“Plan B” if Bangsamoro Law fails to pass, continue pursuit for peace

Press Releases
4 January 2016

Bersyon sa Filipino.

“Plan B” if Congress fails to pass the proposed Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region should be to follow what “Plan A” is all about: pursue peace efforts in Muslim Mindanao.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said this today amid concerns the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) expressed recently over delays in the approval of the Bangsamoro Law and the possibility that the final version may not be compliant with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The TPMT was jointly set up by the government and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) to monitor the implementation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which the two parties signed on Oct. 15, 2012.

“We will see what we can do within our remaining session days but even if the BLBAR fails to pass, I am confident the next Administration will support efforts to find lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao because it is crucial for the development and progress of Mindanao and the entire country,” Marcos assessed.

“No matter how long the journey to peace will take we will get there if all parties continue to show goodwill and sincerity,” he added.

Marcos pointed out that if the proposed Bangsamoro Law fails to pass under the current Administration the time, effort and resources spent on it will not be wasted since the next Congress can use the records of the deliberations to facilitate the passage of the bill.

Likewise, Marcos stressed that while the Bangsamoro Law must adhere to the intent of the CAB it is even more important that the final version comply with the Constitution, otherwise it cannot be implemented.

Marcos also took exception to the impression of TPMT Chair Alistair MacDonald that there seems to be no significant progress in the Senate deliberation of the bill compared to the House of Representatives, which ended the period of interpellation before adjourning for the Christmas break.

“We have been conducting exhaustive interpellations on the BLBAR and every issue clarified, every question answered brings us a step closer to crafting a final version that is not only Constitutional but also inclusive and would produce the desired result,” Marcos asserted.

“It is better to discuss all the concerns now, find out possible problems that may arise and fine-tune the proposed law rather than rush its passage only to scratch our heads later and say: ‘Why haven’t we thought of that?’” Marcos concluded.