MANILA -- Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. promised he will help in passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law, but warned Malacanang to prepare for a “legal storm” that is in the offing.
Marcos, who is chairman of the Senate local government committee, said: "Ang timetable ng pamahalaan ay matapos sana sa Congress by the end of this year or early next year. Sa palagay ko kaya naman. Kaya naman namin siguro mai-report out at magkaroon ng bicameral (conference committee) within that timetable.”
He said he wants the people of Mindanao to enjoy permanent peace.
"I am for peace in Mindanao. Everybody is for peace; nobody is against peace at suportado naman lahat na magkaroon ng kapayapaan sa mga magulong area sa Mindanao," he said.
The law is necessary in establishing the new political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The transition committee is set to submit the draft law to President Benigno Aquino just weeks after a comprehensive agreement was signed by the two sides of the peace panel.
Nonetheless, Marcos predicts the government will face a “legal storm” after the law is passed.
"(My) fearless forecast is 'pag naipasa na sa both Houses (of Congress) 'yan, icha-chalenge agad 'yan sa Supreme Court dahil sa constitutionality question; a question of sovereignty within a sovereignty. Alam ko kasi marami na ang nagsasabi sa akin that they will test it in the (Supreme) court…to challenge it," he said.
Earlier, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had said the peace pact was unconstitutional since it violated the principle of constitutional supremacy. She said the Constitution only allows an autonomous region - and not a sub-state - that will exercise sovereign powers.