Photo from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
MANILA, Philippines – The morning after Mindanaoan lawmakers expressed elation that President Rodrigo Duterte promised to certify the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) bills as urgent, Malacañang announced the certification may not be forthcoming.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday, May 29, that the certification is unlikely because the versions of the bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate are different.
"Hindi na po siguro magkakaroon ng certification of urgency kasi unang-una po, magkaiba 'yung bersyon ng kamara at Senado," he said during a press briefing in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
(There will likely be no certification of urgency because first of all, the versions of the House and the Senate are different.)
Roque said the promise that he remembered was made during the meeting was for the House and the Senate to do "everything humanely possible" to pass the BBL on time.
Yet that morning, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Duterte had promised to issue the certification.
"The President said he would certify the bill as urgent," said Dureza in a statement sent to media on Tuesday.
Dureza also said a "general consensus" was reached that the two chambers' bicameral committees would come up with a "joint reconciled and accepted version" of the bill and finish the work as soon as possible.
The target now is for Duterte to sign the proposed BBL into law by his State of the Nation Address on July 23. (READ: BBL needs a push from Duterte to become law before SONA)
Dureza's statement is similar to feedback from lawmakers present at the meeting. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.