Marcos hats off to Iqbal

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SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has commended Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal for remaining committed to the peace process even if latter does not see passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) happening under the Aquino administration.

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“He [Iqbal] is absolutely correct I am in full agreement with him that the peace process should continue regardless of what will happen to the proposed measure currently being deliberated by Congress,” Marcos said on Tuesday.

The senator was reacting to a recent pronouncement of Iqbal who said he is no longer optimistic that the proposed BBL will be passed before President Benigno Aquino 3rd steps down in June this year.

But the MILF official said he remains committed to the peace process and that the MILF plans to raise the BBL with the next administration.

“Chairman Iqbal has served his organization very well,he has been a good negotiator, he has been a very good advocate and again I take my hat off to him,” Marcos said in an interview after attending a student forum hosted by the Philippine Christian University (PCU) in Manila.

The senator added that the peace process should not be affected in case the proposed BBL is not passed because it is an issue not only for Muslim Mindanao but for the entire Philippines.

Marcos, however, said he is not giving up on BBL and that he too would like to see the proposed law passed particularly the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), which he introduced.

The BLBAR is the substitute bill for Malacanang’s BBL, which, according to Marcos, is riddled with constitutional infirmities.

“I would like very much for it [BLBAR] to pass because I believe that the substitute bill can help regain peace, so we will continue to deliberate,” he said.

Congress, Marcos added, still has four session days before it adjourns next month and another nine session days after the May 2016 elections.

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