Abueg, who represents Palawan’s 2nd district, said the province was virtually included in the new autonomous region as indicated in Section 1, Article II of the latest working draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) adopted by the House of Representatives.
"The people of Palawan vehemently oppose the inclusion of the Province of Palawan and the City of Puerto Princesa in the Bangsamoro Entity," said Abueg, a member of the National Unity Party (NUP).
He added: “We have done so in the past and we shall do so again, the people of Palawan consistently resist the inclusion of the province in any entity, such as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in four successive plebiscites held during the time of then Presidents Marcos, Aquino and Ramos, wherein the negative votes therefrom cast were more than eighty-five percent (85%) of the total voters."
When the Congress adjourned sine die last June 11, 2015, it was in the midst of plenary debates on House Bill 5811 or the proposed BBL, now re-titled as the “Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.”
Abueg has filed House Resolution 2130 protesting the inclusion of Palawan and and its capital, Puerto Princesa City, from the Bangsamoro region.
The lawmaker pointed out that he had vigorously moved for the deletion of the phrase “including Palawan” in Section 1, Article 2 of the BBL during the committee hearings of the Ad Hoc Panel that was tasked to deliberate on the proposed Bangsamoro law.
Abueg said: “In the previous deliberations of the BBL, MILF Peace Panel and Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, categorically answered our query on the inclusion of Palawan in the Bangsamoro territory, saying, ‘None in the provisions of the Bangsamoro bill can you see Palawan as included in Bangsamoro.’ "
Even Secretary Teresita Deles, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process,
said Palawan's would not be included in the Bangsamoro region, Abueg added.
"Considering the recent developments on the BBL, it is surprising when particular provisions, which have already been amended during the previous deliberations, were reflected in the latest working draft of the Bangsamoro bill," he said.