“The creation of the Bangsamoro homeland, with its own people, territory and form of government, will dismember the Philippines. This is a gross violation of the 1987 Constitution.”
The above statement came from Senate President Franklin Magtunao Drilon (FMD) when he was opposing the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Now, FMD is defending the new peace agreement that would give the MILF its own people, territory and form of government. Why, he would even be expected to sponsor the proposed organic law of the Bangsamoro homeland that will result in what he had earlier warned would result in a “chop-chop republic.”
Well, I’m sure FMD, a topnotch lawyer, can credibly defend his new position. I sure would want to hear how the peace agreement with MILF that he now favors differs from the earlier one that he had scorched. Indications are that the new agreement would cede to the MILF more territory and clothe it with more power than those contained in the former peace agreement.
The Senate President and other defenders of the peace pact with the MILF maintain that no amendment of the Constitution is necessary to implement it. Well, let’s hear from FMD again about this issue: “The MOA would grant the proposed Bangsamoro BJE a status of belligerency, or an international recognition as a separate and independent state. By mere executive action to implement certain provisions in the agreement, and without constitutional amendments, the BJE could become a separate and independent state.”
Will the new peace agreement result in international recognition of the Bangsamoro as a separate and independent state? Definitely, FMD said constitutional amendments were needed to implement the former agreement. Now that the peace pact is being forged under the administration of Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino 3rd, he’s saying that there’s no need to amend the Constitution.
Well, FMD’s change of heart is reflective of the frequent somersaults of the administration on various issues. Oh wait, I should add that there’s an exception – the administration is consistently hell-bent on getting back at his political opponents. His followers call it “administration of justice” when it’s properly called “selective and vindictive justice.”
If only BS Aquino the Last, I mean The Third, doesn’t summarily dismiss allegations of anomalous transactions by his Kabarilan, Kaeskuwela and Kamag-anak, people could accept Malacañang’s tirades against his opponents like former Chief Justice Renato Corona, Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla who were charged with plunder for the alleged misuse of their pork barrel.
The case against Bong Revilla
Speaking of Bong Revilla, his recent privilege speech was pooh-poohed by Malacañang for his alleged failure to address the plunder accusations against him. Malacañang might be hard of hearing for Senator Bong had met head on all allegations against him although what hogged the headlines was his claim that BS Aquino lobbied for a guilty verdict against Corona.
On the allegation that Janet Lim Napoles talked with him to get funds from his pork, he denied having any deals with her or the whistleblowers on the alleged scam. He likewise cited the statements of the whistleblower that he had never given any money to him (Bong).
He definitely discussed in his speech the alleged documents he had executed to facilitate Napoles’ request and the allegation that he confirmed his signatures on those documents. He wondered why authorities ignored the admission by the whistleblower, Benhur Luy, on forging signatures on documents used in the alleged scam.
“Ibig sabihin, sila ang gumagawa ng lahat ng dokumento mula sa endorsement ng proyekto pati mismong pag-notaryo, hanggang mailabas ang pondo sa DBM na pinaglulunggaan ng mga may-doctorate sa pagbuo ng sindikatong SARO gang, at anomalyang katulad ng sampung bilyong pork barrel scam,” he charged.
Luy had allegedly given kickbacks to Revilla thru his “chief of staff” Richard Cambe and even gave specific date. Senator Bong countered that Cambe was never his chief of staff and that Cambe was abroad during the dates cited. As proof, he submitted photo copies of entries in Cambe’s passport and records of the Philippine Airlines.
I’ve had misgivings about Senator Bong’s refusal to attend the Blue Ribbon hearings on the alleged pork scam engineered by Napoles. I sure would want to see him face off with Luy in any venue. While neither has materialized so far, it’s noteworthy that he has already addressed all allegations contained in the plunder charge filed against him.