Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr

Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Wednesday slammed Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for “politicizing” the Mamasapano tragedy amid the so-called alternative version on the January 25 incident.

“Ano ba naman ‘to si Bongbong Marcos, pinupulitika ‘yung isang bagay na ‘di dapat pinupulitika,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a media briefing.

Marcos earlier said that he smells a “cover-up” in President Aquino’s pronouncement that there is an alternative version in the Masapano incident, which led to the deaths of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF), 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, and at least five civilians.

Lacierda said it is better to wait for the validation on the supposed alternative version than to politicize the issue.

“It’s about making sure that we close this issue once and for all. There were a number of versions that were coming out. We need to make certain what is the final truth,” he said.

Marcos is the chairman of the Senate committee on local government, and author of the substitute bill to the Malacañang-drafted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The timeline of having the BBL enacted has been affected following the January 25 operation of the SAF dubbed as Oplan Exodus. The SAF was in the area to serve an arrest warrant against international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, when it clashed with the MILF.

Lacierda said the administration trusts that members of Congress are “mindful of the last mile” to achieve peace in Mindanao.

“The situation is we have come so far. We have been in decades of strife with the MILF. We are now in the last mile where we see that there’s a possibility of forging an institutionalized arrangement where we can better the lives of people in Muslim Mindanao,” he said.

“Our legislators are mindful of that last mile. We are confident that they will rise to the occasion and come up with a framework that will benefit the entire Muslim Mindanao, that includes the MILF,” he added.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives have yet to approve their own versions of the BBL. (MNS)