Junking of BBL may lead to extremism – envoy

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The Philippines risks facing extremism if a peace agreement forged between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is abandoned, the head of the Third Party Monitoring Team warned on Wednesday.

Alistair MacDonald, chairman of the TPMT, an independent body that monitors implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and the MILF in 2012, issued the warning as the proposed Bangsamoro law remains in limbo in both Houses of Congress.

The CAB provides transitional modalities, power sharing, wealth sharing and normalization or putting the MILF combatants beyond use.

“Looking forward, no administration can afford to ignore the underlying costs of conflict in Mindanao—the human costs on both sides of the conflict and among the civilian communities, the economic costs of development which can’t take place in the absence of peace, even the budgetary and security costs of having a large chunk of Armed Forces focused on internal rather than external security. Not to mention the risk of violent extremism finding fertile ground in a context where peace efforts have been stalled,” MacDonald, former Ambassador of the European Union to the Philippines, said in an email to The Manila Times.


“The CAB, negotiated after 17 years of effort, and signed in front of the international community, offers by far the best chance of carrying the peace process forward to a successful conclusion. The CAB remains the cornerstone of peace,” he added.

The House has ended plenary debates on the Bangsamoro measure, but the bill will have to undergo the tedious Period of Amendments, the second reading and the third reading vote.

Congress only has nine session days left before it adjourns to give way to the campaign period and the 2016 elections in May.

MacDonald pointed to the need for a Plan B that will reassure people on the ground that the peace process will not come to an end if Congress does not complete its work in time.

“That’s why, as TPMT, we’ve been urging all stakeholders to stay the course,” he said.

For ex-Justice secretary and 1-BAP party-list Silvestre Bello 3rd, peace can still be pursued as long as the CAB is in place.

“We have the CAB that will govern the relations between the government and the MILF until a proposed Bangsamoro law that is legally and constitutionally defensible is mutually arrived at by the government and the MILF,” Bello said.

But former Air Force combat pilot and Magdalo party-list Rep. Ashley Acedillo does not agree with MacDonald assessment that the non-passage of the BBL would lead to extremism.

“I am quite surprised at the statements of Ambassador MacDonald for correlating what will be a surge in extremist terrorism as a result of the non-passage of the proposed Bangsamoro law. Everybody should be circumspect in their statements,” Acedillo said.

“A careful study of Islamic extremism throughout the regions of the world will contravene this assertion, which only serves to muddle such an important issue such as the issue of peace in Muslim Mindanao,” he added.

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10 Comments

  1. Before aspiring healers make recommendations to others, they should first heal themselves. Europeans have no business telling us what to do about terrorism. They should first attend to their terrorist problems at home. Besides, we are dealing with Filipino terrorist who do not even consider themselves Filipinos and hate to even be identified as Filipino. We are dealing with Filipino terrorists and traitors who owe allegiance to foreign interests, such as Malaysia, which has selfish motives in creating BBL because it will provide them with a subservient client state where they can sell their products and where they can establish agricultural plantations and extract minerals and oil.

  2. Ambassador MacDonald speaks the truth because what is the use of CAB if the BBL is derailed. However the comment of Magdalo Party-list rep. Acedillo is irrelevant to connect it to possible extremism because the government and the MILF agreed to FAB and CAB witnessed by the International community. If a person wants to take his right then do you call him extremist. Being a peace loving citizen we are hopeful that the Congress, Senate and the DOJ would make all possible way to process BBL in its original form in order to achieve the final peace in Mindanao and once done it is not only good for Mindanao but the whole country.

    • We are negotiating with terrorist and kidnappers so do not expect peace. Next thing you know, they will be fighting with each other. These people are beast and the only thing that works for them is violence. You are trying to understand the mind of a madman. To do this is to be a madman yourself. These terrorists and us are different. To stop violence is violence. An eye for an eye.

    • BBL is good only for some members of the MILF. It is not even good for all Muslim tribes. It is certainly very bad for Lumads and Christians. As Miriam Ferrer herself once declared in a moment of candor, BBL will not even guarantee peace!

  3. I agree with Mc Donald. the on going crisis now in Mindanao is likely the first wave of the upcoming surge of fighting in the said area…

    • Capitulation is not the solution. A well thought-out BBL, compliant with the constitution, and more inclusive of other Muslim tribes, Lumads and Christians, may be workable. But BBL only works for some members of the MILF. That is not the way to peace. Better yet, consider the Federalist option.

  4. Alfredo H Moe on

    Peace can only be attain in Mindanao if the Muslim will accept that they are under the government of the Republic of the Philippines and nothing else.

  5. BBL or not extremism will grow among the Muslim community. To get rid of extremism is to solve the country’s economic problem. Most extremist are not really ideologist. They needed the money first and foremost and the other reasons follow. Muslim radicals and/or extremists in Europe are found in the low income population areas. Highly educated Muslims everywhere with good living standard are well respected, render help community services and give charitable donations. These factors are financially related.

  6. Don’t worry about the extremism. Worry when Binay or Poe wins the presidential elections. A lot of Filipinos most especially the OFWs in the U.S. are puzzled and wondering how Binay’s (the corrupt) ratings are up inspite of the charges filed against him with the voluminous evidences as proofs. In the U.S., majority of the Filipinos asked, Why? How stupid are the Filipino voters to still trust Binay? What is Binay’s secret? Well the answer is: It’s because Binay is using the so-called payola. Binay’s name appears everyday in all media especially the newspapers. Reporters are under the payroll of Binay in every newspaper in the Philippines to make sure that Binay appears in all these papers. You seldom see the names of Roxas, Duterte and Santiago. That’s the secret of Binay.

  7. . . They are already extrimist long time ago whether you junk BBL or not. . Like Pakistan to India, they can put nuclear missiles pointed to Metro Manila in places they control militarily. .