Sen. Marcos says Senate may have to wait for House to pass BLBAR before voting on its own version

Bersyon sa Filipino.

Amid Malacañang’s recent push for the passage of the proposed Basic Law for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region a Constitutional issue on procedure may cause yet another snag in the approval of the bill, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said today.

On Tuesday last week President Aquino held a luncheon meeting with around 120 members of the House to expedite the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Law.

However, Marcos noted that during the interpellation of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, the latter pointed out that if BLBAR is a bill of local application the House must approve it before the Senate acted on it, as required under the Constitution.

“As much as we want to speed up the Senate deliberations on the BLBAR, we must heed the caution of a legal expert like Sen. Enrile to observe the required procedure, otherwise it may provide a basis later for questioning the legality of BLBAR,” Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee clarified.

The Constitution provides that “All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing the increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives.”

“If it is determined to be a bill of local application then we must wait for House approval before we can pass our own version of the BLBAR. The House, unfortunately is having problems with their quorum so this does not augur well for the passage of the bill,” Marcos assessed.

Marcos noted that despite reports that Congressional Leaders agreed to set December 16 as the deadline for the passage of BLBAR, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte later admitted it is unlikely for the House to complete the period of interpellation before adjourning for the Christmas break.

Nevertheless, Marcos said a compromise was reached in the Senate to proceed with their deliberations and tackle the issue on whether or not the BLBAR is a bill of local application when they are ready to vote on the measure.

“We will try our best to complete our deliberations on the BLBAR as soon as possible. No matter what happens with the BLBAR we must not abandon our quest for peace in Muslim Mindanao,” Marcos concluded.

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