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
MANILA, Philippines – “We don’t need press releases. We don’t need pronouncements. We need facts.”
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).
I would like to appeal, as a peace-loving citizen, to everybody to refrain from issuing statements that would foment hate and cause violent actions as a result of what happened in Maguindao.
It is always wise to stay calm and exercise sobriety especially at this time when the elusive peace in Mindanao is within reach.
While I understand the strong indignation amongst our people, our judgment on who is to blame should be based on facts and truth, which we, at this time, do not possess.
Pending the availability of facts surrounding the violent incident, I am holding in abeyance any judgment. Neither will I issue a conclusion pointing fingers at anybody. I hope everybody will exercise the same prudence.
I am calling for a probe on the incident to be jointly conducted by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front using and applying the mechanism duly agreed upon under the ceasefire agreement.
By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Manila Standard
The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 3917 separating Biñan City from the first legislative district of the province of Laguna to form the lone legislative district of Biñan.
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., chair of the committee on local governments, sponsored the measure with acting Senate Minority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Gregorio Honasan II, and Nancy Binay as co-sponsors.
House Bill No. 3917 was approved with 15 affirmative votes, and zero negative vote. Sotto, however, abstained from voting on the measure.
Marcos said a census on population and housing by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2010 placed the number of residents in the city of Biñan to 283,396.
“The noted increase in the population of the city of Biñan which now exceeds the 250,000 population threshold for a city to be entitled to one legislative district, the city deserves its own seat in the House of Representatives,” Marcos said.
When signed into law, the bill will separate the City of Biñan – which has a population of 283,396 as of 2010 – from the first legislative district of Laguna.
By Michael Bueza | Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday, January 26, approved on 3rd and final reading a bill creating the lone congressional district of the city of Biñan in Laguna.
Voting 15-0, the Senate approved House Bill 3917, which seeks to amend the Charter of the City of Biñan by separating the city from the first legislative district of Laguna. Acting Senate Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III abstained from voting.
Laguna’s first legislative district is currently composed of the cities of Biñan, San Pedro, and Santa Rosa.
The bill was sponsored on the floor by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, chairman of the Senate committee on local governments, and co-sponsored by senators Sotto, Aquilino Pimentel III, Gregorio Honasan II, and Nancy Binay.
Due to the increase in the population of the city of Biñan, among others, it “deserves its own seat in the House of Representatives,” Marcos said.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, today, it is my honor, as Chairman of the Committee on Local Government, to sponsor Committee Report no. 97, containing House Bill no. 5209, or the proposed act postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan elections to the last Monday of October 2016.
Mr. President, last October 3, 2013, RA 10632 was signed into law. It mandates, specifically under Section 1 thereof, that the Sangguniang Kabataan elections, originally scheduled on 28 October 2013, shall be postponed “to a date to be determined by the commission on elections between 28 October 2014 to 23 February 2015.”
It will be recalled, Mr. President, that when this representation sponsored this proposal through Senate Bill no. 1186 and House Bill no. 2849 last September of 2013, I had emphasized the significant role of the youth in community affairs, policy-making and public governance. However, I had underscored the view of the committee that before conducting the SK elections the Sangguniang Kabataan must first be reformed and restructured in order to effectively represent the needs and concerns of the youth sector.