Malacañang and the Yellows are saying that justice for the 44 SAF heroes can be achieved only when Congress passes the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law or BaBaLa as our esteemed fellow MT columnist, former Sen. Kit Tatad, calls it.
They added the appeal to “give peace a chance” to those who want a closer look at the BaBaLa or even junk it altogether.
They must believe sincerely that we are fools to believe that there can be no justice for our fallen heroes and that there can be no peace in Mindanao without the BaBaLa. The fact is, they’re only revealing their deathly fear of antagonizing their “partners in peace,” the Moro Islamic Liberation Force (MILF) should they pursue the justice being sought by others. They care more for the opinion of the MILF than for that of people feeling aggrieved and angry over the carnage.
Justice for our Fallen 44 can be achieved only if the MILF leaders own responsibility for failing to stop the carnage. To show its sincerity, the MILF must not only identify their men involved in the atrocity but also surrender them, along with the two wanted men being sought by the SAF men. And how about returning the modern weaponry and personal belongings of the massacre victims?
I completely agree with Sen. Ralph Recto when he said: “Achieving peace in Mindanao and attaining justice for those killed can be pursued simultaneously if the MILF has the guts to punish the guilty and give justice to the dead.”
Like many, he questioned the sincerity of the MILF in talking peace while giving sanctuary to terrorists.
Latest info shows that the trapped SAF troopers could have been saved and the massacre could have been averted. Fear of jeopardizing the peace process led our top officials to hold back sending timely reinforcements to the trapped policemen. It’s also this fear that has kept President BS Aquino The Last from calling the incident a massacre and from denouncing the MILF leaders for not stopping the carnage.
Some may say that BS Aquino The Last did sympathize with the fallen victims and that he grieved at their fate even if he wasn’t there to give arrival honors to their bodies. Sure, and they can also close their eyes to photos of their wide-eyed idol grinning from ear to ear at a business event on that same day. He can’t be grieving one moment and then be laughing the next moment unless he’s bipolar.
When he delivered his supposed eulogy, he seemed to want his audience to feel pity for him instead of the families of the massacre victims by focusing on the assassination of his father and namesake. Sir, you can’t fake empathy or sympathy. Not even dozens of Signs of the Cross before each casket of the victims would make you a sympathetic leader. Not while you refuse to acknowledge responsibility over this unfortunate incident, not while you hedge at revealing everything you know while sanctimoniously quoting the biblical phrase “Truth shall set you free.”
Going back to the passage of the BaBaLa, I want to quote a post from a dear friend, former Bataan Rep. Tong Payumo. I know Tong to be a believer in BS Aquino The Last but I also know that he’s never a blind follower to anyone. Here’s his take on Malacañang’s call on the approval of the measure: “To equate peace with the immediate enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law without skipping a beat even as we still alternatively seethe and mourn over the carnage of our SAF troopers is to betray insensitivity to our collective feelings.”
“This sad episode that happened is cause for us to pause and reflect, not a reason for us to be stampeded into passing the Bangsamoro law without a thorough study,” Tong said
He refuted claims that nothing is gained by suspending the hearings and consultations on the “BaBaLa” and by shirking the responsibility of crafting and enacting the law that is the condition for peace in Mindanao.
“With due respect, there’s much to be gained by pausing and asking not only of the sincerity but also of the capability of the MILF to restrain the rogue breakaway factions in its midst,” Tong argued.
He added that by suspending the legislative proceedings, the legislators and the country could reflect on the interest and role being played by foreign countries in the creation of a Bangsamoro substate “which as critics have pointed out, is a prelude to [their]independence.”
Efren Danao’s new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org