In the face of persistent questions of constitutionality and lingering doubts about the real intentions of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Malacañang-controlled House of Representatives moved to press the passage of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Noynoy Aquino’s marionettes in the House ad hoc committee have chosen to ignore the strong public disapproval and opposition to the proposed legislation even as a “watered-down” version is being presented in the plenary for approval.
The new draft, which was finalized after committee chairman Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and committee vice chairpersons met with the President, was distributed to the lawmakers just a few hours ahead of the voting Monday.
Truth is there remain several contentious provisions in the committee-approved draft that need to be tackled. I don’t think such tough issues would be duly-addressed any longer in the plenary proceedings.
Instead, they have decided to shove the BBL crap down our throat after leaving the public out on its intricacies and railroading its passage.
The ad hoc committee’s proceedings contrast sharply yo those conducted by the Senate committee headed by Senator Bongbong Marcos who has taken pains to hold public hearings in Muslim Mindanao to listen to what people have to say about the BBL.
In unfairly rushing the ill-conceived BBL, the House stands to shatter its own already dwindling credibility in the wake of its moro-moro-like inquiry on the Mamasapano massacre.
Garapalan na iyan.
Among those who expressed strong objection to the rushed voting were Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, South Cotabato Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez, Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Belma Cabinalo and Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares.
They particularly opposed the so-called “opt-in provision” contained in Article III Section
3, which would allow areas contiguous to the Bangsamoro region to hold a plebiscite to later join the new political entity.
“This is a very contentious provision everywhere we went, especially in the areas surrounding the Bangsamoro region,” Lobregat pointed out.
Hernandez warned of instability as areas contiguous to the Bangsamoro region “will always be watching their backs” in fear of encroachment if the provision is approved.
Who does not desire a lasting peace for the troubled South?
But having lived my childhood years in Mindanao, particularly in Zamboanga City and Davao City, I fully understand their apprehension.
They have reason to believe that the Bangsamoro region originally envisioned by the MILF as a separate nation-state is not confined or limited to the region area identified in the proposed BBL.
People have reason to believe that the MILF, which until now has not laid down their armies’ arms despite the peace accord, has not pledged allegiance to the nation’s flag or expressly offered to do so.
Needless to say, the tragedy of the Mamasapano mass murders must be resolved first and not be swept under the rug.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Board of Inquiry established what can be aptly described as acts of “war crimes” that MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) perpetrated that infamous day in Mamasapano.
The MILF must prove good faith by bringing to justice the hundreds of its men, who feasted on the hapless Special Action Force (SAF) policemen in the January 25 “pintakasi.”
No, we do not wish the rest of our Filipinos in Mindanao, Christians and Muslims alike, to be subjected to pintakasi by the MILF, BIFF and the warlords’ goons once they start their secessionist reign.
The House of Representatives must prove true to its sworn duty and responsibility to truly represent the hearts and minds of the nation and not just to suit the whims of the culprit culpable for messing up his own moro-moro.
Hindi kayo karapat-dapat, mga animal!