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Senate defers BBL deliberations

By Fiona Nicolas, CNN Philippines
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the Senate will deliberate on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at their own pace.
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Senate was supposed to have started its deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Monday (August 17), but the senators decided to defer the interpellations.

The reasons why the senators decided so: The bill is long and complicated.

Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he was expecting to be standing on the floor, ready to be interpellated on the substitute bill. But he also said he was not surprised that the senators asked for a week to study it.

Marcos said, “Bawat senador may right to interpellate. We have to respect na hindi sila makaka-interpellate kung hindi mauunawaan ang batas”. (Each senator has the right to interpellate. We have to respect the fact that they cannot interpellate if they don’t understand the proposed law.”)

A reservation to interpellate on Monday was made by Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III. About 14 other senators have also registered to ask their questions and make their points in the floor.

Senate to discuss BBL at its own pace
Marcos said the senators would carry out the deliberations at their own pace.

“We have to give the substitute bill complete and thorough examination, give senators time to study this,” Marcos said.

He denied, however, that the situation would be similar to the House of Representatives, where the plenary had failed many times to gain a quorum to continue debating on the draft BBL.

For Marcos, this is not a setback. He said it is a normal process that all proposed legislations go through.

He also shrugged off the idea that this was ploy by any senator to delay the passage of the bill.

In his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno Aquino III again endorsed to both chambers of Congress the immediate passage of this law.

CNN Philippines’ Anna Estanislao contributed to this report.
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