BBL’s ‘parliamentary system’ designed for MILF’s total control

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President Aquino’s Citizens’ Peace Council representatives who attended the Senate hearing the other day lived up to this Administration’s reputation as a student council government.

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I was flabbergasted listening to their extremely naïve and sophomoric defense of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

One reason why the BBL should be passed, according to Cayetano Paderanga, former socioeconomic planning secretary who now represents Jaime Zobel de Ayala in the council, is that it would be a model for solving Islamic insurgencies elsewhere in the region. Is this guy on drugs?

In happier times: Akbayan political adviser Llamas whispering something to Aquino. But is he with Erap now?

In happier times: Akbayan political adviser Llamas whispering something to Aquino. But is he with Erap now?

From the views expounded by Bishop Quevedo and Jesuit priest Joel Tabora, that the datu system is superior to democratic elections, I’m convinced more than ever that this world would be better off if clerics – of whatever religion – are totally banned from political discourse.

These people of Aquino’s council are not just too naïve and gullible. They are afflicted with a serious case of the messianic complex – mouthing nonsense such as that the BBL would end years of prejudice and oppression against the Moros and they who work for the proposed bill’s ratification would be instruments of peace for their liberation.

Where have all these people been all these years? Since the mid-1970s when the MNLF started waging its separatist war, and even if it was defeated, Philippine society and its body politic look at Moros not just as equals, but people who are to be respected because they’ll always fight for their rights.

This respect, or even fear, has also been to some extent due to the worldwide resurgence of the Islamic faith in the 1970s, what with Muslim countries suddenly becoming fabulously rich with petrodollars, and Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain taking in millions of our workers as OFWs.

Ironically, the struggle led by the Tausug-dominated MNLF and the Maguindanaon MILF have been a boon to the Maranao tribe, the traders you would find now in nearly every urban center of the country, many selling the same pirated DVDs and cheap cellphones that you’d think the merchandise comes just from a single source, or gang.

And also ironically, as a result of the MNLF struggles, Muslim politicians have been fabulously rich, beyond the reach of government anti-graft crusaders and investigative journalists since these have become, really, the remaining warlords of the country.

These Muslim politicians, in fact, are a huge source of MILF funds, and there has been for decades a collaborative modus vivendi among the MILF, the MNLF and Muslim politicians. Have you heard MILF spokesman Mohagher Iqbal or chairman Murad Ibrahim ever condemn the Ampatuans for the Mindanao massacre, or even point out that corruption among Muslim politicians is a huge problem?

It is, in fact, only as a consequence of public furor over that massacre that we have been given a glimpse of the wealth of the leaders of these “oppressed Moros.” “Datu Andal” Ampatuan Sr. was reported to have assets worth P500 million, which include more than 24 mansions in Maguindanao, Davao City and even Quezon City, and over 24 cars, including a Hummer.

His rival, now Maguindanao governor Esmael Mangudadatu – whose wife was among those massacred in that incident – is not to be outdone. According to his 2011 SALN, his net worth totaled nearly P400 million that year, nearly double the P200 million he reported in 2010, or just before he became governor.

The call for more government resources to uplift the lives of “oppressed Moros” is not new. Given the threats from Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and the huge costs to put down the MNLF rebellion, Marcos actually ordered massive financial resources deployed to Mindanao.

So much so that a statement attributed to his Finance Secretary Cesar Virata during a Cabinet meeting became a well-known quote: “Mr. President, if we account for all the public works funds we have deployed to Muslim Mindanao, that entire area would be a cemented parking lot right now.”

The level of poverty in Mindanao is not because of prejudice against the Muslims. It is the same poverty we see in such areas as Samar, Surigao and Ifugao: our agricultural sector has been dying and farmers have been getting poorer by the year. Political leaders and the ruling class of whatever religion are using public funds to enrich themselves.

What’s making things worse in Muslim Mindanao is the feudal concept of its leaders that public posts become their private asset, because they fought for it. It is not an urban legend that when a Muslim mayor is defeated, he brings home every single furniture and typewriter in his office, even the toilet seats, and his successor doesn’t even find that shocking.

Parliament for the MILF

That Senate hearing on the BBL wasn’t entirely a waste, given the lucid explanation by Senator Francis Escudero on why he believes that the BBL’s provisions on the adoption of a parliamentary system will practically deliver on a silver plate what is now the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The clearest indication why this is so is the BBL’s provision that 50 percent of the BM parliament will be what are dubbed party-list representatives, or those claiming to speak for sectors. In contrast, only 20 percent of the seats in Congress are allocated to such representatives. Senator Escudero pointed out it is already clear that the party-list system for Congress is not working, yet the BBL wants to make such a system its main feature.

It is so obvious why the MILF wants such a party-list system: It has had, like any revolutionary movement, an organization geared for the various sectors. For decades, it has had organizers who could easily have small farmers, fishermen, or whatever sector organized quickly into sectoral parties. The MILF could also more easily intimidate – they have the arms after all – other groups vying to be sectoral parties to back off from competing for representation in the BM parliament.

Other than these sectoral representatives, the BBL bill stipulates that a further 10 percent will be “reserved” seats, which are likely to – as is the practice in full-blown parliamentary systems – be filled at the whim of the Chief Executive, the Chief Minister in the case of the BM.

The MILF is the single biggest organized group in what would be the BM. And the BBL even specifies that only “regional political parties” will be allowed to compete for seats in the BM parliament. Are we too naïve to believe that the MILF won’t dominate as well the election of district representatives?

What’s the deal between Aquino’s political adviser and Erap?

Remember Akbayan, purportedly a socialist organization that had become the equivalent of President Aquino’s Nazi brown-shirts early in his Administration? They had pretended to be the idealist “activists” who supported Aquino and joined the demonstrations held for nearly every political campaign he ordered, especially when he needed to portray his campaigns as initiated by citizens.

For instance, it was former Akbayan partylist member Walden Bello and ex-would-be senator Riza Hontiveros who first filed impeachment charges against former Chief Justice Renato Corona. They even picketed the subdivision where former President Arroyo resided to demand her detention in the city’s prison. They pushed for the filing of charges against those involved in the PDAF scam then stopped after three opposition senators were put in jail.

They’ve given up on Aquino, and they’re debating only whether to do a new version of the Hyatt 10 or just fade in the shadows, and maybe count their blessings, or money, after their five-year stint with this Administration. Bello, two months ago, resigned from Congress. A courageous move certainly, but then there was a press report that the 69-year old Akbayan ideologue got married in the US to a Thai, whose age wasn’t mentioned. Will he be staying there where his wife lives?

The Akbayan activists have since gone their separate ways. Akbayan stalwart and Aquino’s presidential adviser for political affairs, Ronald Llamas, rudely interrupted my interview with former President and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada recently.

Erap immediately stood up from his seat when he saw Llamas, flashed an ear-to-ear smile, turned to the table behind him, manipulated the combination lock of his briefcase and opened it, took out an envelope and asked Llamas to join him in another room.

It didn’t take a minute for them to talk, with Llamas exchanging a few words with me for another few seconds before leaving hurriedly.

He’s been coming here very regularly the past months, an old friend of Erap’s staff said.

Of course, the envelope given to Llamas could have been just Erap’s regular confidential report to President Aquino.

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17 Comments

  1. if i could be one of the priest and businessman branded by this irrespo sible media man,as drug addict,then i would file a case of libel.we have the freedom expression but it is not an absolute,if it will violate personal rights then it will be the basis of a cause of action.

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    09 May 2015

    The Congress is now carefully examining the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to make sure that it does not contain provisions which violate the Constitution.

    If there are such provisions, it is the responsibility of the Congress to take these out completely.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    Lapulapu1927@yahoo.com

  3. Alejo Rosete on

    Just strengthen the ARMM. Why replace it with BBL.
    Plug the loopholes of ARMM to be more effective
    and more acceptable for every Filipino not just
    for the BBL Muslims

  4. eltee mulawin on

    >>> Filipino People of the Philippines !!!! If any case that THE BBL WILL BE APPROVED AND IMPLEMENTED WITH THEIR SHARIAH LAW, THEN WE MUST EXPECT THAT THE “BEHEADING OR HANGING OR FIRING SQUAD” FOR GUILTY ACCUSED WILL BE ENFORCED. WHILE IN OUR PRESENT LAW THE CAPITAL DEATH (BY LETHAL INJECTION) WAS STOPPED IMPLEMENTING.

    So in this scenario, IS IT NOT DUAL SYSTEM OF LAW? OR THAT SHARIAH LAW WILL BE FOR FILIPINO MUSLIM WHILE THE PRESENT SYSTEM IS FOR FILIPINO CHRISTIAN AND NON-CHRISTIAN, OR VISA-VIS ?

    THE SENATE AND CONGRESS LEADERS AND MR. HILARDE GROUP SHOULD CLARIFY AND SPECIFY HOW AND IN WHAT NATURE COVERAGE THIS SHARIAH LAW WILL BE ENFORCED IN THE BBL.

  5. The follies of political jockeying in Philippines, regarding BBL will can be measured, by what other matured democratic countries had gone through – a civil war.

    But, to avert this undesirable effect, these lawmakers should have to put up a strong stand, to maintain the supremacy of our constitution, over and above influence of those who are only after their own gains.

    Peace can still be obtained, but not by deception, these lawmakers who are tasked to oversee and maintain balance of power of our state affairs, must have it in them to be conscionable and decide with basis on what is rightfully written in our constitution – the country is now at a crucial point, where the decision will chart our future as a nation.

  6. A BIG NO TO BBL.
    An agreement favorable only to moro
    rebels and its allies. Eventually, Mindanao will be a training ground
    for local and foreign terrorists because it is independent from the
    National government, it can do what
    it wishes.
    Oh God, Don’t let it happen to a Christian nation.

    • P.Akialamiro on

      Hindi kaya “bulag-bulagan”, “bingi-bingihan” at “lampa-lampahan”, para lang “matapalan”?

  7. MILF have their ducks in a row, and are now taking pot shots in a shooting gallery.

    Hobbyist pea-shooter pnoy aquino should stick to shooting fish in a barrel.

    The key issues

    Structure – manipulated dictatorship/datuship. Sham democracy

    Systems – veil of secrecy – no transparency or accountability. No checks and balances

    Strategy – expansion and secession

    Social – impoverishment and exclusion. 2 tier society. MILF and others.

    Security – guns, goons, and gold

    Sovereignty – self-interest, not national interest. Unconstitutional

    Suppliers – malaysian economic control

    Stability – when money comes in the door, the guns will come through the window

    Societal values – islamic state and sharia law. A climate of fear and oppression.

    Subsidies – MILF have been given the winning ticket to the annual lottery jackpot.

    Schooling – propaganda and brainwashing – the foundation for future generations.

    Subterfuge – a training ground for subversives.

    All in all, incidious and invidious.

  8. P.Akialamiro on

    As a lifetime student of politics, your in-depth analysis of the whole situation surrounding the BBL is very enlightening. Thank you.

    I agree that the government side is too ‘naive and short-sighted’ to foresee the possible moves once the BBL, as proposed, is approved. With the support from other countries, there should be more ‘safeguards’ from a possible cessation of relations with the entity to be formed by the BBL, and its territories, from the country.

    I do not argue the fact that through the years the Datus, Sultans and other leaders of clans and families in Mindanao, just like in any areas of the country, have accumulated some wealth or monetary favors or advantage, from political candidates, not to mention other sects’ leaders. This has been the ‘modus operandi’ of politicians and political leaders that wiining is usually equated with money and the other Gs. This ‘culture’ is embedded in our society that its ramifications through the years are not easy to ‘shake off’. Just like ‘Catch 22’ , we have to live with it and die with it, if no drastic move to counteract it is done, by sensible leaders. It could be now, soon or never!

    But, whatever be the outcome of all these, we will all benefit or go down with it. May God bless the Philippines.

  9. Abnoy’s behavior is just a mirror of his late father Ninoy and his mother Cory. Ninoy had been known to be a leftist. No wonder the bombing of LP candidates in Plaza Miranda in the late 60’s only Ninoy was not injured because he was nowhere to bed found. It was even believed that Ninoy orchestrated it. In fact, former Senator Jovito Salonga one of those severely injured paraphrased it: “My God, Ninoy truly did it.” Now, during Cory’s term she technically gave Sabah state to Malaysia. It is not surprising why Malaysia had been, in the guise of helping PH resolve its Muslim separatist ambition, always in the forefront in all levels of negotiation, to establish a lasting peace in Mindanao. Abnoy and all his yellow mob supporters are guilty of the highest treasonous acts imaginable. The Muslims seems to be outwitting our corrupt politicians.

    • P.Akialamiro on

      They don’t have to outwit; they just have to corrupt them for they are “corruptible” anyway.

    • That’s true. Aquino’s family are friends of Malaysia. Abnoy is even cementing their friendship first by surrendering Sabah and not heeding to the requests of the Sultanate of Sulu and finally offering the riches of Mindanao to his friend Najib through this BBL and the Bangsamoro Entity. Perhaps after Abnoy’s term, when he is confronted with so many court cases from PDAF, DAP and PCOS scams, he will be take refuge to Kuala Lumpur in the Mansion of Najib playing video games until the time comes he meets our Lord and cry out loud for mercy he is just an insane person.

  10. Rogelio C. Lim on

    Dahil si Llamas ay political adviser ni Noynoy, di malayong ang nirereport ni Mayor Estrada ay tungkol sa 2016 election. Kaya Binay baka natratraidor ka na. Hindi ko nadidinig si Mayor Estrada na binabatikos si Roxas.

  11. Horacio B. Freires on

    1- Delay the BBL till after 2016, where the middle east oil is no more. We can negotiate from a stronger position. Because the moros will have no more money to buy ammunitions in case of war. The strength of the Islamic religion is based on this black gold… .now a dwindling fossil fuel.. 2016 Aramco will no longer export oil (Energy & Capital).

    2- Do not allow any territory to be controlled by them militarily. . else. .nuclear missiles will be installed pointed to Metro Manila. . like what Pakistan did to Indiia where their land came from. . behind is a religious war

    3. The Islamic religion is predicted to disappear from the planet earth (World Teacher of the last quarter of the century). .like what happened to that Egyptian religion of yore of the pyramids. . now no more. . good for the ethical & moral advancement of human civilization.. .The extremists of this present religion who passionately moves violently to make the world islamic as predicted by their prophet which is now past the time . . .,To cover up for its collective embarassment, .for it did not happen, it is harming humanity. at present. . It is just a matter of time that karma will whip it out of the surface of the planet earth. . .”You will know them by their fruits” as the real prophet and God incarnate have said 2,000 years ago on the subject of false phrophets. . coiming to the earth. . Worshipping the most merciful & most just Supreme Being. . they became the most un-merciful & most un-just beings. . . . something is wrong in the worshipping and the resultant social behaviour. . something will happen to this culture. . 100%