The House leadership and even opposition lawmakers on Friday vehemently denied the reported Php 200 million 'Malaysian money' being given to each senator and congressman to pass the highly controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led lawmakers in stressing that "there was no such thing (payoff)” in exchange of passing the BBL.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, a staunch critic of the Aquino government from the House minority bloc and a Mindanaoan, also shrugged off the alleged payoff.
"It only further muddles the already muddled peace process, which is now taking the brunt of the Mamasapano fall-out," Zarate, a member of the left-leaning Makabayan bloc, said.
Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, a leader of the House Visayan bloc and a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party said: "No need to waste time for rumors like that."
Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III, a senior member of the House Minority bloc, also denied the allegation.
"No amount of political pressure will influence us legislators from passing or not passing the BBL,"
House Deputy Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Bolet Banal said he was surprised with the reported allegation.
"Well, I am interested to find out who came out with that spectacular analysis based on a " series of text messages " at baka pwede i-nominate sa PCIJ [Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism]," said Banal.