ABS-CBN News - Substitute BBL out this week, Marcos says

News & Interviews
3 August 2015

By Ryan Chua | ABS-CBN News

Logo_ABSCBNnewsSenator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he will release his alternative measure to the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) this week.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate local government committee, said there were delays in finishing the substitute bill because he had to consider inputs from other senators.

"We tried to incorporate as much of it as we can para lang mabigyan ang mga senador ng as many options as possible (to give senators as many options as possible)," he told reporters.

Marcos added that he wants to give senators a "full range of possibilities for the best remedies to the problems that we see in the draft BBL."

Marcos has always been critical of the administration-backed draft of the BBL, citing provisions that he believes violate the Constitution, such as the parliamentary form of government for the proposed new autonomous region.

He also criticized the government peace panel for supposedly excluding other stakeholders in its negotiations with the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that led to the crafting of the BBL.

Marcos said most of the important amendments to the draft BBL that he proposed have to do with its economic provisions, including tax policies and wealth-sharing.

A product of several years of talks between government and the MILF, the BBL seeks to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which the Aquino administration had called a failed experiment.

It is a priority measure of the administration, but its passage faced delays following the January 25 encounter that led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers, 17 members of the MILF and other rebel groups, and a number of civilians.

"We have to look at the experiences of ARMM, we have to look at the experiences of the national government, how we came up with the sharing of wealth that we have between the national government and other local governments, and see how that would possibly apply to the Bangsamoro government," Marcos said.

Meanwhile, Marcos said he hopes the bullet hole found at his satellite office in Pasay City was not because of a deliberate attack but only a stray bullet.

He also hopes it had nothing to do with his work on the BBL.

"I don't think so," said Marcos. "Kahit naman sino, kahit na pro or against BBL, alam naman nila wala namang epekto ang ganyang klaseng galaw (Whether anyone is pro or against the BBL, they know actions like this will have no effect)."