Bongbong Marcos

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Sen. Marcos won’t mind meeting Pnoy to discuss BBL; except if meant to press passage of Palace version

Sen. Bongbong Marcos today said he is willing to talk to anyone, including President Benigno Aquino III, for a genuine discussion on how to iron out the kinks in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to ensure it leads to lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.

But count him out if it is merely meant to muscle the Senate into passing Malacanang’s version of BBL, Marcos stressed.

Malacanang earlier said the President is willing to meet with the senators to discuss BBL with them, as he had done before with members of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee.

“As I said before, if we are going to discuss with the President the various issues directly related to BBL, and if he has suggestions for us, we would certainly listen because his inputs are important,” said Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, in a radio interview.

“But it’s another matter entirely if it’s only for political manoeuvring, as what was done with the House of Representatives. Then, I don’t think I should be part of that; I don’t want to be involved in anything like that,” he added.

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Sponsorship Speech for the creation of two (2) additional Legislative Districts in the Province of Batangas

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Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I have the honor to report to the Senate Committee Report No. 126, containing House Bill No. 3750 with amendments, which seeks to reapportion the Province of Batangas into six (6) Legislative districts.

The province of Batangas is one of the earliest provinces established by the Spaniards. It is a first-class province and one of the most popular tourist destinations near metro manila. It is home to the famous Taal volcano and Taal heritage town, a small picturesque town that has ancestral houses and structures dating back to the 19th century. The province also has many spectacular beaches and diving spots.

The province of Batangas is ranked fifth (5th) most populated province of the country, with a population count of 2,377,395 based on the 2010 census of population and housing issued by the Philippine statistics authority. Read More…

Radio interview with Kabayan Noli de Castro, DZMM

Kabayan: Ay kayo na lang daw ho ang pag-asa sa Senado pero mag-isa lang ho kayo papano yun kung ang mga kasama ninyo ay iba ang nasa isip? Ano ho ang akala ninyo ay iniisip ng inyong mga kasamahan dyan sa Senado? 

BBM: Ay sa palagay ko naman ay…kaya nga ay maraming nalungkot dun sa nangyari sa House of Representatives na akala natin maraming papalitan dun sa BBL at aayusin mabuti e ang nangyari bumalik lahat yung gustong palitan at nabalik halos dun sa original.

Kabayan: Nag-weekend lang nag-iba na?

BBM: Pero palagay ko, kasi lahat ng ating kapwa senadoryung mga nakakausap ko tungkol dito, ay sinasabi naman nila na gusto nilang isa-isahin, line by line, section by section. Tingnan natin. Sa ngayon ay ganun ang kanilang gustong gawin at sinasabi talaga na ayaw naming magpasa ng isang version na alam namin na unconstitutional. Kaya’t napakahirap naman kung meron na namang lilitaw na Palace version at ito’y pipilitin–kasi alam naman nating unconstitutional. Kaya nga nagtataka ako ako hinahamon daw ng Palasyo at nagsasabi na unconstitutional sa Supreme Court na lang. Ay yun na nga ang trabaho namin e, para hindi magkaroon ng ganong klaseng problema, inaayos nga namin. Pero nagtataka nga ako bakit ganun ang approach na ginagawa ng Palasyo. Read More…

Sen. Marcos chides OPAPP for failing to consult BBL stakeholders, tossing burden to Congress instead

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Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., today chided the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for failing to do their job of consulting all the stakeholders in the Bangsamoro Basic Law and instead tossing the burden to Congress.

OPAPP representative Usec. Jose Lorena admitted that none of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Sultanates of Mindanao, the indigenous people, or concerned local government officials, were represented in the government panel that negotiated a peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“So you were negotiating about the land, the culture, the history of the Sultanates and they were not included in the negotiations?” asked Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government tasked to deliberate on the proposed BBL. Read More…

Ambush interview (during the break of the hearing on BBL)

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I consider this important because I really do believe that any peace process cannot succeed without the understanding of what we are trying to do and the support of the Sultanate because, after all, they are the traditional leaders of the Muslim peoples in southern Mindanao and it is important to note that these Sultanates must be given time, must be given credence simply because they have been organized and have been entities since before the existence of the Republic of the Philippines and for that matter most of the modern states that we see around the world today.

So it is…I cannot understand the failure of OPAPP in including the Sultanates of Muslim Mindanao, the Royal Houses of Muslim Mindanao because, again, it would seem that the nature of the negotiations between OPAPP and MILF were very, very exclusive and not inclusive. It included only OPAPP and MILF. It did not include any other stakeholders and that is why we are going to proceed with the hearing. After the Sultanate and the Royal Houses, we will now proceed with the hearings of the IPs and, after that, the local government.

So, again, as I told Usec. Lorena during the hearing, in many ways, we, here in the committee are doing their work for them. This is what they should have done before signing any agreement. This is what they should have done before drafting any Bangsamoro Basic Law.

But nevertheless, nandito na tayo kayat ang kailangan nating gawin ay remedyuhan ang sitwasyon at ang paraan ay makipag-usap sa kanilang lahat at marinig natin kung ano sa palagay nila ang mga dapat baguhin sa draft BBL kung anuman ang dapat palitan marami naman silang suggestion.

Sila rin ay nagtataka kung bakit hindi sila kinausap ng OPAPP tungkol dito sa peace process at marami silang mga sinasabi tungkol sa BBL na sa kanilang palagay ay isinama sila sa proseso. Handa naman silang tumulong pero hindi siguro sila nakonsultahan kaya’t hanggang ngayon titingnan natin ang BBL, walang masyadong pinaguusapan tungkol sa mga Sultanate, tungkol sa mga Royal Houses ay ‘yung mga ibat-ibang stakeholders kagaya ng MNLF, ng IPs at tsaka mga local government officials pati na yung mga grupo ng Kristiyano hindi kinausap.

Kaya naman talaga malaking…marami pa ang kulang sa BBL at lumabas din dito sa hearing na ito ang paulut-ulit na tanong (na) bakit tayong nagmamadali; bakit tayo nagmamadali. Hanggang ngayon ang OPAPP ay wala namang maisagot; ang executive wala rin namang maisagot kaya’t kami ay nagtataka at nagkakamot ng ulo kung bakit minamadali ang proseso nitong BBL.

Q: Paano niyno maaadress ung problema ng (?) sa text ng BBL?

BBM: Well, titingnan natin lahat ng mga suggestion na narinig natin at marami namang mga parallel: na kilalanin ang mga Royal house, na bigyan sila ng katungkulan sa pamahalaan ng Bangsamoro government. Ito ay bilang sa isang agency, isang ahensya, isang opisina na mag-aalaga ng kanilang mga tradisyon at kultura.

Meron din mga suggestion na sila ay bigyan ng parliamentary seats doon sa Bangsamoro parliament kaya’t ito ay pag-aaralan natin at sa palagay ko ito naman ay…i think reasonable naman na request ito hindi naman dahil nga sa importansya ng mga Royal Houses na dapat nating kilalanin. Sa palagay ko makikita ng ating mga legislator, ng ating mga senador na ito naman ay karapat-dapat lamang.

Q: Ano ang general consensus ng Royal Houses, are they going to support the BBL?

BBM: Ang general consensus of the Royal Houses is that they support the peace process. Not only do they support the peace process, gusto nilang maging bahagi ng proseso ng kapayapaan. Ngunit ang draft BBL ay hindi nila masuportahan dahil marami silang nakikitang pagkukulang at itong mga pagkukulang na ito ay nangyari dahil hindi naman daw sila nakonsulta at itong hearing na ito ang kanilang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na magsalita na kahit na sinuman sa gobyerno tungkol sa BBL.

Q: Do you think the BBL should go back to the drawing board?

BBM: I think that is essentially what we are doing now. ‘Yun ang ating ginagawa. Yung mga dapat gawin, yung konsultasyon pa lamang ay hindi nagawa…ngayon na lang natin gagawin at hindi maaaring gumawa ng batas na hindi komunsulta sa stakeholders.

Q: Ano ang nakita nilang kakulangan sa BBL?

BBM: Well, first of all there is no recognition of the Sultanate. Hindi sila kinikilala, hindi sila binibigyan ng katungkulan, hindi sila binibigyan ng role dito sa Bangsamoro government, hindi nga sila nakunsulta. Yung cultural heritage, although merong nakabanggit sa Bangsamoro Basic Law, ay hindi maliwanag kung papaano aalagaan ang kanilang kultura, paano aalagaan ang kanilang kasaysayan.

Q: Ngayong narinig nyo na ang side ng ibang stakeholders, malaki ba ang chance na maisama na sila dito sa final version g BBL?

BBM: I will propose; definitely magpo-propose ako na maisama sila dahil kagaya ng nabanggit ko, sa aking pananaw, hindi magiging matagumpay ang kahit hindi lamang BBL pero kahit na anong proseso ng kapayapaan kung hindi suporta ng Sultanate at Royal Houses.

Q: Kailangan may representation sila sa parliament?

BBM: Yun ang kanilang hinihingi dahil doon sa appointment day parang kasama na ng mga sectoral representatives. Ang kanilang suggestion sari-sari, pero kadalasan ay bigyan sila ng appointed seats doon sa…as one…within the sectoral representative.

Q: Sir, nasabi po kanina ni Pangulo na willing din syang makipag-meet sa mga senador tungkol sa BBL, hinihintay lang daw po nya yung kumpas ni Senate President.

BBM: Ah okay. Well, mabuti yun para naman masabi namin sa kanya kung ano yung nakikita naming problema. Pero baka dun sa mga senador na nabanggit nya hindi ko lang malaman kung ako’y kasama dun sa grupong yun.

Q: Sir, ilan yung proposed seats dun sa Bangsamoro government?

BBM: Iba-iba. Merong dalawa dun para sa lahat ng ibat-ibang sultanates, merong sinasabi tig-isa. So itong mga suggestion na ito’y pag-aaralan namin.

Q: Sir what’s your take on the 500 million lobby for the passage of the BBL, from the Malaysian government?

BBM: Well, haka haka lang naman yun hindi na lang ako mag-comment kung bali-balita lang. Kung mapatunayan na totoo di delikado yan dahil that is an interference in our internal affairs and an illegal interference in our internal affairs for that matter. But until it’s proved that such a thing actually happened I don’t think that we should make any judgment.

Q: Sir, your reaction sir to the MILF holding peacekeeping operations together with the police in Sibugay?

BBM: Well, I am sure that this is the inspiration of the executive to try and already start what they would like to achieve in the BBL, to start it already now. But again it’s a strange situation dahil hindi natin makakalimutan na paulit-ulit na binabanggit ni—o sige tawagin na lang natin sa kanyang nom de guerre—ni Chairman Iqbal, that they are still a revolutionary organization. And a revolutionary organization has been formed to fight the government. So to be included as part of the government before they have set aside their revolutionary nature is a non-sequitur.

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