Senate may take six weeks to wrap up Bangsamoro discussions

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong R. Marcos Jr. said it may take six weeks before the Senate finishes discussions on the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) or Senate Bill 2894, which he has filed as a substitute measure to the Malacañang-proposed Bangsamoro Basic law, popularly known as BBL.

However, he immediately clarified that this is not a deadline he imposed on himself or on the chamber, but an estimate based on the pace of the ongoing interpellation and the expected length of the amendment period, which is the next step in the process.

Senator Pia Cayetano was the first to interpellate Marcos last Monday followed by Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV on Tuesday.

“At the rate of 2 senators a week for the 14 senators who made a reservation to interpellate, that will require only 7 session days or two and a half weeks. That is making the assumption na pare-pareho lang ‘yung haba ng bawat isa. So we’ll see,” he said.

Marcos said Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who indicated that he would interpellate, and other senators including those in the minority who may also ask questions are not counted among the 14 senators.

“I believe that the minority has been preparing for the period of interpellation…So let’s say we will wrap up the interpellation in three weeks,” he said.

After the interpellation, the next stage would be the period of amendments, which Marcos said may take another three weeks.

In the process, changes, revisions, or deletions in the bill will be proposed as committee amendments by the Committee on Local Government, through Marcos being its chairman, and any senator as individual amendments.

“Three weeks interpellation, three weeks amendments. Six weeks baka tapos na sa amin. We’ll see,” he said.

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