MANILA, Philippines – As 2014 comes to a close, Malacañang remains hopeful the government’s priority bills, especially the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), will be passed in the coming year.
According to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, the administration is eyeing the passage of the BBL in the first quarter of 2015.
“This coming year, this first quarter, the government will be busy. But, notwithstanding that, our priority of course is the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is already in Congress,” she said on Saturday, December 27.
The Bangsamoro bill provides a legal framework for the final peace accord signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in March after 17 years of negotiations aimed at ending 4 decades of war in Mindanao.
Valte acknowledged that the government is busy with the papal visit, as well as the hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)-related meetings, but she expressed hope that “priority pieces of legislation” would be “given sufficient attention.”
She also said the Palace is not expecting delays in the passage of legislation as lawmakers begin to campaign for the 2016 national elections.
“Of course, being a separate and co-equal branch of government, we will continue to work with them on the priority pieces of legislation that both sides would want to see coming to fruition for 2015,” she said.
“Perhaps others are expecting (delays) because it’s 2015 already, and the elections are nearing, but we will continue to focus on our jobs because there’s still a lot left to be done.”
Valte said the President for one, has yet to mention any names regarding his preferred successor, although he has been vocal about what characteristics he wants for who would succeed him.
“He hasn’t mentioned anything. Even to us, the President has not mentioned when he would tell the people who he wants to succeed him in 2016,” she said.
While no announcement has been made, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has been known to be the presumed standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party.
In a November presidential contender top-of-mind poll of the Social Weather Stations this year, Roxas got a 19% rating, next only to Senator Grace Poe (21%) and Vice President Jejomar Binay (37%). It was his best showing thus far. – Rappler.com
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