The Manila Times – No BBL pressure from Palace – Marcos

The Manila Times

SThe-Manila-Times-Netenator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos on Wednesday said nobody from Malacañang has forced him to hasten the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“In fairness to everyone, I have friends in the (Aquino) administration but they are not telling me to hurry up. They are just asking me how’s the bill,” Marcos said in the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay at the Luneta Hotel.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, said Senate President Franklin Drilon also discussed with him the BBL “but he also speaks of other bills too.”

Marcos said he has been consulting with several lawyers and former military officials on how he can speed up the drafting of the committee report.

”I discussed with them the economic provisions as well as the constitutional issues. Some are clear, some are not,” he told reporters.

He said it would be up to his colleagues in the Senate to decide on the questionable provisions of the Palace-backed bill.

However, Marcos said he is ready to defend the BBL committee report which would be a product of 14 Senate hearings, including five held in Mindanao.

”What we’re trying to do is to find a version that we will be able to approve and present it to the senators and tell them that all constitutional issues that you have brought have been given solution,” he explained.

”We have to find a compromise whether or not what I think is ideal and what other senators think is ideal,” he added.

Marcos said part of the committee report is a substitute bill that would be still based on the draft BBL submitted by Malacanang to Congress.

Marcos admitted that the BBL is not a one-time solution to the peace problem in Mindanao.

“There will still be fighting between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. There are still Abu Sayyaf (rebels). We have to deal with these other problems,” Marcos said.

He added that the BBL should be accompanied with economic reforms that will encourage the people to give up their guns and have a decent life.

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