Press Release
June 19, 2015


Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, today said Senate President Franklin Drilon has given assurance that there is no impending reorganization of the Senate.

Earlier, Marcos cited reports of plans to revamp the Senate leadership to hasten the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law now under deliberation in his committee.

In a press briefing, Marcos told local reporters in Tuguegarao City that he received a text from Drilon, in effect assuring him he can continue work on the BBL unhampered by any threat of reorganization.

Marcos was in Tuguegarao as keynote speaker in the 62nd National Assembly of the League of Vice-Governors of the Philippines.

"While we are in discussion I received a text message from SP Drilon. Here's what he said: 'There are no plans to reorganize the Senate'," Marcos said.

Marcos said he is grateful that Drilon stood his ground to defend the independence of the Senate.

"It seems that such threat of reorganization will not push through anymore," Marcos said.

Reports of impending reorganization in the Senate floated after President Benigno Aquino III spoke during the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and turnover of their guns, where he lashed at lawmakers who are blocking the passage of BBL.

Marcos said he did not feel alluded to because he has been working non-stop to address the flaws of the draft BBL.

If Malacanang wants to speed up the passage of BBL, Senate reorganization is not the solution, Marcos said.

"Nothing will change. If you reorganize, it will not make the BBL more constitutional. If you reorganize, it will not change the problems that we found in the BBL," Marcos said.

On the contrary, Marcos said a revamp in the Senate leadership would only serve to delay further the passage of BBL because the new committee that would handle the proposed law would have to begin anew from scratch.

Marcos said the supposed plan to reorganize the Senate apparently came from someone who has no understanding of the legislative process and the work that his committee has been doing on the BBL.

The senator stressed that his committee is on track with its target to complete the preparation of a substitute bill, which the panel members could discuss when the Senate resumes its session on July 27.

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