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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

BBL: A sellout agreement Part II


By Rod Kapunan
There is nothing in the proposed BBL that it ever used the word “autonomous” to imply greater political, economic, and cultural freedom to an area, province, or locality designated as belonging to the Bangsamoro to differentiate it from the other provinces. In fact, the MILF panel never used that term to denote there is a higher authority or government other than their Moro nation.   Provisions referring to the Republic of the Philippines only pertain to their demarcated territories, meaning the Bangsamoro will only deal with the Philippines, and not with any of the provinces where they have a border dispute, thereby technically, elevating their status as a “state”. 
This explains why there is nothing in the Agreement that they would ever allow the raising of the Philippine flag within their territory for the people there to swear their allegiance to it.  They even failed to incorporate a provision regarding the status of the inhabitants as citizens of the Philippines.  What has been constantly reiterated in the provisions was their constant reference to Bangsamoro, and it is for us to guess their citizenship.     
To be specific, our panel failed to question the MILF’s consistent use of the term “jurisdiction”.  Maybe “jurisdiction” is acceptable if it has reference to an area to segregate it from the provinces at its border or bodies of water shared by it.  But in the proposed BBL, “jurisdiction” has reference to areas of land and bodies of water to the exclusion of the Republic.   
This is evident in their use of the term “territorial” and “internal” waters which means it is off-limits to the Philippines.  Effectively, vessels not registered by them will be treated as foreign vessels for which they could prohibit from carrying out fishing activities.   In case of dispute, the Bangsamoro would now have the right to invoke the provisions of the International Law of the Seas and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, claiming it was their “internal” waters that we violated.   
That would then open the door for them to deal with other countries to exploit and develop those areas to the exclusion of the Philippines.  Our country would have no control or right to participate or even jointly exploit and develop its mineral resources without their consent.  By then, the world will be looking at us as some kind of clown exhibiting our jingoistic zeal in claiming uninhabited islets in the China Sea, yet nonchalantly parting a portion of our precious territory to the Bangsamoro.    Such is unusual because other countries that granted autonomy to their provinces and territories, like Russia for Chechnya and China for Xingjian and Tibet, continue to maintain exclusive authority to define their national boundaries and territorial waters.   In our case, we abdicated that right to the Bangsamoro.
Moreover, while other states gained their independence only after waging a bloody secessionist war, like what happened when Kosovo was partitioned from Serbia, and the division of Sudan to create South Sudan, etc., the final agreement was done in a referendum instigated by the US and NATO, but only in the territory that seceded.    In our case, this lackluster government does not seem to understand what stupidity and/or treason is, or even knows what it is doing.   
As one would ask, would those advocating for secession accept the verdict if it turns out their demand to create an Islamic state is rejected by the majority of the Filipino people?  Paradoxically, would they accept the idea of reviving the original agreements that accorded them the status of an autonomous region in lieu of the BBL?   This is now a 64-dollar question much that a decision not to ratify the BBL would not guaranty peace even if they are logically obligated to accept it as the will of the majority.    
The same question is asked whether the majority of the Filipino people are prepared to accept the partitioning of their republic through a referendum for the purpose of creating an Islamic state right in our own backyard.
If both sides have their reservations, then whatever the outcome is could not lead to peace. In the words of Mao Zedong, “in order to make peace, one has to wage war.”  There is sense in that dictum much that it is only in victory where peace could be achieved.  Whether it is an unconditional surrender or conclusion under reasonable terms, peace nonetheless was achieved because war solved it for them, and the other belligerent party had little or no option but to accept.   
In our case, while we have been girding for possible conflict with China over those tiny uninhabited islands, the MILF, Malaysia, the US and its allies want us to campaign for its ratification.   In that, we are about to witness a collective act of treason that could reignite bloodier civil war presided by  our President, and supported by his yellow  confederates led by Speaker Sony Belmonte, Congressman Rufus Rodriquez and other solons. 
The MILF’s audacity to seek for an equal status is in preparation to their demand for independence.  Once our corrupt and pork-barrel reeking Congress ratifies the BBL, the Malaysian stooge, MILF, would then proceed to unveil its true color.  In no time, Malaysia, the US, the European Union, and Japan will extend diplomatic recognition.   The Philippines would have no way of stopping the international community much that it was our own government that allowed those provisions to be included, repeatedly by referring to that territory as Bangsamoro.    
Another is their right to demand to hold a referendum in areas where the Muslim community has reached 10 percent of the population, asking whether they would want to join the Bangsamoro or remain part of the Philippine territory.   That would perpetually give them the right to demand the holding of a referendum to determine which way the people there would want to go, and there would be no closure to their claim for additional territory. 
That absurd provision could easily create political instability.  Christians will then begin to distance themselves by discriminating against Muslims until it ripens to one of fratricidal war triggered by religious differences.   In fact, there is much doubt whether the same troublemakers would allow Christians to hold a referendum in areas already included in the Bangsamoro once the required 10 percent is also reached.   
Finally, those nincompoops even failed to consider the long term repercussion of allowing the Bangsamoro to formulate their own educational curriculum.  Most glaring is their avoidance in calling themselves “Filipinos” claiming that the term has no application to them.  That means in their new educational curriculum and textbooks, Philippine history, government, the Philippine Constitution, Pilipino, and the lives of our heroes that led to the birth of this Republic will be excluded.  Arabic would then become their official language.      
Given time, school children in those areas will no longer be studying the lives of Andres Bonifacio, Jose Rizal, etc.  They would not even care to know the lives of our past Presidents, but in knowing the life of Tungku Abdul Rahman, and his subaltern named Hashim Salamat.  In other words, the next generation of people living there would have nothing to do with our historic past and culture that solidified this archipelago to become one nation paid in blood by our forefathers.

rpkapunan@gmail.com

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