Palace defends peace summit


Malacañang has defended the organization of a National Peace Summit, announced by President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd on Friday, arguing that it is not intended to override the work of Congress in crafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a radio interview on Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the intention is for the public to understand the peace process and the BBL.

Through the peace summit, the public can provide inputs to the BBL so that in the end, a more refined Bangsamoro law could be crafted by Congress, Valte told the government-run Radyo ng Bayan.

Valte also commented on a statement made by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel that the review of the citizens’ council on the BBL would not have any impact on the congressional deliberations on the Bangsamoro law.

“Certainly, your senators will act and comport themselves as they see fit,” Valte said. “But it also contributes to the public discourse when there is a space wherein people can discuss and debate the issue of BBL without disinformation, without misinformation, and that contributes to the understanding of the BBL, as well.”

The intention is not to replace the legislative process but to provide an avenue for discussions on the BBL in a rational and calm manner, so that improvements can be made, Valte said.

“So, it’s up to our senators if they will listen to the voices of the citizen leaders who will join the summit,” she added.

Valte further said that the citizens’ council was created, not to supplant Congress and override the legislative process that the BBL has to undergo, but to create an opportunity for well-respected community leaders to come together and discuss the BBL.
In the end, she said, the body could propose ways to move forward.

Doubts on the passage of the BBL, as well as on the sincerity of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), have heightened following the Mamasapano incident last January 25, which resulted in the death of 44 police commandos, 18 MILF fighters, and several civilians.

There are fears that the incident would derail the passage of the BBL, which is already behind schedule.

President Aquino said on Friday that he has invited citizen leaders known for their wisdom and integrity to stand as independent convenors, among them Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Howard Dee, and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman.

He said they will gather other responsible and respected leaders to spearhead a National Peace Summit to deliberate on and discuss the BBL “in a calm and reasonable manner that will not incite anger and hopelessness,” with the end in view of improving the law.

“They will write a report that will be made public, so that everyone may be informed, and so that more of our countrymen may understand the matter. In this manner, we will be able to advance a reasonable decision as regards the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” the President said.


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  1. Venerando Desales on

    So, loudspeaker pa la ang labas nina Cardinal Tagle, et, al. Surely, malaking fundo yan sa mga honorarium, materials, staff, etc. Too late na talaga ang pag lagay ng patches sa mga butas ng BBL. Just scrap it! Or leave it to Congress to cure the constitutional infirmities. In the first place, there was already grave abuse of discretion done by Pnoy in entering an executive agreement with the MILF. A petition for certiorari must now be filed by our legal luminaries before the Supreme Court. That is the only way to cool off the tension. Here is my suggestion: create a commission composed of legal luminaries and persons of probity that will study the BBL draft, then recommend changes to be in consonance with the constitution, then a lawmaker will sponsor it for passage into law. The heck if the MILF reject it. We are not entering a treaty with them. They are still subjects of the Republic, stupid!

  2. I think it is better to have the BBL postponed until we have a new leader. This weak and tanga administration have muddled this BBL beyond recognition that it will just result to a disaster for the Philiippines if it is unscrupulously done. This work is not for amateurs or for a student government or a lingering OJT president. Haste makes waste.

  3. Carl Cid Inting on

    The intention is to deodorize BBL because it has become so unpopular and has no public support. The ‘citizen leaders’ are compromised in favor of the administration and will certainly make a sales pitch for BBL. Among the ‘citizen leaders’ mentioned are Howard Dee, who happens to be the father-in-law of PNoy’s sister, Hilario Davide, who happens to be the father of Liberal Party stalwart and Cebu Governor Davide, Jaime Zobel, who has had strong ties with the Aquino family since the Cory Aquino administration and Cardinal Tagle, who always tries to be amiable and uncontroversial.

    The problem for the administration, however, is that BBL is a bad peace agreement. A good sales pitch will not make a bad product better. As a matter of fact, there is an old adage in the advertising industry that says: “Nothing kills a bad product faster than a good advertising campaign”. An advertising campaign only makes more people aware about the product but, if the product isn’t any good, the intended buyers will reject it just the same.

  4. Tuso talaga ang mga adviser ni Aquino!
    Ayaw pang pahalata ng lameduck president na siya at isa -isa ng kumakalas at nagpapakita ng pagtutol ang mga DAP senator at congressman sa kanya!
    Alam niya na marami ng sipsip sa kanya na nagpapapogi sa taong bayan at nakikisakay na sa SAF 44!
    Ang national peace summit ay isa lang cover,upang hindi makita ng tao ang pag-aklas ng mga inaasahan niyang mga senator ay congressman!