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Does Pacquiao understand BBL? Zamora doubtful

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Was Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao aware of the implications of the “opt in provision” contained in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law when he voted for its approval? House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora isn’t so sure about it.

In an interview on dzMM, Zamora expressed doubt that Pacquiao knew that his province could be part of the Bangsamoro region in the future as a result of the changes made in Article III Section 3 of the bill.

“Nung bumoto si [Sarangani] Cong. [Manny] Pacquiao para dun sa panukalang batas, naintindihan ba niya na kasama sila doon sa area ng Bangsamoro? Na pwedeng masakop sila? Yun ba ay alam ng mga botante ni Cong. Pacquiao? Yan ang gusto kong malaman,” he said.

The new opt in provision, which was in the version of the proposed BBL amended by Congress, states that a plebiscite for inclusion in the Bangsamoro region may be held through a petition filed by 10 percent of voters in areas contiguous to the new region, as well as those within the areas of autonomy indicated in the 1976 Tripoli Agreement signed by the government and Moro National Liberation Front.

The petition could be held on the fifth and 10th year following the BBL’s passage into law.

According to lawmakers in the Minority bloc, Sarangani will be included in the areas where a plebiscite may be held because it was carved out of South Cotabato, which was included in the Tripoli Agreement.

Zamora said the areas comprising the Bangsamoro region should be determined this early and not through future plebiscites so as not to cause confusion and discord among stakeholders.