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Marcos: Draft law not best for peace

SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rejected  Friday  the Palace pronouncement that its draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was the best course of action to bring peace to Mindanao.

“That is not what our resource persons told us in our committee hearings. The Palace should listen to them too instead of listening only to the concerns of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front),” said Marcos, who chairs the committee on local governments that is scrutinizing the BBL.

Marcos, who assailed the Palace-drafted bill as the road to perdition, said it would lead to more bloodshed in the region and disintegration.

During the panel’s public hearing  on Wednesday, Koronadal Mayo Peter B. Miguel argued forcefully for the exclusion of his city and province from the proposed Bangsamoro region, saying it might cause disintegration.

Marcos agreed.

“There are certain elements of the BBL which we feel would tend to lead to that disintegration. Integration is what is desirous,” Marcos said.

Miguel told the panel that cultural and religious differences should not be a ground for disintegration.

After the hearing, Marcos delivered a privilege speech saying he could not support the draft BBL as its flaws would only lead to more bloodshed.

The BBL, in its present form, could not bring the nation to peace, he said.

“Instead, it will lead us to perdition. Armed conflict will ensue. Blood will be shed. And when blood is shed, it will not distinguish between right and wrong; between young and old, neither between men and women, nor soldiers or rebels, combatants and civilians, rich, poor, Muslims, Christians. Nobody wins. Everybody loses,” Marcos said.

In a radio interview, Marcos said the peace agreement between the government and the MILF and the BBL were concluded exclusively by the two parties, without soliciting the opinion of major stakeholders such as the Moro National Liberation Front, local government officials from the affected areas, the sultanates of Mindanao, and non-Muslim indigenous people.

Marcos said he would file a substitute bill that would address the BBL’s constitutional infirmities.—Macon Ramos Araneta

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