Inquirer.net – Marcos plea to MILF: Shun war even if BBL is revised

By Maila Ager | Inquirer.net

Logo_Inquirer.netSENATOR  Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. called on the Moro Islamic  Liberation Front  (MILF)  on Tuesday to make  good its  promise “not to resort to force or violence in the event the original Bangsamoro Basic Law is amended or revised by Congress.”

“Mr. President, I am a man of peace. I abhor violence. I am willing to listen to the MILF and all those who have something relevant to say about the BBL,”  Marcos said in a privilege speech.

“I will take pause and consider any or all suggestions on how best to travel the perilous road to peace. Let us work on this important legislation together, no matter how seemingly difficult, tedious and drawn-out the entire process is.”

“As a Filipino, I do not want any more blood to be spilled between our soldiers and the MILF. We are all Filipinos. We should welcome the clash of ideas no matter how challenging they may be, in the spirit of brotherhood. We should embrace our disagreements as a demonstration of our commitment to an equitable and enduring peace; peace in Mindanao; peace in the land,” added Marcos, who was  leading the  BBL hearings in the Senate as chairman  of the committee on government.

He said, “I would rather that we and the MILF talk, talk, talk, in the hope of agreement, than resort to violence and forever be in disagreement.”

“War is not an option; never is; never will be,”  the senator said.

He also appealed to the MILF and the national leaders to set aside emotion and rise above “petty” politics in the interest of peace.

“At the risk of repetition, I urge the MILF, not only its leadership but all its commanders, to renounce war as an instrument of peace,” said Marcos.

He then challenged the MILF to demonstrate  its  sincerity in achieving peace by helping the Department of Justice in the speedy investigation of the Mamasapano massacre.

“I challenge the MILF leadership to identify and bring the killers of our SAF 44 to justice. I challenge the MILF to demonstrate that they are our partners for peace by bowing to the force of reason rather than the reason of force,”  he  said, referring to the January 25  Mamasapano incident that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) operatives  and  several MILF men dead.

Marcos rejected last week  the  proposed BBL in its present form and  substance, saying it would “lead us to perdition.” Instead, the senator proposed a substitute  bill for the  BBL draft.

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