Bongbong Marcos slammed for ‘megalomania’ in overhauling BBL
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ declaration to replace the Bangsamoro Basic Law with his own version smacked of megalomania reminiscent of his father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, a coalition of BBL supporters said on Thursday.
“The audacity by which Senator Marcos has declared that he will file his own bill on the Bangsamoro clearly manifests the depths of megalomania he is capable of and the utter disregard he has for all government institutions and for the peace process,” the Bangsamoro para sa Bayan, para sa Lahat said in a statement.
Marcos, chair of the Senate committee on local government, earlier said he had prepared a substitute bill based on what he learned from the committee hearings. In a privilege speech last week, he said he could not support the BBL in its present form as it would only “lead us to perdition.”
Shiek bin Laden, member of the BBL coalition and convener of Anti-Bugok (Anti-Bungangero at Utak Pulburang Pulitiko), said on Thursday’s press briefing in Quezon City, “We shouldn’t be careless in carrying out a new plan because this BBL is a product of 17 years of negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.”
Bongbong Marcos should instead open up on the Jabidah massacre, “a turning point in what we call the Bangsamoro history which widened the rift between Filipino Christians and Muslims,” Max de Mesa of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates said.
More than 20 Muslim youths recruited to infiltrate Sabah were summarily executed on Corregidor Island in 1968 during former President Marcos’ term, according to a lone survivor. The massacre has sparked the Moro separatist movement with Nur Misuari establishing the Moro National Liberation Front. But even after the downfall of Marcos in 1986 and after MNLF signed a Final Peace Agreement with the Ramos government in 1996, no effort was done to bring the perpetrators of the massacre to court and the bar of justice. But the story of the massacre inflames Mindanao Muslims.
“Saying he will make his own version is a very big insult to the victims of his father,” Mary Ann Arnado of Mindanao Peoples Caucus said.
“(Bongbong) said there was no rush to pass the BBL. How could he say that when more than 100,000 people have died from the conflict in Mindanao?”
“Like his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong is setting himself up as the protector of the Filipino people, defender of peace, and champion of the Constitution while cleverly disguising his Machiavelian manipulation of the situation to forward his own self-serving political interest,” the BBL coalition said.
The coalition composed of some 30 groups was formed to mobilize support for a BBL that is reflective of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the framework peace agreement signed on March 27 last year.
The passage of the BBL was derailed by the January 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, between Moro groups and the Special Action Force, which left 44 policemen, 17 MILF members and five civilians dead.
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