By Ernie Reyes | InterAksyon.com
MANILA – Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. assured on Saturday that the Senate will not pass or approve a rubber stamp Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is expected to be passed this June as agreed upon by leaders of both Houses.
Marcos gave the guarantee even as he vowed to fix perceived infirmities in certain provisions of the Malacañang-drafted BBL, especially on the issue of constitutionality.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, suspended public hearings on the BBL after the January 25 Mamasapano clash where 44 Special Action Force commandos met their death at the hands of combined forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
"We can't just rubber-stamp the measure in the form that was transmitted to the legislature. We have seen many parts of the draft BBL that need fixing because these were unconstitutional, illegal or unenforceable," Marcos said in an interview with Rey Langit over radio dwIZ.
Constitutional experts have weighed in to assert that the BBL in its present draft has many constitutional infirmities.
"We will fix anything that needs to be fixed in the present draft," he said.
Marcos said that if the legal loopholes are not plugged, then the BBL, if enacted, will immediately be challenged in the Supreme Court.
"If we see anything in BBL that's unconstitutional or not in proper order, then it is our job as legislators to do the right thing. This is our work, to craft good laws. And that is what we will do," he said.
He said he will resume the hearings once he obtains a copy of the report of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) of the Philippine National Police, as well as the result of the investigation conducted by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) regarding the bloody incident.
On Thursday, the BOI submitted its report to the PNP leadership, while the MILF said it will submit its findings to Malaysia.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte both agreed that the BBL should be passed in June.
But Marcos said he is not inclined to rush the work, and, instead, vowed to scrutinize the proposed measure to make sure that the BBL adequately addresses the search for peace in Mindanao.
However, he said the BBL is not the magic pill, but only a major step in laying down the foundation for lasting peace the southern Philippines.