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Tempo - BBL is in coma, Bongbong says

News & Interviews
11 February 2015

By Mario Casayuran | Tempo

tempo-thumbSenator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. said yesterday the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that is supposed to bring peace in troubled Mindanao pending in Congress is in a coma.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate local government committee handling the BBL, summed up his feelings following the two-day absence of Mohagher Iqbal, negotiator of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The MILF official had been invited to explain the conduct of the MILF in the “massacre’’ of 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) policemen in an MILF-influenced area in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.

In a letter to Poe, Iqbal said he would only go to the Senate only after the MILF Special Investigation Commission (SIC) comes out with its findings on the skirmish which would be the basis of his testimony before the Senate.
“Please be assured that the MILF is fully committed as the Senate in the search for truth and justice. While we may have signed a peace agreement with the Philippine government after 18 years of intermittent war and negotiations that peace agreement has yet to be implemented. Until the peace agreement is fully implemented we will remain to be a revolutionary organization,’’ Iqbal said.

This statement by Iqbal and other unanswered questions on the Mamasapano incident did not sit well with Marcos who said the Mamasapano incident had completely demolished the March 18 timetable set for the approval of the proposed BBL.

‘’I am afraid the timetable is completely demolished, that is the only word I can use because there are so many inquiries that still need to be conducted. There are nine entities that are conducting this is investigation, we are in the midst of forming the Truth Commission which, in my view, should be the overarching body and take the results of all the investigation and come up with a single report on what exactly happened,’’ Marcos said.

Marcos then encouraged the government to consider the possibility of reviewing its actions to date, especially those presumptions that the government took in negotiating peace with the (secessionist) MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) which had signed a peace agreement with the national government.