Press Release
January 7, 2016

Drilon: Mamasapano probe should not hamper
remaining Senate legislative agenda

While the Senate leadership supports the reopening of the Mamasapano probe, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said that he can only hope that the move will not further cause delay in the enactment of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

"If reopening the Mamasapano will allow our esteemed colleague Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to ask questions that he deemed are important to ferret out the truth, then we support it," Drilon said.

"But given the upper chamber's extremely tight working schedule, I am really hoping that the additional hearings will not affect the Senate's work on its continuing legislative priorities," Drilon explained.

"When we resume our plenary sessions on January 18, we have only about nine full session days left before we again adjourn our sessions on February 5," Drilon added.

"We still have many proposed legislation to discuss and work on such as the BBL and the proposed salary hike for public sector workers, so I am hopeful that reopening the Mamasapano probe will not draw time, attention and energies away from our lawmaking duties," Drilon said.

The Senate leader also expressed concerns that the passage of the BBL may again be put in peril due to the issues surrounding the Mamasapano incident.

"The Mamasapano incident had created an immense political storm that seriously affected the peace process which we had hoped would end decades of armed conflict in that part of the country," Drilon said.

While Drilon gave assurance that the passage of the BBL will be the Senate's top priority, he hoped that the ceasefire between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will continue to hold even if the current Congress fails to pass the bill.

"The peace process between the Philippine government and the MILF must continue to hold even if the 16th Congress runs out of time in passing the proposed BBL organic law. We must not abandon the many successes we have made so far in the Mindanao peace process," Drilon concluded.

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