Aquino-MILF pact a curse on the nation

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I wrote the following piece two years and five months ago, right after the much-vaunted signing by the government of the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malacanang in October 2012.

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Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak would even be at the signing ceremony in March 2014 of the pact that detailed that “Framework,” with MILF chairman Murad Ibrahim always at his right side.

More and more Filipinos are realizing now why. Without Malaysia there wouldn’t have been an MILF, nor its predecessor, the Moro National Liberation Front, or at least with their level of strength as to endanger our national security.

After the Mamasapano massacre, after the exposés that the so-called Jabidah massacre was a hoax that alerted Malaysia to Philippine operations for our Sabah claim, after the disclosure that the Philippines was willing to give up “North Borneo” in exchange for Malaysia’s support for the country’s claims in the Spratlys, and even the unearthing of long-forgotten links of President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd’s father, Ninoy, with Malaysia—Filipinos are starting to realize this President has treasonously allowed a foreign power, Malaysia, to intervene in our affairs.

Nothing much really needs to be changed in the following column of Oct 25, 2012, except maybe to change the phrase “Framework Agreement” with the “Bangsamoro Basic Law” bill. I’m still betting, though, that the Supreme Court will make the lives of our gutless legislators easier by soon ruling the BBL bill unconstitutional.

As this column explains, Aquino’s “BBL” will unfortunately mean in the next few years as his “body-bags legacy.”

Signing away territory: MILF chieftain Murad Ibrahim,  Malaysian Prime Minister Razak’s right-hand man, at the signing ceremony in 2014 of Aquino’s pact with the insurgents.

Signing away territory: MILF chieftain Murad Ibrahim,  Malaysian Prime Minister Razak’s right-hand man, at the signing ceremony in 2014 of Aquino’s pact with the insurgents.

Because this gullible and stupid, yet arrogant President offered the MILF the moon without consulting the nation, and allowed the insurgents to grow in strength in just the span of four years, these Islamists will go to war, claiming they were betrayed.

I had never thought a president, in such a short span of time, could push a country into such deep mess, one that would cost the lives of thousands of Filipinos in the coming years.

* * *

Rather than a legacy of peace, President Aquino’s pact with the MILF contained in the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” will be his curse on the nation. The consequences of the pact—renewed violence in Mindanao and even terrorist attacks in urban centers—will outlive his term, and will be one of the biggest headaches of the next president.

We have to disabuse ourselves of the naive, sappy “give-peace-a-chance” mentality that peace accords always lead to the silencing of guns. From Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler, to the 1973 Paris Peace Accords that led to the fall of Saigon, to the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War but led to the “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo, ill-conceived peace pacts in the world’s history have often led to greater hostilities. Violence after failed peace pacts intensifies as the parties claim that they were betrayed, infuriating their fighters to fierceness.

The MILF will most definitely be claiming in a year’s time, or even just a few months, that it was betrayed and fooled by the Aquino Administration. Why would this happen?

Unless Mr. Aquino becomes a dictator, there is no way he can implement his pact with the MILF. It will be blocked or radically diluted by two institutions: the Supreme Court and Congress.

The Supreme Court will almost certainly be asked to rule on the constitutionality of the Aquino-MILF agreement, as it was with regard to the previous administration’s Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

Either Mr. Aquino didn’t bother to read the Court’s ruling on that case, or he is confident that with his handpicked Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice, it is now under his thumb that he can just order it to rule as he pleases. But the major reasons why the Court ruled the MOA-AD unconstitutional apply to the Aquino-MILF pact, as constitutional expert Fr. Joaquin Bernas and law professor Harry Roque have explained in their opinion columns. One major reason the Court ruled the MOA-AD unconstitutional was the government’s commitment to amend the Constitution to accommodate the pact, which was beyond the executive branch’s authority to do so.

Mr. Aquino similarly promised that the Constitution will be amended “for the purpose of accommodating and entrenching in the Constitution the agreements of the Parties whenever necessary.” He is deluded if he thinks that the MILF agreed to establish merely an “autonomous region” for the Bangsamoro, the only arrangement allowed under the Constitution. MILF Chair Murad Ibrahim was either so audacious or made a slip of the tongue when he said at the signing ceremony that the pact would allow the MILF “to rebuild [the Moro]homeland…end occupation and the reign of violence.”

Occupation? The republic’s Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police are occupying, foreign forces? Murad even boasted in his speech that the pact could not have been possible if they had not withstood “the all-out wars in 2000, 2003 and 2008 waged by previous Philippine regimes on the MILF.” The republic wasn’t defending its territory and just waging war?

MILF guerillas now believe that Mr. Aquino agreed to the establishment of an MILF-controlled independent nation-state, even if just a weaker one, in the agreement’s formulation, “in asymmetric relation” to the Philippines. I’ve had sources in the MILF since 1996 when I was the first journalist to visit its main headquarters and interview its chairman, Hashim Salamat. “We’ve won, there’ll be a Bangsamoro soon,” they all said.

And even if the Supreme Court rules the agreement constitutional, it will be impossible for that Congress to enact the “Bangsamoro Basic Law,” which is absolutely needed to implement the Aquino-MILF pact.

The pact’s fatal flaw, in fact, is that the entity—Congress—which has the most crucial role in implementing the agreement, had absolutely no role in negotiating it. Why would it support it? If Mr. Aquino could not pass the reproductive health bill and even the economically crucial sin tax bill despite his popularity, do you think he could pass a bill—at the closing years of his regime—to create a Bangsamoro nation-state, which would be extremely unpopular and even unacceptable to the majority of Filipinos?

If there is no way for the agreement to be implemented, why did Mr. Aquino enter into it, and made such a big hullabaloo over it? If it isn’t sheer stupidity or hubris, there is only one other reason: as a publicity stunt to prettify his Administration, which will soon be held accountable for its incompetence when the economy weakens and as his anticorruption campaign is exposed as a political witch-hunt.

It would be a tragedy, though, for the country that would outlive Mr. Aquino’s term. When the Supreme Court or Congress throws the agreement to the dustbin, the MILF will claim that it has been betrayed. It will oil its rifles that after all had not been surrendered and will not surrender to again wage war, with more ferocity this time.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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39 Comments

  1. We salute you Sir for your courage and knowledge of our history . We need this enlightening and encouraging information in order to guide us in our stand,specially our legislators,PNP,NBI, AFP, CHED,Dep Ed, SC,COMELEC officials so that they know how to defend our National interest! God Bless and protect you from evil plans! We pray that God’s will be done in our Nation and on earth!

  2. Hector David on

    Stupidity incompetence and absolute disregard for whatever our heroes stood for and what our people hope for is clearly shown in the policies of the past years……. Our nation is falling apart … We toot that we are a resilient economy not truthful in the fact that the OFW’s are the new “man with the hoe” who carry the burden of the economy on their backs…. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger and the poor is increasing courtesy of the DOF and the BIR of adding red tape and destroy the SME’s who are the ones who provide employment…. Stupid policies from short sighted decision makers to the detriment of the people

  3. Alejo Rosete on

    We all know that the President is STUPID.
    Junk the BBL and renegotiate with the next Administration.

    This BBL in its present form is UNACCEPTABLE to the Filipinos.

  4. puebloerrante on

    the only reason that the aquinos are still in power is that they were pivotal to supplanting the old oligarchs with their own. they privatized plenty of government assets and sold them to their own cronies. now those same oligarchs control most of the utility companies. the companies that keeps the nation running, the companies that runs the mainstream news, the oligarchs that funds the election campaigns. etc..

  5. When Malaysia became independent in 1963, they already know that Sabah (North Borneo) belongs to the Sultan of Sulo. The Sultan already the respected leader of Sulo Archipelago confirmed that it is part of the Philippines. What is happening in the Philippines is just a reflections on what is happening in other part of the world that wherever there is muslim there’s trouble. Anywhere if there’s human being there’s trouble because of greediness. Since time immemorial people are fighting for dominance and everybody agrees that wealth gives power that encouraged Malaysia to usurpt, claim in whatever ways to annex Sabah being rich of natural resources they are now investing by bankrolling the one-sided peace process in disguise. Due to financial advantage and the commitments of previous Aquinos, the president forgets that they did’nt own the philippines. That’s now the big problem of the president and his handpicked people for BBL, as the majority of the Filipinos were awaken on the happenings of the Mamapasano, Maguindanao. Divine intervention for the pilipinos with the message that the good should prevail. It is impossible to detach part of Mindanao for the MILF/Malaysia favor. Their brother Muslims in Sulo are also praying for the downfall of Malaysia. Let there be Earthquake in Malaysia. Inshaallah, Kol man alayhah fan wa yabgah wajaho rabikah duljilal wa’l ikram.

  6. Junk BBL. It is unconstitutional. Charge with treason PNiy, Dele, Ferrer, MILF.

    JUNK BBL FOREVER.

  7. Antio Kapule on

    Hindi na raw magso-sorry si Pnoy sa Mamasapano. Ok lang dahil hindi naman niya kasalanan ang nagyari. Dapat ubusin ang MILF na pumatay sa SAF 44.

  8. Matthew Parkes on

    We also need to carefully examine the lives of the two other Benigno Simeon Aquinos with a view to disclosing the truth about all three BSAs: they are traitors. Each of them has committed treason and yet they are a family that still retains power, influence, and reputation. Ninoy remains on the 500 peso note: what other nation would allow an actual traitor on its currency?

    I suppose all of this is the result of the complete lack of a functioning value system in this nation.

  9. Phil Comment on

    “They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.” — Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Farewell Address to US Congress, 19 April 1951

  10. I agree with Mr. Roldan Guerrero, it sounds funny but it is true to lies. People who voted this STUPID, Lunatic,Idiot, moronic attitude President were out of their mind. We have to accept the fact that because of our President was not able to do his duty as President of our Philippines ,filipino people and the whole nation suffers.

  11. Malaysian Murad and Igbal should be deported back to Malaysia they are in our country illegally.P=NOY,Deles and Ferrer should be arrested for treason.Good reporting Ka Tiglao.

  12. Senators like in the U.S. should be elected regionally. That’s how a presidential form of government we copied from the U.S. For that reasoning a Muslim or Moro is likely represented in the national government and funds flows into it for the regions development unlike a nationally elected senators majority of which is from Luzon. Treason or an act of treason should be penalized a death sentence by firing squad.

  13. Alejo Rosete on

    Thank you Ambassador Tiglao.
    Very good/convincing analysis
    Mabuhay Ka
    Mabuhay ang Manila Times

    You are really a Columnist
    Top notch Journalist

    Very inspiring reading your column

  14. Everything you say is probably true, however there is nothing spectacularly brilliant about that, it only underlines the diabolical problem we have. That is, that the moro rebellion has been with us not just with this president and not only with all presidents but since a thing called Philippines was born. We must remember that this moro rebellion existed for the greater part of 400 years. Deal with the MILF and something else comes up again in a never ending cycle. Does it matter that the Pee did not read the constitution, might just as well as it is doubtful anyway if he can comprehend let alone know how to read. To me there are only 3 basic options:1) the brass knuckle policy like that of Erap to pound the rebels to kingdom come, 2)negotiate smartly or stupidly with the MILF and all assorted rebel groups, and 3) wait for the opportune time when the rebels are ready to sincerely negotiate but meantime continue a strong and holding war and also hope luck is also with us.

  15. Eddie Balido on

    We now find ourselves in a real mess – how and why did the Filipino nation elect the an idiot and a demagogue to the highest land in the office? Maybe Cardinal Tagle is right, we really need to pray a lot!

  16. Caution. I do not think the wealthy yellow regime is after all stupid in what they are doing through BS aquino. I have the gut feeling based on the history since Juan Luna that they are cunning and clever. They have planned this I think long ago. Corona was not kicked out simply because of Hacienda Luisita, it is got to be a lot bigger. Remember leonen is already there. I will never trust both congress again because of pdaf/dap. The SC wil be prepared anto run this BBL into our throats simply because we can not do anything as the AFP generals are on their take. Even if BS will not get that Nobel Peace prize he will still be in the history to be the most successful salesman who sold the whole island of mindanao including its people.

  17. I believe we are being short-sighted in our opinions. In most of my comments regarding this issue, I have written that this will eventually happen. It is not anybody’s fault. We can hurl all curses to our government, but nobody in this world can prevent this from coming to pass. Look at the world around us. Is this not happening to the rest of the Middle East, Europe, more even to the U.S? As a Christian, I believe that Muslims will sweep the whole world in the next few centuries from now and as I have said, nobody can prevent this from happening because it has started and will eventually cease to exist on the right time. What we can rightly do now is pray.

  18. Framers of 1986 Constitution, Members of the academe invited by The National Historical Commission, Christian Leaders both Protestants and Catholics supports BBL.

    • now, the question: does that mean they also support the milf? there’s no problem with a law on autonomy for oppressed muslim filipinos but we have to give it to the right people, not to terrorists who will eventually open this country to an ISIS like problem.

  19. Benigno Kuha-Ko, Akin-Na on

    You are correct Mr. Tiglao: “The “Curse” to the nation will leave us with his BBL legacy – “Body-Bags Legacy”

  20. It seems that the MILF will become a powerful force in the country with almost an independent. Present leaders of MILF are now dreaming of dynasty popular among islamic countries. The BBL will fool many unsuspecting peace supporters.

  21. Such perfidy, such treachery, such greed exemplified by this administration. And i thought judas was dead. God help this country.

  22. Lord Chimera on

    How embarrassing would it be for posterity that our country lost territory to terrorists because of the the sheer, utter, and abyssal stupidity of our current president.

  23. Ronaldo Gutierrez on

    Mr. F—-t Baldy Man and his court jesters and bozos are just plain STUPID, a bunch of IDIOTS who claims to be educated from such and such prestigious schools but they are all just plain IDIOTS! and they are all paid for by the tax payers?

  24. Such complex agreements are even more prone to suffer from Murphy’s law. If anything can go wrong, it will, and it has. One wonders how Tiglao can be so prescient and Malacanang be so blind when dealing with the MILF. Was it greed that obscured Noynoy,s vision?

  25. These Aquino and his peace panel should be called traitors to our land for allowing Malaysian backed terrorists as partners to one sided peace pact. They are giving more land to Malaysia through MILF Bangsamoro Entity after surrendering our claim to Sabah. Let’s urge our Congressmen and Senators not to support the evil peace plan of Aquino and also our Supreme Court to look into the legality and even the morality of this Aquino’s dream of Peace pact.

  26. And the hundred thousand strong AFP will crush them again. This time, with more ferocity. Most soldiers in the AFP and those in the PNP don’t really care what the stupid president think.

  27. Mr. Roberto Tiglao is one filipino who has the guts to fight for our country. A Super-hero, hoping our leaders of consequence will listen seriously, and also included in his efforts are the men and women in supporting his ideas to be read by the nation. Here is my salute to a super-hero!

  28. sonny dela cruz on

    I have been saying that MILF is just a front for the Malaysian government. They are the one instigating the passage of the BBl by the Philippine congress through B.S. Aquino. Malaysia wants Mindanao and Palawan to be a part of Malaysia as I feel, that is why they are involved in this negotiation. Remember Salamat of the MILF when cornered, ran and hide in Malaysia, look if the AFP will attack the MILF, MURAD, IQBAL and JAFAAR will ran and hide in Malaysia. They will not stay in Mindanao, they will leave those MILF fighters to die, that’s how idiots these MILF fighters are. They die and their leaders are alive in Malaysia. I hope the Filipino people understand that Malaysia is the culprit in this Mindanao fiasco.

  29. We got all the points you’ve put forth, Mr. Tiglao, and we agree with all of them. The Aquino-MILF pact is indeed a curse on the nation and we have to put a stop to it.

    Congress must feel the pulse of the people so it will be guided never to pass this BBL. The Supreme Court must be the preserver of our Constitution’s integrity. We note with equal conviction that the major reasons why the Court ruled the MOA-AD unconstitutional apply also to the Aquino-MILF pact.

    Constitutional expert Fr. Joaquin Bernas and law professor Harry Roque have explained in their opinion columns that one major reason the Court ruled the MOA-AD unconstitutional was the government’s commitment to amend the Constitution to accommodate the pact, which was beyond the executive branch’s authority to do so.

    Filipinos are now starting to realize that this fake President has treasonously allowed a foreign power, Malaysia, to intervene in our affairs.

  30. Roldan Guerrero on

    I have never seen a Philippine President being described as STUPID, INUTILE, ABNOY, NOYNOYING, BOY SISI, LUNATIC and so many more degrading words yet he tolerates every words which means an acceptance. But the The Filipinos may in be the same state since we installed one of this quality. Does it mean that the Philippines today is a Nation of STUPIDS,INUTILE, etc?

    • Robert Silvestre on

      “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
      “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
      “All wars are fought for the sake of getting money.”
      3 quotes from Plato that is very apt and our politicians should take heed.
      What we need as a nation is Patriotism and resolve. The problem with our politicians is that they are willing to compromise these for the sake of pogi points and that is treason! Where is Misuari in 1985? I believe he was in Libya chilling out. What did our politicians do after Edsa? They fetch him there and tried to negotiate for peace and the situation now is the outcome of that. Now we have MNLF, MILF, BIFF and all of the FFs. BBL will solve this? Sure it will ,because our nation leaders have already surrendered and BBL is just a euphemism for it. Proponents of this should be charge with treason.