• Bangsamoro changes inevitable– senators

    Sen. Escudero

    Sen. Escudero

    THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should be open to changes in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) because the revisions that will be introduced by lawmakers will make the bill withstand legal scrutiny, senators said on Sunday.

    Sen. Francis Escudero said revisions are inevitable because many lawmakers believe that some provisions of the proposed law that seeks to establish a Bangsamoro region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are unconstitutional.

    The senator added that the Citizens’ Council on Bangsamoro Law that President Benigno Aquino 3rd wants established should not only work on helping the public understand the proposed BBL but explain to the MILF that changes are needed to make the bill acceptable.

    “I hope the council together with the government peace panel will help sell the congressional amendments to the BBL to the MILF and for the MILF to accept them,” Escudero said.

    The council, according to him, should convince the MILF that a revised BBL is a better alternative than going to war.

    MILF leaders earlier renounced plans to revise the BBL, saying their group will not accept a watered-down version of the bill drafted by a joint panel of MILF and government negotiators.

    Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who heads the Senate committee on local government, said the council should be fair in presenting the BBL to the public. He noted the need to win the people’s trust in the BBL and the MILF that was eroded because of the killing of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in January.

    Marcos said the proposed council should show the people positive and the negative sides of the BBL, particularly its constitutional infirmities, for them to have an idea on what needs to be done to the measure.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd wants the council to be composed of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Howard Dee and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman.

    “There is no denying that there is distrust not only in the MILF but also in the BBL and the entire peace process, so the council needs to be objective and fair, and not focus only on the pros but also on the cons,” Marcos said in an interview aired over radio dzBB.

    The local government panel is scheduled to resume its hearings on the proposed BBL on April 13 but proceedings will focus on ceasefire mechanisms.

    Some members of the House of Representatives also on Sunday said the creation of a National Peace Summit is no guarantee that the BBL bill will be passed.

    Congressmen Ferdinand Romualdez of Leyte, Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list and Jonathan dela Cruz of Abakada party-list said Congress will decide whether to pass the BBL bill but the ultimate judge will be the Supreme Court.

    “No matter what the President says, he has lost the trust of the public with regards to the BBL because the SAF members died amid too much distrust in the MILF and in government agencies. It’s for Congress, then the Supreme Court, to decide,” Romualdez said in a news conference.

    “Even if Congress passes it, it will eventually be taken up before the Supreme Court. These convenors are not elected officials. They won’t be accountable to the people,” dela Cruz said.

    “Everything they [in Aquino administration]do now is suspect, so they want to deodorize it with this new council. They are borrowing the credibility of these persons and clutching on straws here,” Romualdez said.

    “They want to temper the MILF [with the peace summit]because they realize that this can’t be an all or nothing approach [to BBL passage], They can’t scare Congress in passing this. This formation of a council of eminent persons is already a last-ditch effort to save the BBL, a propaganda roadshow since there have been a lot of negative sentiments about it because of the Mamasapano incident,” dela Cruz said.

    Meanwhile, anti-corruption advocates are studying the possibility of filing criminal charges against Aquino, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and sacked Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas for their actions in the Mamasapano operation.

    Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, also on Sunday insisted that Aquino should be held liable because he allowed the operation that sent the SAF commandos to their deaths.


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    1. Alejo Rosete on

      I would rather want the next Administration will
      pass this bill. The BS Aquino President is only
      after his Nobel Prize and his Hacienda Luisita
      in Mindanao covered by BBL.

    2. sonny dela cruz on

      The Filipino people should know that MILF stands for MALAYSIA ISLAMIC FEDERATED FIGHTERS. The Moros are the front only para hindi halata.

    3. we all want peace, both christian and muslim alike. but we have to compromise to attain peace. i dont think that BBL will resolve the peace issue instead it will build a wall of animosity among us filipinos

    4. Dalawa lang ang importanteng mabago dito,dapat ang military ay kontrolado ng gobyerno ng pilipinas,ang coa ay ganoon din upang malaman kung saan dinadala ang pondo!

    5. i agree with bro sonny dela cruz.. we had to make action right now, bago mahuli ang lahat na ibinebenta ni Abnoy ang mindanao sa Malaysia thru BBL..
      He is devil con devil…
      Wake up filipino people. Kung Filipino ka , dapat may pakialam ka….
      We dont want a single cm of our land be given to Malaysia by this irresponsible government..otherwise we declare persona non-grata to Malaysian government. I believe after his term he will be in exile with his Family ,, maybe in malaysia or in australia.

    6. Thats right ! Show those MILF that our senators have balls and can not be intimidated by their threat of war. That the senatos are not chickens wearing yellow ribbon.

    7. The credibility and independence of the council convened by BS Cojuangco Aquino III, is suspect, because the people which compose the council have their vested interest that hinges on the passage of BBL.

      The fact that these personalites are closely tied to BS Cojuangco Aquino III, means they will render a decision which is biased to this administration. Tagle who is a Jesuit and an Atenean, is an avid defender of Aquino, and cannot be relied on to provide an ‘enlightened’ decision for the welfare of the Filipinos. Davide, likewise is on the side of Aquino for his father is a known political ally. While, Dee, is the father-in-law of Aquino’s younger sister Viel. Then, Ayala, who can be counted on by Aquino, because he holds the group of Makati businessmen and their business interest. The very last piece, Usman, is thrown in the mix, just to give the council a face of humanity but will whose words will not have any weight on the matter of crusading for BBL.

      In this plot of playing the devils advocates, they will create enough confusion that Filipinos will be thrown off balance in their opposition on the passage of BBL. While, taking the arrogant and pre-emptive words of Iqbal, Deles and Ferrer – ‘Battered but not yet out’. They are in fact telling Filipinos that they will do what pleases them, in selling out the country to the enemy of the state (MILF), which is just a stool pigeon of Malaysia.

    8. Trust is the key solutions with regard the passing of BBL laws. The amendment on the said BBL laws is must and should be approved by the majority of the Filipino . The flawed in its laws will cause more trouble in the future that we might not be able to contained . Mamasapano incident was God given signs that we have to changes the situations and be extra vigilant.

    9. Marcos and Escudero are brilliant senators. I do believe in their integrity. These BBL has so much violations in the Constitution. They are right why only MILF is being considered here? Where are the indigenous minority, MNLF and BIFF? They should be included in the BBL draft if we want a lasting peace in Mindanao. The BBL was one way or another drafted for MILF only. They have left the other groups. Don’t you think they will not wage war against the government for their exclusion in the negotiation? Look for the ARMM in which they negotiated only the MNLF. What happened then? The MILF groups are breakaway group of MNLF and BIFF is a breakaway group from MILF. There will be more groups to be created if the concerns of the original Bansangmoro and other minority groups will not be addressed.

      • Only Escudero is Brilliant..MARCOS..? IDIOT and CORRUPT..Magnanakaw, Diktador, Bobo at Fake ang Degree na kakuha kono sa inag bansa..di nyo ba alam ginawa ng pamilya na yan? Hoy mga Hunghang gising…

    10. Roldan Guerrero on

      The MILF is very bold to wage war against the government because Aquino helped them Build and Expand their Army which is now very much capable of fighting the AFP. Aquino has extended a very big budget, most are hiddenly granted to them. Aquino`s forceful enactment of BBL maybe for one realistic reason is he may use the seperatist sub-state as his sanctuary once he gets down to avoid prosecution of his crimes.

    11. sonny dela cruz on

      The only lasting peace in the Philippines is to go to war with MALAYSIA. They are the one behind to all the troubles in Mindanao. They want Mindanao as part of Malaysia. The MILF, MNLF, BIFF, ASG and others are only their front. Just to be honest with you in my analysis. Malaysia is taking advantage of the weakness of the Philippine president right now. They know very well about psychology. Look at Indonesia, they are Muslim country but they never bother us unlike the Malaysian.

    12. sonny dela cruz on

      This anti-corruption activists are playing politics by planning to file criminal charges against only B.S. Aquino, Purisima and Napenas only. Pls. be ashame of yourself, you have to include JAFFAR, MURAD, IQBAL AND THE MILF TERRORISTS who massacre the 44SAF if you want to be true to your clean intentions of putting these people responsible for the death of the 44SAF policemen. Actually you also have to include, CATAPANG, ESPINA, ROXAS, GAZMIN and all those people who were with B.S. Aquino in Zamboanga during the day of the firefight. All of them, they know it. It will be proven during the court hearing if these activists are successful to end up in court. PLEASE STOP POLITICS. NANGGUGULO LANG KAYO imbes na tulongan ninyo yuong mga naulila ng 44SAF police at ang basang Filipinas. Pinamimigay na ni B.S. Aquino ang Filipinas sa bansang MALAYSIA. Ito ang dapat ninyong asikasuhin. Malaysia is behind the BBL and the MILF is only the front. Go to Malacanan and make a citizen arrest of B.S. Aquino and stop politizing the issue.