A fair share for the ‘land of promise’, and the rest of us, too

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IN his privileged speech Wednesday afternoon introducing the Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region – the replacement for the fatally-flawed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) President BS Aquino 3rd and his elitist accomplices in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) tried to fob off on the rest of the rest of the nation – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. made a wry observation:

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“For too long,” he said, “Mindanao has been somewhat dubiously referred to as the ‘land of promise.’ Aspirants for national offices, recognizing that in order to win elections on a national scale they must win in Mindanao, have promised the Sun, the Moon, and the stars to its people.”

Marcos explained, “Sometimes those promises are accompanied by short-term largesse, dole-outs of food, minor development projects, medical and social assistance. But these little benefits have never benefited all Mindanaoans equitably, and they do not last. When the votes are counted and the campaign banners come down, the region is forgotten again, its people left to their despair, which leads to hopeless violence and provides fertile ground for those who seek their own gain at the expense of not just the people of Mindanao, but the entire Philippines.”

It was a brilliant, critically important point, and one that we hope is given the prominence it deserves in the debate and deliberations over Marcos’ proposed “substitute” Bangsamoro law.

The long decades of bloody conflict in Mindanao have resulted in the Philippines as a whole being something like a tricycle with only two wheels. The region contains a vast amount of resources, not just mineral resources like gold, nickel, copper, and oil, but also rich fishing grounds, some of the most fertile agricultural land on the planet, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole country, which along with the unique cultures in the region – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – is a potential tourism draw rivaling, and we daresay surpassing, anything our more energetic neighbors like Malaysia and Thailand can offer.

Yet because of the seemingly interminable strife, neither the people of Mindanao nor the Philippines as a whole have ever been able to properly enjoy the benefits the region – which includes our stranded province of Sabah – has to offer. It is the bitterest of ironies that the richest part of the Philippines has always been its poorest, and that is not only an unconscionable injustice to the people in the area that will be soon known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, but an embarrassing underachievement on the part of the national leadership.

The Marcos proposal properly addresses these shortcomings where its hastily-contrived and thoughtless predecessor measure did not. It clearly defines the parameters of wealth-sharing between the Bangsamoro region and the rest of the nation, and establishes a sensible framework of administration so the benefits can be maximized. As Senator Marcos said in his speech, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” By creating a system by which the new region can equitably prosper, the entire country will be able to progress.

The Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region is perhaps the most important piece of legislation of our time. We urge that it be passed as swiftly as careful consideration and thoughtful discussion of the matter among our Senators and Congressmen will permit.

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12 Comments

  1. No matter what is agreed by those on the Mindanao side of the agreement they will seek to change it in short order. Islam’s twofold philosophies of truth and falsehood further reveal its contradictory nature, because the Qur’an is against believers deceiving another believer for “surely God guides not him who is prodigal and a liar,” but deception directed toward non-Muslims falls within the legalities of those things permissible for Muslims. It is a practice known in Arabic as taqiyya and sustained by the Qur’an.

    According to Shari’a law such deception is not only permitted in certain situations, but also reasoned as obligatory in others. Some Imams have decreed that Muslims are obligated to lie in order to preserve themselves, based on verses within the Qur’an.

    Taqiyya is commonplace in Islamic politics. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily.

    Most Christian leaders continue to think that Muslim mores, laws, and ethical constraints are near identical to those of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Naively, or arrogantly, today’s multiculturalist leaders project their own worldview onto Islamists, thinking a handshake and smiles across a cup of coffee, as well as numerous concessions, are enough to dismantle centuries of unchanging tradition. The fact remains: Right and wrong in Islam have little to do with accepted standards, but only to do with what Islam teaches; which is antithetical to democratic norms.

  2. The BBL, if eventually passed by congress, is the most crucial event in Philippine history. It took the people, and the government especially, of this endowed country almost 500 years to recognize its first inhabitants and the real Filipinos. We, of the latter generations, are merely the product of colonialism and don’t even have in us the pure Filipino blood.

  3. prosecutes all the traitors of our nation including the President if possible.
    the word traitors if it is against our constitution shall be IMPLEMENTED ….

  4. The politicians have a macro view of the whole BBL proposal but the opinion of the real peacekeepers in Mindanao which is the military and police establishment should also be known on their opinion of how best to attain peace in Mindanao. They have the experience and know how for decades on the strength of each particular military force, armed militia or private army in the whole Mindanao. Best of all they are the defenders of our territory but they are made to follow what the politicians propose. They have time and time again diffused any potential wars in Mindanao and have continued to keep the peace.

  5. The brilliance of BBM is shining brightly and it is lifting us all up. It is patriotism in the truest and deepest sense and spirit of the word. BBM inspires hope for this country. Filipinos have been so rarely blessed by this type of a leader. Hope the voters won’t allow this great blessing to slip by in the coming 2016 election. Kahit na ano pa ang position na takbuhan mo, BBM, iboboto kita!

  6. I am not sure if the Marcos BAR has any defects but it certainly seems clean when compared to the original BBL. Those in the Executive branch and in the MILF should be prosecuted for conspiracy to undermine the Constitution. They committed the act of presenting the BBL bill to the Congress when they knew it subverted the Constitution.

    • There are a hundred reasons to impeach and jail Aquino and his allies but sadly Aquino has subverted and now controls every branch of government.

      With the stealing of the next election already in the works using Smartmatic which is a 100% foreign owned company and not allowed to do business in the Philippines, the liberal party is making sure no one will be held accountable for anything.

      Aquino is Judge Dread – ” I am the Law “

    • rep lito atienza etal had filed a case against deles, ferrer and even leonen before the manila regional trial court. kit tatad, some bishops and other gentlemen asked the supreme court to declare the framework agreement and other documents signed by boy sisi’s pigeons deles, ferrer, etc as unconstitutional. these documents was used as basis for the drafting of the BaBaLa which the house of reptiles este house of representatives railroaded.

  7. Mabuhay, Pres. BBM 2016!

    Prosecute the Aquino administration ‘robots’, Ferrer and Deles as traitors!