The one thing Sen. Antonio Trillanes seems to have succeeded in was to ensure that the bill dividing Camarines Sur into two provinces would not be passed before the last day of Congress that took a recess yesterday and resumes next month, after the days scheduled for the filing of certificates of candidacies for elective offices end.
The Senate yesterday adjourned its session without approving the controversial bill that calls for Camarines Sur province to be divided in time for the 2013 elections.
There was a bit of opposition to this bill, as it has been claimed that the division would only benefit the political families there.
But the senators held a special session to approve on third and final reading House Bill 5236, or the “Act Reapportioning the Province of Bukidnon into four legislative districts.” But even as House Bill 4820, which divides Camarines Sur into two provinces, thus creating a new province that would be called Nueva Camarines, was not passed, the bill is not dead, as it is still considered a “live” bill and can be taken up again by the Senate when it resumes sessions on Oct. 8 after the week-long filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2013 midterm elections.
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, chairman of the local governments committee admitted yesterday that he cannot say what the status of the bill is today, since the bill can no longer be passed in time for the filing of the CoCs.
“I’m not sure what will happen, to tell you the truth, because essentially this bill became moot since the filing of the CoCs is next week and we come back after the filing,” he added.
HB 4820 had not been approved on second reading after Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV manifested that he will deliver a three-part interpellation on it, even when he deliberately absented himself on that day.
But Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III said this setback “does not really matter.” “The bill is still alive. We can take it up later,” he said.
Should HB 4820 be passed into law, the new province will only be created after it gets ratified in a plebiscite.
Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Villafuerte Sr. blasted Senator Trillanes, saying the proposed measure to divide Camarines Sur into two provinces hangs in the balance as Congress prepares to go into recess.
Villafuerte said the future of the measure is uncertain owing to Trillanes’ attempts to delay its passage.
“I am not certain about the fate of the bill. The truth is the majority of senators have already signed the committee report, even those from the Nacionalista Party who objected said they will be signing it,” Villafuerte told dzMM.
Villafuerte said Trillanes had repeatedly sought to interpellate the measure but never showed up, and even sought permission to submit an individual amendment the other day.
“It was only Senator Trillanes who objected. So why doesn’t he just go to Camarines Sur for the plebiscite and campaign against it?” he asked.
Villafuerte, a proponent of the measure to create a new province Nueva Camarines from Camarines Sur, is ending his third consecutive term in Congress.
Villafuerte was being tagged by Senator . Trillanes as being the man lobbying for the division of Camarines Sur.