TAGBILARAN CITY – The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that generated controversies for what the lawmakers see as constitutionally infirmed is to be presented for discussion today during a forum to be held at MetroCenter Hotel in this city, according to the invitation by Bohol Alliance of Non-Government Organizations (BANGON).
BANGON said that the program will start at eight in the morning up to five in the afternoon. A multisectporal invitees are expected to participate in the discussion.
BANGON said that the discussion on BBL is initiated by Malacanang’s Office of the Presidential Assistance for Peace Process (OPAPP).
But some residents and offcials interviewed by DYTR separately commented, saying “for what?”
A city resident who did not want to be identified said that why they only bring it now for “consultation or infromation” and then “discussion.” He said that it could have been brought to the attention of the citizens long time ago before it was submitted to Congress for consideration. Some officials did the same.
There was no explanation from the OPAPP why only now that BBL is being introduced to Bohol for discussion.
News report said that BBL is already in the plenary of the House of Representatives yesterday in a bid to end the conflict in Mindanao for quite awhile. Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the ad hoc Bangsamoro committee, led the committee in presenting the “watered down” BBL during the session yesterday, the report said.
Aside from Rodriguez, congressmen Deputy Speaker Pangalian Balindong (2nd District, Lanao del Sur), Rep. Jim Hataman-Salliman (Lone District, Basilan), Rep. Bai Sandra Sinsuat A. Sema (1st District, Maguindanao & Cotabato City), Rep. Henry S. Oaminal (2nd District, Misaamis Occidental), Rep. Tupay T. Loong (1st District, Sulu), Rep. Romeo M. Acop (2nd District, Antipolo City), Rep. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza (Party-list TUCP) and Deputy Speaker Sergio Apostol also sponsor the BBL.
Just recently, Sen. Bongbong Marcos, chair of the Senate committee reviewing BBL, said that BBL may help but won’t guarantee peace in Mindanao, “Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) given to the Senate will not pass in its present form,” Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. said.
The son of former Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos was categorical in issuing the statement that the said proposed law is hoped for an end of the decades long conflict in Mindanao.
He lamented that the Senate was not consulted in making rounds of peace process particularly on the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB), an agreement by which the BBL was anchored on and signed by the representatives of the Philippine government and the MILF.
He described BBL as “ill-conceived and poorly-crafted.” He said that the different sectors, including Congress, should have been well represented in the drafting of the proposed law. He also expressed dismay over what he called “imposed deadline” allegedly by Malcañang on the Senate to conclude its committee hearings or public consultation and come up with the final BBL version.
“We cannot rush. Its impact is very complex. And a lot of things have not yet been clear,” Marcos said, adding “we’ll see where it takes us.” He said that he and his committee had been making rounds of public hearings on BBL, in Mindanao with indigenous peoples and MILF’s the bailiwick.
Marcos cited surveys that “ayaw ng tao ang BBL” because people lost trust to MILF after the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, where 44 Special Action Force, some MILF combatants and civilians were lost when the SAF tried to enforce an order to capture the alleged terrorists Zulkifli Abdhir alias “Marwan,” said to be Asia’s most wanted terror suspect and Abdul Basit alias “Usman,” an alleged bomb maker trained by “Marwan.”
But “Marwan” was killed by the SAF but “Usman” escaped. Recently “Usman” was killed allegedly by his armed escorts allegedly because of his bounty on his head. The duo (Marwan and Usman) carried a bounty of $5 million and $1 million, respectively, to anyone who can provide information on their arrest.
Davao City Rodrigo Duterte, who visited here in March, hinted that allegedly the cause of the Mamasapano incident was the reward money of “Marwan” and “Usman.” (rvo)