A day after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacks Brussels, VP bet Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. released a statement saying the peace process is the best way to keep the IS from the Philippines.
“The peace process is the key and the logic is really quite simple,” he said in a press release posted on his official campaign website.
On March 22, three ISIS bombs took the lives of at least 34 people and injured over a hundred in Brussels, Belgium. Although the attack took place far from the Philippines, Marcos said it could happen to any country.
“Dapat magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaisa sa mga kapatid nating MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) at MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) at iba pang grupo upang sila ay patuloy na kasama sa ating lipunan at para hindi sila sumama sa mga grupo katulad ng ISIS (We should have unity with our brothers and sisters in the MILF, MNLF, and other groups so that they would continue to be included in our society, and not be inclined to join groups like ISIS),” he said.
Such statement calling for the peace process came in the same year that Senator Marcos blocked the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the Aquino government’s key peace deal with the MILF that aimed to establish a new Bangsamoro political entity.
According to a report from the Philippine Star, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III indirectly bashed Marcos and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for blocking the passage of the BBL.
“The committee report took too long to be released. And even on the last day of session, the conspirator was not yet finished in interpellation,” said the President in his speech at the Liberal Party’s kickoff rally last February.
During the last floor discussion in Congress early this month, Enrile drilled a long interpellation of the BBL. The referred committee, meanwhile, was headed by Marcos, who submitted an alternative bill to the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Titled Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLAR), it revised certain provisions of the BBL that Marcos claimed to be unconstitutional.
In the same report, Senate President Franklin Drilon pointed at Marcos’ campaign efforts as the reason for his absence during sessions.
“Senator Marcos became busy and could not attend all the sessions and Senator Enrile – because he was not there during the committee hearings – had so many questions,” Drilon said.
The legal counsel of the government peace negotiating panel called the alternative bill as an “exercise in futility,” according to a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.
Former Senator Atty. Rene Saguisag said that the BLAR even removed certain provisions that the ARMM currently benefit from, defeating the purpose of the peace process.
“[The] powers over the exploration, development and utilization of minerals have been removed from the regional government when the same is already being enjoyed by the ARMM,” Saguisag said.
More importantly, he said that the devolution of the legislative and fiscal powers, which were indicated in the organic act of the ARMM, was also removed.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process also released an article written by Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J.on its website. It further explained why the BLAR was unconstitutional.
For any bill to become law, it must be lobbied in either Congress or the Senate.
Congress failed to pass the BBL because it couldn’t reach a quorum, as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The photo was taken from the Public Relations and Information Bureau.