MANILA, March 4 — Public hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) can continue even if Congress is in recess, according to Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
“We can still continue working during the adjournment. We can still hold hearings even if we are in recess,” Marcos said in a Senate media interview.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, suspended public hearings on the BBL after the Jan. 25 Mamasapano clash where 44 Special Action Force commandos were killed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
He said that while the “self-imposed deadline” for Congress to pass the BBL is so tight, he will try his best to meet the timetable.
He said he was just waiting for the separate investigation reports of both the Board of Inquiry of the Philippine National Police and the MILF, plus the report of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, regarding the Mamasapano incident before scheduling the resumption of the BBL hearing.
He said the Senate is behind the House (of Representatives) in terms of scheduling because his committee was not able to conduct hearings like scheduled hearings in Jolo and Zamboanga City.
“But I still want to go to Jolo, I still want to go to Zamboanga to finish what we had begun and then conduct the hearings here in Manila also,” Marcos said.
Marcos said the ongoing all-out offensive by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the BIFF elements poses problem in their plan to hold out of town hearings in Basilan and Sulu. (with PNA/ Jelly F. Musico)