MANILA- (UPDATE) The House of Representatives did not ratify the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law on Monday, preventing President Rodrigo Duterte from signing it into law in time for his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Reynaldo Umali told ABS-CBN News that the chamber has deferred the ratification of the bill to another day.
"Definitely not today," he said, noting that congressmen will tackle the bill soon.
The bill, earlier certified by the President as urgent, was expected to be signed on Monday before Duterte delivers his SONA.
EXPECTED TO BE SIGNED: ]
Senators and congressmen last week reconciled their versions of the measure in bicameral meetings.
The ratification of the bill was deferred after the House’s opening session was suddenly adjourned amid reports of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s ouster.
Multiple sources earlier claimed that Davao City mayor and first daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio sought their support to elect Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Alvarez’s replacement.
“Itong move na ito [to oust Alvarez], it’s really serious. Hindi ka naman abruptly mag-adjourn kahit na may order of business,” Akbayan Party-list Rep. Tom Villarin told reporters
“Hindi naman sinet aside [ang BOL] but it was overtaken by intramurals within the administration coalition,” he said.
The Senate ratified the proposed law hours ahead of Duterte's SONA.
The Bangsamoro Law is one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest Muslim rebel group.
It will install a Bangsamoro political entity in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.
Duterte is banking on the bill's passage to heal "historical injustices" suffered by the Moros.
-with a report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News