By Bernadette Tamayo | Journal Online
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that peace in Mindanao is the country’s best defense against the international terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
Marcos also appealed to concerned sectors “to stop finger pointing” and blaming anyone for the 16th Congress’ failure to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law which creates a Bangsamoro entity in Mindanao. “What is important at this point is both sides are committed to peace and have vowed to pursue it,” he said.
“It’s not a question of blaming, pointing of fingers one way or the other, sinubukan talaga naming matapos. Pero hindi kinaya. Now we have to move forward. Kailangan natin makahanap ng solusyon nang sa gayon matulungan natin ang lahat ng ating kapatid sa Mindanao,” said Marcos.
He said that achieving peace in Mindanao is the country’s best bet against ISIS which had set its sights on the Philippines through Mindanao. “Nakatutok sa atin ang ISIS. Alam naman nating kung ano yung ISIS sa Middle East, they are spreading terror throughout the region,” he said.
“Gusto nila dalhin dito. Madali makapasok ang ISIS ngunit, kung tayo’y may magandang pagtrato sa isa’t isa, mahirap makapasok yung ISIS sa atin. Kaya tama yung kahit anong mangyari sa BBL, kailangan na ipagpatuloy ang proseso ng kapayapaan,” said Marcos.
He also lauded Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Mohagher Iqbal on his declaration that his group will still pursue the peace process despite the snag saying pursuing the peace process should be carried out no matter what.
“I have to credit Chairman Iqbal where he stated na kahit ano pa ang mangyari sa BBL, ipagpapatuloy ang peace process and I am with him one hundred percent there. Kahit anong mangyari sa BBL, ang proseso ng kapayapaan sa Muslim Mindanao ay kailangan nating ipagpatuloy dahil marami tayong nais gawin bilang nasa pamahalaan sa Mindanao specifically,” he said.
While Marcos admitted that he has no idea how the MILF will proceed from the BBL’s non-passage, he is hopeful that a solution will be reached to remedy the situation including going back to the negotiating table to review the agreement.
“Now, I do not know if the MILF would want to come back to the table to renegotiate. Maybe if they’re open to that, we should look at all the details because there were many details that were not taken into account before the comprehensive agreement were signed including the lack of inclusiveness amongst the Muslim community,” he said.