By Anna Estanislao | CNN Philippines
Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. delivered his sponsorship speech on the Senate version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Wednesday (August 12) by honoring the 44 police commandos who were killed in the January 25 Mamasapano incident.
Marcos talked about peace needing to be inclusive for it to be sustained.
He said that by honoring our heroes we honor the Philippines and our diverse people.
Marcos recalled inviting every stakeholder for consultation.
He emphasized that we could only achieve peace by making sure the BBL would be constitutional.
The senator also said that many had questioned why Malaysia was invited to be the facilitator and moderator of the peace talks.
In his speech, Marcos said Malaysia refuses to recognize our rightful claim to Sabah. He added that Kuala Lumpur, in the past, had also given shelter to separatists and terrorists against Filipinos.
He said that the Senate's version of the BBL would protect the national interests and would reserve to the national government those powers enshrined in our Constitution — including the responsibility for national defense, internal and external security, foreign affairs, and monetary policy and management of the financial system, among others.
He said the proposed basic law would provide an efficient program of disarmament and demobilization and the needed financial and social assistance to former fighters so that they could become peaceful and productive members of society.
Marcos went on to say that the proposed measure would maintain the constitutional responsibility of the national government to maintain peace and order by making the Bangsamoro police force an integral part of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
He mentioned other basic principles that guided senators in crafting the bill, like the principle of checks and balances in all aspects of governance — the lack of which, he said, was the main reason why the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) failed.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles, peace panel chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal were present to hear Marcos's speech.
Interpellations were scheduled next week.