By Ernie Reyes | InterAksyon
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., on Friday summoned the peacemakers from both sides of the fence to explain to the senators the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Marcos, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said a briefing to enlighten him and other senators on issues and circumstances concerning the BBL would be the proper prelude to the public hearings that will be held by his panel.
"I have scheduled the briefing for September 23 to give us senators, my committee, a chance to listen to the negotiating panels and those involved in the peace process about the BBL. This will, in a way, help us on how we will conduct the public hearings," Marcos said.
The senator invited as resource persons Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, the chief government negotiator; Mohaguer Iqbal, chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission; Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; Ghazali Jaafar, Moro Islamic Liberation Front Vice Chairman for Political Affairs; Atty. Mike Mastura, Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Negotiating Panel; and Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
On Wednesday, September 10, Marcos attended the ceremonial submission of the BBL to Congress by President Aquino held in Malacañang.
Marcos gave assurance of a democratic public hearing process as he said he intends to invite all those who support or oppose the BBL.
"What's important is for everybody to be heard. whether for or against. While all of us Filipinos are for peace, it is our duty in the Senate to come up with a law fulfilling that advocacy. We are to listen to all sides, not to take sides," he said.
Once the BBL is enacted into law and ratified through a plebiscite, a Bangsamoro political entity will be established, replacing the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.