STILL reeling from the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) debacle in Congress, President Benigno Aquino 3rd blamed the supposed “connivance” of Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile for the death of the measure that aims to establish a new Bangsamoro political entity in Mindanao.
“Isang-daang milyon sa ating mga kababayan ang apektado sa pagkaudlot ng pagpapasa sa BBL. Ang masaklap po, dito, tila dalawang senador lang ang nagkuntsabahan.
Pagkatagal-tagal pong inilabas ang report ng komite,” Aquino said during a meeting with local leaders in Iloilo City Tuesday night.
Though he did not mention names, it was clear that the President was alluding to Marcos and Enrile. The former overhauled the BBL draft prepared by Malacañang claiming that it contained unconstitutional provisions while Enrile had said that he is yet to finish with his interpellation of the measure.
The President noted that these critics were nowhere to be found when the administration reached out for suggestions on how to go about the Bangsamoro measure.
The proposed Bangsamoro law was supposed to abolish the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and established a Bangsamoro Region that will enjoy fiscal autonomy and be governed by the Bangsamoro parliament.
“I have asked these critics, what do you suggest as an alternative to Bangsamoro law?
Nobody came to us. Now, look where it got us. We are stuck in the same situation. And this situation does not solve the Mindanao problem,” the President pointed out.
The President bewailed that the lawmakers’ failure to pass the BBL resulted in a status quo.
Former Interior Assistant Secretary Ina Ambolodto, one of the senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party, vowed to push for the refiling of the proposed Bangsamoro law.
“We have to return to the draft bill because the results did not reflect what was agreed upon under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),” Ambolodto said.
The CAB, inked in March 2014 between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), gave birth to the BBL.
“The peace agreement has started and ceasefire is in place. [But] The awareness was lacking. We have to make everyone know about this measure, not just in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but also in Luzon and Visayas,” Ambolodto added.
WITH JOEL M. SY EGCO