Not BBL, the only good thing about MILF is UN Action Plan

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WE still hold the stand—reached after unceasing study of the situation in Muslim Mindanao—that the internationally favored peace agreement of the government negotiators and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is as full of BS as President Aquino’s name.

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Creating the Bangsamoro state, and destroying the Philippine Constitution’s creation—the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with the proposed passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law by Congress—will cause more problems than we have now. The Bangsamoro sub-state will lead to the fragmentation, first of Mindanao, and then the whole Philippine Republic.

The BBL draft supported by the BS Aquino Regime is all wet. Among others things, it neglects the reality that extremely responsible and influential Mindanao leaders do not accept the Bangsamoro sub-state that will suddenly make the leaders of this breakaway separatist organization from the Moro National Liberation Front become the Muslim emperors of Mindanao. It trashes the Philippine government’s existing comprehensive peace agreement with the MNLF, which resulted in the creation of the ARMM.

The BBL ignores solid realities. For example, that MNLF Chairman Emeritus Nur Misuari proposes not a Bangsamoro sub-state but one federal state for the whole of Mindanao. That former senator Aquilino Pimentel (who authored our country’s Local Government Code) proposes a federal state for the ARMM. And that the President of the Par Himpunan Sin Islam (the Islamic Society of the Philippines), the former governor of Tawi-Tawi, Al Tillah, proposes two federal states for Muslim Mindanao: one for the island provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan and another for the landlocked provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao. These and other good ideas for the better governance and lasting peace of the former “Land of Promise” have been rejected by the BS Aquino and MILF people.

But there is something worth praising about the MILF. This is something, however, that Pres. BS Aquino cannot dishonestly claim to be his achievement as he has done with other things. This is the UN-MILF Action Plan to eliminate the rebels’ recruitment and use of children for military tasks and other nefarious activities. BS Aquino cannot claim credit for this because work on the UN-MILF Action Plan began after it was signed in 2009, when the Philippine president was still Gloria Mapacapagal-Arroyo.

Yesterday, Dec. 2nd, at Camp Darapanan, in Sultan Kudarat province, the United Nations’ children’s welfare agency UNICEF and the MILF met to review and highlight the progress being made on the UN-MILF Action Plan.

MILF military commanders and troops recently went through a series of orientation sessions on the Action Plan to ensure that they adhere to international law.

UNICEF reports that globally at least 740,000 people —including children—die directly or indirectly as a result of armed violence every year. In the Philippines, it is estimated that around 30,000 to 50,000 children were displaced by armed conflict annually in the past years, of which the majority were in Mindanao. The UN-MILF Action plan is a key component in ensuring that children in situations of armed conflict are protected.

The Action Plan commits the MILF to concrete, time-bound activities pertaining to the prevention of recruitment and use of children as combatants or in supporting roles, the separation of any children under 18 from the command structure, unimpeded access for UN verification, and awareness raising on child rights and child protection for its military rank and file, as well as for MILF communities.

“UNICEF recognizes armed conflict as a grievous violation on child rights. Children are affected by armed violence in different ways—they can be recruited as child soldiers, killed, injured and be deprived of access to basic services, including education and healthcare. Children living in conflict areas in the Philippines are among the most vulnerable, and together with its partners, UNICEF is working for all of their rights to be realized and protected,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander said.

Orientation courses are now being held across all 31 MILF Base Commands and 7 Front Commands in Mindanao for Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) commanders and troops. Some 4,151 BIAF elements from 26 Base Commands and 4 Fronts have received training. At the end of these sessions, MILF Front and Base Commanders publicly commit to ensure that no children are associated with their respective commands, and that if there are cases, these children will be separated from the command structure.

We pray that, when fighting erupts again between MILF forces and the Philippine military, the MILF having had these UNICEF lessons, will have more compassion for children than they have so far shown.

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3 Comments

  1. Mischievous PNoy who is already known as a no-clue, incompetent, and suffering from brain deficiency syndrome is not doing anything positive but merely experimenting anything he can think of to show any kind of accomplishment during his term. Problem is all his experiments is costing public money which he spends for things which do not succeed. After his term, PNoy should be made to reimburse all the useless expenses he incurred during his term and if he cannot reimburse the government, an equivalent prison term should be charged to him.

  2. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

    How will you reconcile this with this sitting president’s alleged ambition to get the Nobel Peace Prize? What a bummer and a “b s” to B.S. Aquino III and D.T.L.?

  3. I understand the Tyrant Aquino’s need to have someone he put into place in control of the south. We know a tyrant needs his own people in charge everywhere. His declaration of the ARMM as being a failure and trying to pass a BBL to take its place is a criminal act. His subjects in Congress will not do anything about it, but when this ends up in the SC he will be made to answer.