SEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday called on his colleagues in the Senate to be brave and resist political pressure in deciding the fate of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Marcos made the call as he bewailed that passage of the BBL measure at the House of Representatives was tainted with politics.
“Alam n’yo, hinalal tayo ng taumbayan at mayroon tayong responsibilidad na gawin kung ano ang nasa interest ng bansa. Huwag tayong matakot na gumawa ng tama. Alam naman natin kung ano ang tama, ano ‘yung maganda. Huwag tayong matakot na gawin ‘yung maganda. Basta tama ang ginagawa natin, hindi tayo magkakamali [We were elected by the people and we have the responsibility to safeguard the country’s interest. Let us not be afraid to do what is right. We know what is right. If we do the right thing, we will not err],” he said in an interview over radio dzBB.
“Medyo nakakalungkot ‘yung nangyari sa House of Representatives… dinaan sa pulitika ang BBL [What transpired at the House is saddening. The BBL passed because of politics],” Marcos added.
The ad hoc panel on the BBL headed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City voted on the proposed law a few days after President Benigno Aquino 3rd twice called the lawmakers to a meeting.
Marcos said the House panel should have realized that the issue was peace and the lives of the people, not “political expediency.”
Marcos, who heads the committee on local government in the Senate, is scrutinizing the BBL and listening to more stakeholders to produce an “all-inclusive” BBL.
The Senate hearings were attended by the Moro National Liberation Front and members of the Peace Council created by Aquino to comb through the proposed measure. The panel is headed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
Marcos has conducted separate hearings in Cotabato, Marawi City, Tawi-Tawi, Jolo (Sulu) and Zamboanga City.
Today, he will listen to representatives of the Sultanate of Sulu and members of indigenous groups.
On June 3, Marcos will conduct the final hearing with local government unit officials.
He said the two hearings are necessary because the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process left out these major stakeholders in the peace process and negotiated only with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“It is very clear that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Framework Agreement were negotiated only with the MILF and excluded the Sultanate of Sulu and the local government officials in Mindanao and that is not an all-inclusive peace process. [It is tailor-suited for the MILF],” Marcos added.