Press Release
June 3, 2015


Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Local Government, today said he could not support the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law as its flaws would only lead to more bloodshed, instead of achieving its goal of bringing lasting peace, in Mindanao.

"Mr. President, I repeat: I am for peace. I share our people's thirst for peace. Pero napakarami pong mga masamang probisyon na napapaloob sa BBL at kung tatanggalin ko pong isa-isa, baka maski kahit anong retoke ang gawin, hindi makayang maibalik sa dating anyo ang BBL," Marcos said in a privilege speech.

Marcos likewise vowed to resist any effort to railroad the approval of BBL as he also bucked the June 11 deadline the Palace set for its passage.

"Hindi po tayo padadala sa emosyon at sa pulitika. Hindi ako makapapayag na ma-railroad ang BBL sa aking Komite. It is complex enough as it is. Why rush it?" Marcos said.

He said the BBL will not be able to achieve this goal unless all the stakeholders are heard and their concerns addressed and, more importantly, that the proposed law conform to the letters and spirit of our constitution.

"Unfortunately, the BBL in its present form and substance will not bring us any closer to peace. Instead, it will lead us to perdition. Armed conflict will ensue. Blood will be shed. And when blood is shed, it will not distinguish between right and wrong; between young and old, neither between men and women, nor soldiers or rebels, combatants and civilians, rich, poor, Muslims, Christians. Nobody wins. Everybody loses," Marcos says.

He said this was the same fear major stakeholders have voiced in the series of consultations he conducted with them, where he discovered that none of them were ever consulted on the BBL.

"The Office of the Presidential Peace Process (OPAPP) totally ignored the major stakeholders. The Sultanate of Sulu, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Lumads, the Indigenous people, the Christians, the Local Government Units and business were abandoned at will," Marcos said.

The senator noted too that based on the committee report of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chair of the Committee on Constitutional Amendment and Revision of Codes, the draft BBL is riddled with constitutional infirmities.

Citing the report, Marcos said the BBL aspires to create a part-sovereign state that enjoys sovereignty within the Bangsamoro territory and within the territory of the State, or to create a state within a state.

Marcos said several provisions of BBL run counter to the constitution:

  • BBL provides for a parliamentary form of government within a presidential form of government.

  • BBL seeks to impose limitations to the power of Congress. The Bangsamoro Parliament would be equal, not subordinate, to our Congress.

  • Exclusive powers given to Bangsamoro will diminish sovereignty of the Republic.

  • BBL has no power to create "Bangsamoro territory".

Marcos also paid tribute to the Fallen 44, the Special Action Force commandos who died in January this year during an encounter with Moro Islamic Liberation Front troops after a successful operation against Indonesian terrorist Marwan---an incident that triggered intense public attention to the BBL.

"I salute you for your bravery and patriotism. Your heroism will not be forgotten. You will remain in the collective memory of a grateful people. Your sacrifice will continue to inspire us," Marcos said, even as he vowed to pursue the justice they and their loved ones deserve.

Marcos vowed to continue his search for peace.

"By doing that, I, in my own small way, would have helped demonstrate that your supreme sacrifice did not go to waste and that you have not died in vain," Marcos said.

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