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Lobregat confident Zambo excluded from Bangsamoro


Congressman Celso L. Lobregat on Saturday expressed confidence that Zamboanga City will not be included in the Bangsamoro region once its autonomous government is formed.

"Hindi masakop itong Zamboanga," Lobregat told local reporters in an interview after a forum on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which he hosted at a local convention center.

"There is no fear. Like I said, we have provisions that protect the city like no more creeping expansion," the lawmaker added.

Last Wedneday, May 30, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the BBL. Lobregat abstained from voting.

The substitute bill for House Bill 6475, which seeks to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), was passed after President Rodrigo Duterte certified it as urgent.

Once both chambers of Congress have reconciled and finalized a unified version of the proposed measure at the bicameral conference committee during the break, President Duterte is expected to sign the BBL.

Lobregat said that in the House approved version, there will only be one plebiscite which will be held between 90 and 120 days upon the BBL’s effectivity. This runs counter to HB 6475’s original version mandating a plebiscite every five years for a period of 25 years after the creation of the Bangsamoro.

"Baka November el plibiscite.  Afterwhich, then the Bangsamoro Transition Authority will take over and then the election, the regular election.. There will be a transition period. I don't know if they will wait for the expiration of the ARMM, or they might, maybe implement but make the assemblymen part of it until the term expires," said Lobregat.

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