Marcos: Rushing BBL passage ‘could be a fatal waste’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday said he would not be rushed to finish the hearings of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite the June target set by leaders of Congress.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, maintained that his action on the measure will be based on his intention to craft a good law and not by a “deadline” set by other people.
“Haste could be a fatal waste. The BBL is not a magic pill to stop the war in Mindanao, although it’s an important element in the quest for lasting peace. I will try to meet the proposed deadline. But I will not sacrifice the necessity of getting it right,” he said in a statement.
The need to remedy the constitutional infirmities of the present draft BBL, he said, was one of the main reasons “why prudence is the better course of action than merely trying to meet an obviously short timetable.”
Marcos pointed out that during a hearing conducted by the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, many of the legal luminaries opined that several provisions of the BBL were unconstitutional.
“Kaya talagang marami pa kaming trabaho para maayos at mawala ‘yung unconstitutional provisions (There is still much work for us to do to fix and remove the unconstitutional provisions),” he said.
Marcos suspended public hearings on the BBL after the January 25 Mamasapano clash where 44 Special Action Force commandos were killed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
But before the BBL hearings can resume, he said he has yet to wait for the reports of the inquiries on the Mamasapano incident conducted separately by the police, the MILF, and the committee report of the Senate committee on public order chaired by Senator Grace Poe.
Marcos said there are also other “practical considerations” on governance and administration that need to be clarified.
“Sinasabi ko na noon bago pa ang Mamasapano, may mga problema ‘yan (BBL) sa administration, sa mga governance, at sa power-sharing. Buti naman at ‘yung ibang mga isyu ay napapag-usapan na. Pero ‘yun pa rin ay kailangan pa rin naming ayusin ‘yun,” he said in a radio interview.
(I already said even before the Mamasapano clash that there is a problem with the BBL when it comes to administration, governance and power-sharing. It’s a good thing that issues are now being tackled. But we still need to fix other issues.)
“So, titingnan natin at hindi naman siguro kailangan na sabihin na i-madali. Delikado ‘yang magmadali, dahil pag nagmamadali ay marami pang hindi maliwanag,” the senator added.
(So we’ll still see because I don’t think we need to rush it. Rushing it will be dangerous because there are still issues that need to be clarified.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.