Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday has called on his colleagues in the Senate to be brave enough to do what is right and stand against political pressure in deciding on the fate of the Malacanang-drafted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Marcos made the call as he expressed lament that the process in the House of Representatives, particularly in the 75-member ad hoc committee, in approving the BBL was tainted with politics.
“Alam n’yo, hinalal tayo ng taumbayan at mayroon tayong responsibilidad na gawin kung ano ang nasa interest ng bansa. Huwag tayong matakot na gumawa ng tama. Alam naman natin kung ano ang tama, ano ‘yung maganda. Huwag tayong matakot na gawin ‘yung maganda. Basta tama ang ginagawa natin, hindi tayo magkakamali," he said in an interview over radio dzBB.
He added: “Medyo nakakalungkot ‘yung nangyari sa House of Representatives… dinaan sa pulitika ang BBL.” The ad hoc panel, chaired by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, voted on the BBL few days after President Aquino III called them twice to a meeting.
Marcos said the House panel should have realized that the issue was peace and the lives of the people and not “political expediency.” Marcos, as chairman of the Committee on Local Government in the Senate, is scrutinizing the BBL and listening to more stakeholders to produce an “all inclusive” BBL.
Among those who have already attended the previous BBL hearings conducted in the Senate were the Moro National Liberation Front and the Peace Council, created by President Aquino to scrutinize the proposed measure, headed by no less than former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
Marcos also had conducted separate hearings in Cotabato, Marawi, Tawi-Tawi, Jolo, and Zamboanga City.
He is set to conduct a public hearing tomorrow, Monday (May 25), to listen to representatives of the Sultanate of Sulu and the Indigenous People.
On June 3, Marcos will conduct another hearing, which is the final one, to listen to local government unit officials.
He said he has to conduct the two hearings since the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process left out these major stakeholders in the peace process and negotiated only with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
It is very clear that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Framework Agreement were negotiated only with the MILF and excluded the Sultanate of Sulu and the local government officials in Mindanao and that is not an all-inclusive peace process. Tailor-suited ‘yan sa MILF, he said.