Aquino meets solons in bid to save BBL | Inquirer News

Aquino meets solons in bid to save BBL

 President Benigno Aquino III AP FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino III AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–In an apparent bid to salvage the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), President Benigno Aquino III met with a group of lawmakers on Monday to explain the extent of what he knew and what he had been told about the Jan. 25 Mamasapano fiasco in which 44 Special Action Force troopers were slaughtered.

“My impression is that he did not fail [to perform his mandate]. But he was not aware of what was happening on the ground,” said Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who was in the meeting attended by 20 to 30 lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.


“The President was not defending [former Philippine National Police chief Alan] Purisima, but he said he was getting limited information [from Purisima],” he said.

He said Mr. Aquino called the three-hour meeting in Malacañang to specifically discuss the tragedy in Maguindanao province that had triggered nationwide outrage and threatened to derail the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.


“It was not tense, but it was serious. There were no raised voices. We had an open forum, and we told him our concerns,” said Alejano, who belongs to a bloc of former police or military officers in the House, dubbed the Saturday group.

He said among the concerns he and his colleagues raised were perceptions of “weak leadership” and the rift between the military and police organizations. He said Mr. Aquino “listened” and was receptive to their concerns.

“I believe that at the right time, he will tell everything to the public,” Alejano said.

The President told the congressmen that the Department of Justice was “now gathering information and evidence so that appropriate charges may be filed in court,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, BBL, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, President Aquino
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