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Senator Marcos to report out results of 14 BBL committee hearings on Aug. 3

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 06:23 AM Thu Jul 30, 2015
Sen.Ferdinand Marcos Jr

MANILA (PNA) – Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday a caucus will be held on Aug. 3 to tackle the committee report on the 14 Senate hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).Before the session adjourned on Wednesday afternoon, Drilon informed the body that the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will submit his committee report on BBL on Monday.”I would like to inform you that we will have a caucus after we open our session on Monday so that we will be able to take up this matter,” Drilon said.The BBL is one of the priority measures that the Senate is eyeing to pass in the third and last regular session of the 16th Congress.In fact, Drilon said he is hoping the Senate as well as the House of Representatives will finish the Malacanang-backed measure before the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COC) in October for the May 2016 elections.Marcos has conducted 14 committee hearings, including five in Mindanao, to make sure that all the stakeholders have been consulted about the BBL.Registered as Senate Bill No. 2408, the BBL is a Palace-backed measure which, if passed into law, would lead to the creation of the new Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).The proposed law is the result of the two agreements -- the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) -- signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).The committee hearings on the BBL suffered delays after a combined forces of the MILF, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other private armed groups engaged the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in an 11-hour firefight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, this year.The so-called Mamasapano encounter left 44 SAF members, 17 MILF fighters and five civilians dead, prompting the Senate to suspend the BBL hearings to give way to inquiries into the Mamasapano incident.The 324-member SAF team was carrying out Oplan Exodus to neutralize Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, when the bloody encounter took place.Marwan, a prime suspect in the devastating 2002 Bali bombings, was killed in the operation but his Filipino companion, Basit Usman, escaped.Usman was later killed in an encounter with the military operatives. (PNA)

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