Thank goodness, we have the real Miriam in reserve

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In this land of true believers and faux leaders, many will probably think it is fated. After Ms. Miriam Coronel- Ferrer, President Aquino’s chief peace negotiator, sold our country down the river in a peace deal to rival Chamberlain’s pact with Hitler, another Miriam has ridden in to the rescue of our republic.

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And she is none other than the original Miriam in our public life – Miriam Defensor-Santiago – a near miss in the presidential election of 1992 and a senior senator of the republic. It is she who will talk sense to our people amidst all the confusion and dishonesty in the debate over a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In the inexplicable rush by Congress to pass a Bangsamoro law before it adjourns on June 11 (or thereabouts), it is surprisingly the often unpredictable Senator Santiago who is sounding the words of sobriety and prudence.

It is her words and her gravitas that are forcing legislators, whether congressmen or senators, to pull back and review their options and positions.

In a 27-page report by her Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of laws, she has laid down the hard realities that must be faced by everyone in Congress, and everyone interested in the issue.

Forget the calendar, fix BBL first
Essentially, what Miriam the original is saying is simple: Fix BBL first or face defeat in the Supreme Court.

So forget about the calendar.

The Senate and House of Representatives cannot approve the proposed BBL in its present form without raising constitutional problems.

“The BBL has much merit, but its promulgation requires constitutional amendment or revision; mere legislation will not suffice, and will spark Supreme Court litigation,” Santiago said. Promulgation means “to put into effect a law or decree.”

In the committee report, the senator warned that insisting on changing the Constitution instead of amending the proposed BBL is “constitutional impiety.” Instead she recommended that the Senate version of the BBL be substantially revised.

Santiago contends that the BBL fails the two-fold test set by the Constitution: national sovereignty on the one hand and territorial integrity on the other hand.

“The problem with the BBL as an experiment in both creative and innovative political values is that it makes no mention of the possible various consequences of such an experiment in domestic governance. Enthusiasm and dedication to peace have served to diffuse the principle of sovereignty, which refers to the supreme authority within a territory,” she said.

Santiago said that the BBL must ensure that the national sovereignty of the Philippines remains intact, not limited or shared.

The senator said changing the name of the proposed BBL, as the House adhoc committee has done, will not make it any less objectionable unless Congress also revamps the bill to address numerous “constitutional infirmities.”

“The words ‘basic law’, in legal construction, is a synonym for ‘constitutional law’ and ‘organic law,’” the senator said.

“This implies that the BBL is intended to have the same effect as the 1987 Constitution which is supreme in the territory of the Republic of the Philippines.”

“Two different constitutional instruments cannot have legal effect at the same time and in the same territory.” she said.

This will tie BBL proponents up in knots. I doubt whether Cardinal Tagle, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. will go near the issue again.

Santiago’s committee report was born out of two public hearings on the draft BBL, where the resource persons included former Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, Associate Justices Florentino Feliciano and Vicente Mendoza, and former UP law dean Merlin Magallona.

Not surprisingly, Santiago was joined by many other senators in signing the report. They included committee vice chairman Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, and members Jinggoy Estrada, Cynthia Villar, Aquilino Pimentel III, local committee chairman Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and acting Minority leader Vicente Sotto III. Senators Lito Lapid and Ralph Recto said they will sign the report on Monday.

Legal cover for Moro statehood
Until the original Miriam’s emphatic intervention, Congress and the media [but not The Manila Times]had been relying solely on the self-serving testimonials for the BBL of Miriam Ferrer and peace adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles.

It is thanks to Ferrer and Deles that President Aquino cheerfully signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in March last year. This formal document binds the government to press for the passage by Congress of a Bangsamoro law.

Under the CAB, our government granted the MILF the four essential elements for statehood: People, government, territory, and capacity to enter into international agreements

As Jemy Gatdula of the university of Asia and the Pacific has pointed out: “the CAB effectively provides a legal cover to the MILF’s claim for statehood, while the BBL aims to supply the resources and implementing wherewithal to carry out that claim.”

Through sheer incompetence and ignorance, our government has voluntarily granted the Bangsamoro’s right to “self-determination”.

This is why the MILF is insisting that the CAB is an international (“executive”) agreement.
If a BBL (in its present form submitted by Malacañang to Congress) is passed, it would provide the MILF with the legal cover to receive funding, resources, and legitimacy both from the government and from international donors.

What then is the remedy?
Senator Santiago says: let the Senate fix the draft BBL so that all constitutional infirmities are removed.

Senator Bongbong Marcos, who will finalize the draft legislation, is anxious to incorporate Miriam’s report into his committee’s drafting of the legislation.

Jemy Gatdula, the international law expert, suggests one remedy that merits consideration: Congress can pass a law terminating the CAB, which the president will be duty-bound to enforce (Article VII, Section 17). Or it can have the CAB classified as a treaty and it can then be turned down by the Senate.

This way, Congress will have the opportunity to write a law that is not exclusive for any single group but one that will serve as a comprehensive law for Mindanao peace and development.

This is the road to take.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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29 Comments

  1. Everybody’s Attention Please!

    Buhayin natin ang nawawalang landas ng ating Bansa para tunay na maging “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas” at hindi lamang sa salita..

  2. Jose B.Paderes, Jr. on

    God bless, the Philippines! God bless senator Mirriam, may GOD bless you more wisdom and strength to stop the BBL high speed train of Malacanang and MILF.

  3. CESAR R. VILLA on

    If the allegations of “fix” are true then this bastard Aquino gov’t must be rebuked down to its feet and be charged direct bribery…In all legal terms this is an outright violation of the rule of law by the President of the Republic worthy to be tried via impeachment proceedings immediately

  4. Miriam Defensor Santiago for President.

    Duterte for Vice President.

    Shoot all those guys that corrupt to the bone including tongressman.

    Baguhin din yun requirement to become a Congressman or Public Official.

    Puro BOBO sila, 100 years na yung Pilipinas, pero 100 year na rin tayo left behind ng other countries.

  5. Senate and the House of rep. are wasting their time approving the BBL, which if the MILF does not like it, it has made public not to recognize it. But it likes it then our gov’t all of its branches and agencies are bound by what was passed. Where in the entire world can you find the rebels (MILF) are the ones calling the shots and the gov’t shaking it balls not to offend the rebels. Of course in the Phil. only where we have a mentally retarded head of the country called pres., a congress who lust for nothing but money that they are willing to sell their mothers for a few Malaysian bucks, and Catholic clerics (especially from Ateneo) who could be easily fooled by the rebels-moros promise of peace, but whose real intention is for secession and who bombed and murdered innocent civilians for ransom and blood money.

  6. Leodegardo Pruna on

    It is just too bad that even people we consider not only intelligent but principled and disciplined like the cardinal, the businessman Ayala, the in-law of an Aquino sister, the president of the Ateneo, and others are willing to give away our country. God bless the Philippines.

    • You consider them “intelligent”? I dare say they are all so stupid that they better go back to grade school and learn Panatang Makabayan.

  7. Mirriam Coronel – Ferrer & Deles along with P(ab)noy should be shot by a firing squad – crime? High Treason to the republic. Philippine Republic can not & will not forgive these 3 persons if this BBL will be passed. And by then, as Cong. Biazon (the father) rightly said ” God Bless the Philippines”.

  8. Yun mga traydor sa pilipinas na mga congressmen, senator, lawyers at mga pulitiko na sumusuporta ng bbl pumunta at tumira na lang kau ng malaysia. Dun nyo ipagpilitan yun bbl at sumakop ng isang bahagi ng pagmamay-ari ng malaysia. Ang pilipinas ay para sa lahat ng tutoong pilipino. One nation under one flag and one constitution

  9. Yes Mr. Makabenta – Thank Goodness we have a Miriam. As in SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO. Dun sa isang miriam, well, after all her shit, she needs to go down the drain. That includes Dilis or Deles???

  10. When Sen. Mirriam Defensor Santiago speaks, everybody listen wether pickup lines or serious speaking. That’s how I like about the Lady senator. Everything she says make sense. I hope this will make an eye-opener to the congressman/woman who voted YES to that $tupid bill done by a student council gov’t. and a Malaysian whores bitches negotiator.

  11. Thank God for the original Miriam and for her talking sense to these congressmen and senators what the effects of this unconstitutional BBL would be to the country.

    These congressmen who approved in the committee the BBL – are they stupid lawyers in Congress? Or are they blinded by their loyalty to PNOY instead of loyalty to the country? An what about these two female advisers to PNOY who helped draft this BBL? Are they that stupid? Let’s take these people out of the government once and for all.

  12. Move over fake Miriam, here comes
    the Original Miriam.
    The MILF conceived BBL is due to
    a rough sailing in the Senate.

  13. The Lower House of Philippine Congress is so named because of Lower I Q. That’s it. Just imagine they will toss around the BBL without equating it to our Constitution just like in algebra. Bahala na ang Supreme Court to declare it constitutional or not. It is good that we have the Upper House which is named because of Higher I Q. We have the likings of Miriam Defensor Santiago, Ferdinand R Marcos Jr and Francis Escudero who among the senators are like shining stars in their own right in depending our Constitution against the dismembership scheme of the psychotic legacy syndrome administration, the terrorist MILF and machination neighbor Malaysians. Mabuhay ang Sambayanang Pilipino laban sa mapaniil na administrasyon, anay ng lipunan na MILF at mapangdusta na Malaysians!

  14. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    22 May 2015

    The Philippines is fortunate in that it has Senator Mirriam Defensor-Santiago who characteristically obviously has resisted pressure to pass the BBL more or less “as is” as the MILF warned it should, but instead, in her Committee’s Report, makes it clear that for the BBL to pass, the Constitution will need to be amended.

    That is a “no-no” of course!

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    Lapulapu1927@yahoo.com

  15. The BBL as a pre-cursor to self-determination or independent Substate of Mindanao is the product of the unpatriotic mind-set of idiocy on pretext of “lasting peace, a phrase couched on the delusions of being “peacemakers” that must not pass in Congress.
    It is only Pnoy, whose motive is suspect or product of his twisted brain, with help of his conniving pea-brain assistants, Ferrer and DELES, and the dubious and venomous group, MILF and MNLF that are pushing Congress to adopt this intransigent law, BBL.
    The whole country is strongly against BBL as it will surely put Mindanao in the political international “orbit” of the Malaysian Federation, and away from the sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines! This means Mindanao will be dismembered and separated from the sovereign and territorial authority and governance by the Philippine Central government. BBL will be the vehicle to abdicate Philippine political authority over Mindanaoand giving it away to a Muslim state and group like the MILF/MNLF. For sure these are unconstitutional features of BBL that will not be allowed by our Supreme Court to pass. Yet Pnoy and his Congressional allies are bent on ramming down this law on the throat of the Philippine populace even they know it has a very slim chance of passing in its original form or be ruled Constitutional by the SC. The “peace” in Mindanao is definitely achievable and can be done if only PNoy and the MILF/MNLF will work on it sincerely and without hidden political agenda. The National government can pour billions of budgetary funds for Mindanao infrastructure and local governments like the AARM. Mindanao can have their independent local government and agencies subject only to the supervision of National government. After all these are main thrusts of BBL in its substance, but preventing political divisions and secession.

  16. P.Akialamiro on

    It is quite clear that with all the elements of a state, save for recognition by other states, the Bangsamoro will be a “de facto” state. But, it can be elevated to a “de jure” state upon recognition of Malaysia and other muslim sovereignties. And, what can deter these states from recognizing the Bangsamoro state?

    How naive, short-sighted and unpatriotic are the negotiators for the Philippines agreement.

  17. JAIME VALDEZ on

    So what then do we do with the other Miriam and Deles and that along the Pasig river who can’t wait to pass the BBL?

    • Ilublob silang 3 pati na mga yellow tongressmen/women at ibang bayarang senatongs sa ilog-Pasig. P_tang ina mo Rufus, the Racoon. BALIMBING!!! MAGKANO BA PATI MGA KALULUWA NYO????

    • don’t elect them to Congress Philippines!!! ( Of course, they can get elected to Parliament-bangSasasasa. Or they retire in Kuala Lumpur, puwede rin)

    • Hauled them,along with the 50 Tongressmen who passed the BBL in the lower chamber and bring them to Luneta,infront of the tomb of our real heroes who gave their lives for the creation and liberty of our nation,the Republic of the Philippines,line them there,and shoot all of them by firing squad,for having sold the integrity of this country and for being TRAITORS to the Republic. Shoot them in full display of the people of the Philippines so no Filipino will ever immitate what they had done.It will also serve as a caution to future government negotiators to always do the right thing for the good of the country…

  18. ano pa ang hinihintay ng AFP at PNP? It’s time to act now and withdraw their support for this incompetent president.

  19. mr. makabenta you are on the right track . we need the real Miriam and she has the
    guts to wake up the corrupt members of the legislative branch and come out to their
    senses. we need more people like her and others like marcos, cayetanos, angara, and
    others who are really patriotic and real pinoys. may God bless the Philippines.

  20. Julien Boisfeuras on

    If this goes to the SC, now Justice Leonen will have to inhibit himself as he was the chief negotiator of Aquino with the MILF before.

  21. Alejo Rosete on

    Mabuhay ka YEN

    Mabuhay ka Senator SANTIAGO

    Mabuhay ang MANILA TIMES

    MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS.

    • Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Mabuhay tayong lahat.NO TO BBL, Death to the TRAITORS.