Sen. Bongbong: Thank you and good afternoon to everyone! Let me just first say that it brings me pleasure that I am here at your first– at your resurgent National Press Club and to know that in fact my father had a hand in helping the National Press Club so that this location still be here and with you, and it’s going stronger. As your president has told you, I came from the Villamor Air Base, where we had the arrival honors for the 42, because although over 44 were killed, two of them were Muslims so they were already buried in accordance to their Muslim tradition, and the 42 were brought here this morning. I have to say that one of the saddest duties I have ever had to fulfill is to grieve with the families and to see the caskets lying down, all 42 of them. I cannot imagine anything sadder, especially the circumstances surrounding. Those circumstances unfortunately are still unclear.
In response to the question, “What is the status?” The status is I have suspended in the Senate the hearings on the BBL. For what purpose? Because if we think about it, the BBL…all that we are doing in trying to pass the BBL, The Bangsamoro Basic Law, is very simple: so that this does not happen. It is precisely the whole reason behind the BBL, behind the establishment of Bangsamoro Government, all the definition of the Bangsamoro territory and all that is done so that there is no war, there is no fighting, there is no more killing down in Muslim Mindanao. And this has happened. We are actually in the period, we already signed the peace agreement with the MILF’s panel. And there are assured mechanisms to avoid this kind of occurrence. Paano kaya nangyare ito? Hanggang ngayon hindi maipaliwanag, dahil sinsabi ng iba na mali daw ang pasok, walang coordination. Mahirap naman siguro na masabi na dahil walang coordination ay pwede nang patayin lahat ng tao. That simply cannot be.
By Marlene Alcaide, Radyo5 | InterAksyon.com
MANILA – The suspension of hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not meant to derail peace in Mindanao, but to provide stakeholders a chance to study some troubling matters spawned by the January 25 police anti-terrorist mission in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that saw 44 elite commandos killed by hundreds of Moro rebels, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said.
Marcos was among those who attended the solemn rites at Villamor Air Base Thursday morning, when the remains of 42 of the fallen members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) were flown in from Mindanao by three C130 aircraft.
In an ambush interview, Marcos said that, while the hearings on BBL were suspended – his local government committee is at the helm of hearings – it’s important to study whether the BIFF should be included in the BBL, and not just the MILF, as there seemed to be no assurance of lasting peace if the government were just talking to the MILF.
By Amita Legaspi | GMA News Online
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr on Wednesday scored what he called a gag order on government officials as regards the encounter between members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force and Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano, Maguindanao which led to the death of 44 policemen.
“Ang problema kasi nagkaroon ng gag order ang gobyerno. hindi ko na makausap si (MILF) chairman (Mohaguer) iqbal, hindi ko makausap ang PNP commanders, hindi na sumasagot ng tawag. So there is, I think, although hindi formal, pero there seems to be a gag order and that doesn’t help,” Marcos told reporters before the start of the session.
Marcos is the head of the Senate committee on local government which is leading the hearings for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. He suspended the hearings pending clarification on the incident.
At least 44 PNP-SAF members were killed while 12 others were wounded in an encounter with MILF and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a splinter group of MILF, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25. They were supposed to arrest Zulkipli ‘Marwan’ Hir, one of the most wanted Jemaah Islamiyah leaders operating in Southeast Asia.
Marcos said he was supposed to asked the officials on what really happened over the weekend and what should be done to prevent it.
“What we need to know here is facts, kailangan natin malaman ang talagang katotohanan kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari. Yun ang unang hakbang bago natin maayos yung BBL para nga mailagay kung anumang amendment, kung anumang probisyon ang kailangan para hindi na mangyari ito, para magkaroon ng tunay na kapayapaan sa Muslim Mindanao,” he said.
Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr says he has been unable to talk to key players in the peace process to determine what really happened in the January 25 ‘misencounter.
By Ayee Macaraig | Rappler
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr accused the government of imposing an unofficial “gag order” on the events surrounding the clash between elite cops and Moro rebels in Maguindanao that killed 44 special police forces and 10 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over the weekend.
The head of the Senate local government committee tackling the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) said he has been unable to talk to key players in the peace process to find out what happened in Maguindanao, and how to handle the measure in the aftermath of the incident.
“Ang mahirap kasi nagkaroon ng gag order ang gobyerno. ‘Di ko makausap si Chairman Iqbal. Hindi ko makausap ang mga PNP (Philippine National Police) commander. ‘Di na sumasagot ng tawag. There is I think although hindi siguro formal, hindi sinasabi, there seems to be a gag order and that doesn’t help because what we need to know here are facts,” Marcos told reporters on Wednesday, January 28.
(The difficulty is the government imposed a gag order. I cannot talk to Chairman Iqbal. I cannot talk to the police commanders. They are not answering my calls. There is, I think, an informal gag order).
Joe Taruc: Mukhang matindi ang magiging epekto sa pagdining ng BBL sa Senado tungkol dito sa nangyaring insidente sa Maguindanao?
Sen. Bongbong: Yun na nga dahil kaya naman tayo nagdedeliberate at pinaguusapan ang BBL para nga walang ganitong mangyari at katakataka dahil tayo’y nasa gitna ng isang ceasefire agreement na nalagdaan na nang bawat panig ng MILF side at pati na gobyerno e papaano naman nangyari ito e dapat e nasa ceasefire tayo ngayon. Kaya’t ang ginawa ko ay sinuspindi ko muna yung mga hearing dahil hindi maaaring magkaroon ng peace process pagnagpuputukan, pag may gyera pa dapat ang unahin natin itigil lahat yan, alamin natin lahat kung anong nangyari at gawin lahat ng maari nating gawin para hindi na mauulit.
Taruc: Meron pong nagsasabi Senator “Bongbong” na ayusin muna natin ang disarmament provision nayan sapagkat habang tayo’y naguusap ng kapayapaan pagkatapos armado naman ang ating mga kausap e hindi maiiwasan ang ganyang uri ng mga insidente?
Sen. Bongbong: Siguro nga. Pero dahil ang unang proseso na napag-agreehan ng magkabilang panig sa peace agreement ay pagka naayos na yung BBL, pagkanagka plebisito na at pagka umupo na yung tinatawag nilang Transition Committee ay saka magsimula ang disarmament. E nasa proseso pa lang tayo ng pagpasa sa BBL. Pero dapat may mechanism dito na hindi mangyari ito. Ngayon sinasabi sa panig ng MILF-BIFF na walang coordination at meron daw proseso o mekanismo ito para magkaalam ang magkabila na may ginagawa o may papasok o may pupuntahan pero ang sabi ng PNP papaano kami magpapaalam doong sa aming huhulihin. Pagpinaalam naming sa kanila ay tatakbo yon. In fact, mukhang sa mga report na dumarating yung hinahanap nila yung bomb maker na Malaysian si Marwani na tinatawag ay mukhang namatay din sa putukan. The point is anong dapat nating gawin na hindi na maulit ito. Kaya naman may BBL, kaya naman may peace process. Pero kahit anong gawin natin hindi maaaring tumuloy ang peace process kapag nagpuputukan pa at may gyera pa.