapano clash where 44 Special Action Force commandos were killed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

He said that while the “self-imposed deadline” for Congress to pass the BBL is so tight, he will try his best to meet the timetable.

“It’s always been tight…’Yung June, baka kakayanin pero titingnan natin,” Marcos said on Tuesday during an early morning interview with Orly Mercado over Radyo 5 dwFM.

He said he is just waiting for the separate investigation reports of both the Board of Inquiry of the Philippine National Police and the MILF, plus the report of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, regarding the Mamasapano incident before scheduling the resumption of the BBL hearing.

He said the Senate is behind the House (of Representatives) in terms of scheduling because his committee was not able to conduct hearings like scheduled hearings in Jolo and Zamboanga City.

“But I still want to go to Jolo, I still want to go to Zamboanga to finish what we had begun and then conduct the hearings here in Manila also. ‘Yun lamang, malaki yata ang operation ngayon sa Basilan at saka sa Sulu. So, tingnan muna natin how that would impact on the scheduling and we will have to wait for things to settle down,” he said, he said referring to the ongoing military operation against the BIFF.

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