MANILA – Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday temporarily suspended all the scheduled public hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Mindanao following the killing of more than 30 policemen in a firefight with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Marcos announced this as he condemned the dastardly massacre of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) members while conducting operations in Mamasapano town in pursuit of Malaysian bomb-makers and top Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, known as Marwan, and Basic Usman, last Sunday.
”I decided to suspend indefinitely all hearings on the BBL in the south until this killing of PNP SAF is clarified,” Marcos said in a press briefing after a Senate hearing on the BBL’s constitutionality.
”We cannot in conscience, proceed with these hearings while a cloud of serious doubt hangs over the security situation in the south. A peace agreement cannot be legislated under the threat of such extreme violence. Violence has no room in a civilized society,” he added.
Marcos said the action of the MILF to kill the policemen was in violation of the ceasefire between the MILF and the government.
”The killing of the 30 policemen should have no part in the peace process. This is no joke. We cannot continue as if nothing happened,” Marcos said.
Marcos said the Senate committee on local government, which he chairs, was supposed to hold two more hearings in Mindanao in the area of Zamboanga and Jolo, Sulu.
Marcos, however, clarified that the BBL hearings in Manila will continue including one on Tuesday where the MILF leaders will be invited and another on Feb. 2 , which is the continuation of the hearing on the constitutional issues chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.