• Congress suspends BBL hearings


    THE House Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Monday suspended discussions on the proposed measure in reaction to two violent incidents in Mindanao over the weekend where 42 people were killed and 36 others were wounded.

    The suspension came after the House ad hoc panel headed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City (Misamis Oriental) adopted House Resolution 1834 filed by Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila).

    The resolution urged the committee on the BBL to halt its discussions on the national defense, security and public order provisions of the basic law until after submission of reports by appropriate government bodies on recent incidents of violence in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

    “We agreed that in deference to those who have died, especially the policemen, we will suspend our hearings for the afternoon session and discussions on certain provisions of the Bangsamoro law going forward unless we get explanations from concerned government agencies [on the violent incidents],” Rodriguez said in a news conference.

    He was referring to the Zamboanga City blast at Fantasy Disco bar last Friday, which killed one and wounded 36 others, as well as the killing of 52 members of an elite police force by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants in Maguindanao in ARMM while the police were in pursuit of Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli Bin Hir, also known as Marwan.

    Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF’s chief negotiator, has confirmed that MILF members were involved and that the attack was a result of failure of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to coordinate its operations with the MILF.

    “While the discussions on the other provisions of the proposed law may proceed, the deliberations on the aforecited provisions may not until after the issues on these recent violent incidents are cleared,” Biazon said in his resolution.

    He argued that recent bloody clashes cannot be swept under the rug, considering that the Bangsamoro Basic Law provides for fragmentation of powers and authorities on national defense and security and public order, creation of a separate Armed Forces command in the autonomous region, authority of the Chief Minister over the PNP as compared to existing constitutional provisions on the powers of local chief executives and the shape of normalization provisions.

    Biazon noted that the ARMM, PNP, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should conduct an investigation of the Zamboanga and Maguindanao incidents.

    “The reports of these government bodies should contain, among others, a determination of what elements of what government (arms) were involved in these incidents, which dissident groups did they clash with and (what) provisions of existing laws and ceasefire agreements (were violated),” he said.

    The House ad hoc panel is asking the ARMM, PNP and OPAPP to submit results of their probe of the incidents on February 6.

    “We don’t want this to be a long investigation that would just be forgotten later on,” Rodriguez said.

    The killing of at least 52 elite police forces by the MILF might temporarily set back the government’s bid for lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao, he added.

    “Certainly, the death of the policemen sets back everything. How can we proceed if these threats are happening? On whether we can rebound from this, it will depend on the report of the [government]agencies [on the incidents],” Rodriguez said.

    Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, a retired police brigadier general, said the viciousness of the MILF is unforgivable.

    “How is killing of people who are performing an official duty justified? In all norms of conduct, that is not justified,” Acop told The Manila Times.

    “They (MILF) should be made answerable. Otherwise, the government will lose its credibility. The world is watching us,” he said.


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    1. Elmer Baguioro on

      This BBL Architecture is dangerous. It seeks to have EXCLUSIVE ISLAMIC Rule over Philippine Territory and sets a very dangerous precedent. For one, it rests on a myopic view of INDIGENOUS CULTURE, setting the reference to the Spanish Colonization when it fact, ISLAM colonized the Philippines as well just a century or so ahead of Christianity. This whole drama is rooted on a lie about the INALIENABLE RIGHT of an “Indigenous Culture” that was never INDIGENOUS to the Philippines in the first place, and that will be the achilles’ heel of the Bangsamoro Agenda. There is only One Country, One Law, and One Government. This BBL Agenda is a direct attack on the Sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines.

    2. One word is appropriate for these Moro secessionist groups: TRAYDOR. Another word for the Philippine government: UTO-UTO.

    3. THE PEACE DEAL IS DEAD ! And it must be, the least.

      Congress and the Executive Branches of the Philippines have absolutely NO Constitutional Authority to negotiate with the enemies of the Nation.

      Our nation has been besieged non-stop by terrorists who engage with rebellion against us all these decades.

      The so called Aquino’s Peace Deal is an appeasement by his government to the rebels under the auspices of foreign nation(s) which slaughters the sovereignty of Filipinos in that land which solely belongs to the nation.

      The rebels should put down their arms, become good Filipino citizens, and peacefully join the democratic processes in that part of Mindanao. If not, the Philippine Nation has no other recourse but to defend its patrimony and sovereignty.

      There is no need for a BBL because this proposed legislation by Aquino shall discriminate against other Filipino citizens who lives in Luzon and Visayas.

      Congress should trash bin that proposal, and deal instead more focused with securing our nation and to gain peace in that region by crushing any rebellion. This no different from that situation at the West Philippines Sea where China is bullying us.

      Urgently, The Philippines should build and strengthen its friendship, economic and political ties with Russia as well. Russia will be a very good friend of the Philippines because it is a practising Christian Nation.

      Russia can also help us to obliterate the terrorists and made progress with dialogue with China on its bullying activities against us. U.S. won’t help us at this time because we do not have oil.

      Should Aquino (who I think displays the typical characteristics mannerisms of a narcissist), still pursue his Appeasement Deal with MILF, Filipinos should strongly oppose.

      If he sticks with this direction despite the ambush and killing of 49 soldiers, then he is really a true communist who wants to downgrade our sovereignty as a peaceful nation.

    4. Norodin Lucman on

      A blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was committed by the PNP Special Forces who in the past figured in many bloody incidents in Mindanao against Muslim civilians, especially in Zamboanga City in recent past. Under the terms of the peace negotiations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, combatants are strictly obligated to observe Rules of Engagement, a pivotal provision in the ceasefire agreement. This obligation also applies to the Letter and Spirit of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) which was signed by both parties under the principle of State of Belligerency,witnessed by the International Community composed of many nations and organizations (USA, Turkey, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Brunei, Norway, Sweden, EU, 56-member states of OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), Mohammadiya (Indonesia), United States Institute of Peace, hosted by Malaysia under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak. The Philippine Congress and the administration of Pres. Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III are obligated to fulfill and implement the provisions of the historic Peace Treaty of 2014, in accordance with the rules agreed upon by the Philippine Government represented by Pres. Benigno Aquino III and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front headed by Chairman Al Haj Murad Ibrahim. In light of recent development undermining the scheduled completion of the agreement, the Philippine Congress suspended the hearings for the inevitable passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law thus jeopardizing the target completion of the agreement leading to the Decommissioning of firearms and integration of regular MILF-BIAF into the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In view of these recent developments, the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are in a quandary as to push through with the peace process or unilaterally SUSPEND Peace Negotiations with the Philippine Government until further notice.

    5. rosendo bagtas on

      matagal na kasi alam ng ating mga security forces, lalo na ang AFP, na sleeping in one-bed itong MILF at BIFF. ngunit at masaklap dito ay nagmamatigas si Abnoy na ipagpatuloy ang kanyang peace talks sa MILF upang magkaroon siya ng ‘legacy’ pagkatapos ng kanyang administrasyon. ‘legacy’ at the expense of the Filipino nation’s security and good? minamadali ang pagpapasa na BBL ngunit nagising ang ating mga mambabatas at ito’y sinuspendi. sa totoo lang, kombinsido ang taumbayan na mali ang PNP ng lusubin nito ang kuta ng diumano’y BIFF sa harap ng kanilang kaalaman na iisang bobong lang ang MILF at BIFF sa mamasapano, maguindanao. masakit itong katotohanan na niloko tayo ng MILF ngunit mas masakit ang katotohanan na inuuto tayo ng ating sariling pangulong Abnoy! mahigit 50 buhay ng mga polis ang ibinuwis dahil lang sa kalokohan ni Abnoy!

    6. Dapat ibasura na itong BBL. Wala naman itong katuturan. Mayroon pa namang ARMM. Ano ba ang problema sa ARMM? Dapat dito isentro ang paningin ng mga mambabatas.The legacy syndrome is the problem of Pres Arroyo and Aquino.