SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. has reminded that violence only begets violence and peace can only be achieved through peaceful means.
Marcos aired the warning even as he appealed to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to refrain from issuing threats or hints of war in Mindanao if the Malacañang-proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)) will not be passed or “diluted.”
“Statements that war will be renewed or to that effect are uncalled for if the BBL is not passed in its present form or diluted. Any effort to achieve peace could only be realized under an atmosphere of calm, cooperation and understanding. We have come this close to realizing the aspiration of our Muslim and Christian brothers. We should not let this opportunity slip our hands,” he said in a statement.
Even President Benigno Aquino III in March reportedly warned of “body bags” if the BBL is not passed.
“Who’s diluting the BBL in the first place? Not me. What I’m trying to do is come up with an improved measure. My intention is neither dilute nor water down the BBL but to come up with an acceptable and implementable one. That’s why I am conducting hearings so that all stakeholders are heard,” he said.
Marcos, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, has conducted public hearings and consulted with stakeholders who were left out by the government and the MILF in the peace negotiation, like the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, Indigenous People or the lumads, Moro National Liberation Front, local government units and other groups.
He has rejected the BBL in its present form because of its obvious constitutional infirmities and other substantial flaws.
“Mr. President, I repeat I am for peace…Kinausap ko ang lahat ng stakeholders. IIsa ang kanilang hatol: Hindi ito magbibigay ng kapayapaan. Mr. President, I cannot support the BBL in its present form. May ihinahanda akong kapalit nito na makabubuti sa lahat,” he said in a privilege speech.