“Confidence-building measures ought to be implemented.”
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes that the people have lost all faith in the peace efforts. It is therefore necessary for the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to undertake confidence-building measures aimed at bringing back the people’s trust and confidence in the peace process.
Some of these confidence-building measures, which Sen. Bongbong wants both sides to accomplish as soon as possible, are for the MILF to surrender the arms confiscated from the slain SAF troopers last Sunday, help in arresting Basit Usman, and clarify its relationship with the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters).
For the government, it is important that the Aquino administration shed light on the alleged absence of command and control during the operation, and on who really was commandeering the troopers when they staged Oplan Wolverine, the black ops meant to capture two wanted international terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Sen. Bongbong, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government, told Kabayan Noli de Castro during his morning radio show on DZMM-Teleradyo today that it is highly necessary for all groups to calm down and undertake serious efforts in bringing back the public's trust and confidence in the people behind the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Initiating probes is one thing, but the Senator said it is more important at this juncture for the government and the MILF to show transparency and prove to the people that both sides want nothing more than the truth on what triggered the bloody clash which resulted in the death of the police troopers and MILF fighters.
Sen. Bongbong said he will resume hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as soon as an honest rendering of the truth behind the massacre is revealed.
“Well ang nangyayari ngayon ay mga imbestigasyon, ang HOR ay magkakaroon din ng imbestigasyon sa Lunes, ang senado ay sa Lunes at Martes at kailangan nating makita kung ano talaga ang nangyari at maaapektuhan ang hearing sa BBL. Kailangang malaman natin ang tunay na nangyari sa magkabilang panig. Nawala talaga ang tiwala ng magkabilang panig at ng mga tao sa usapang pangkapayapaan. May confidence-building measure ako para maibalik ang tiwala.”
Sen. Bongbong said the Mamasapano incident bared the need for a closer scrutiny of the BBL.
“Nasa proseso tayo ng usapang pangkapayapaan at may BBL pa at nangyari ito, ibig sabihin may kakulanagan sa BBL, amyendahan natin ang BBL, magdagdag tayo ng bagong probisyon sa BBL. Mahirap sabihin na blessing, pero ipinakita ng pangyayaring ito na madami pa tayong kailangnang gawin, pag-aralan pa ang proseso dahil 44 na pulis natin ang namatay at kailangan pang alamin ang totoo.”
The Senator says the facts established by the investigation into the Mamasapano incident would help him and his colleagues at the Senate fine-tune the provisions of the BBL towards a lasting peace in Mindanao.
“Mataas pa ang emosyon ng lahat at kailangang palamigin ito... May posibilidad na maulit ito. Alamin natin mabuti kung ano ang nangyari, ano ba dapat palitan o idagdag sa BBL,” Sen. Bongbong adds.
Meanwhile, the Senator also met Tuesday afternoon with the independent Third Party Monitoring team, established in 2013 as part of the peace process between the Philippine Government and the MILF, as part of his stakeholder consultations to help him and the Senate enact a Bangsamoro Basic Law that would ensure lasting peace in Mindanao.