Press Release
January 26, 2015


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, started public hearings on the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by using the debate format.

Santiago opened the hearing by identifying four major issues on the constitutionality of the BBL: (1) legislation v. constitutional change; (2) checks and balances in the national government v. none in the BBL; (3) sovereignty v. sub-state; and (4) territorial integrity v. functional division.

Santiago paired off the resource panel depending on whether they are in favour or against the BBL.

The first debate paired off Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, against former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Feliciano on legislation v. constitutional change.

Deles argues that the BBL can be passed as if it was an ordinary law passed by the two Houses of Congress. On the other hand, Feliciano contends that the BBL should be embodied as a proposal for constitutional amendment or revision. Those who support Feliciano's position include the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP); former SC Justice Vicente V. Mendoza; former UP Law dean Merlin Magallona; and San Beda College Graduate School of Law dead Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino.

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