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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Filipinos and the BBL


By Rod Kapunan 
Despite the grisly carnage that saw 44 of our elite police force eviscerated, with the enemy grimly videoing how they finished off those still agonizing in pain by blasting off their brain point blank, desecrating by firing continuously at their lifeless body, and decapitating the head of some, the government inexplicably remains adamant in wanting Congress to pass the sellout Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). 
Such posturing is unusual, for normally, reaction to the killings of our policemen by the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its dirty operator, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, would have warranted an all-out war and cancellation of the peace talks.   Rather, the response was appalling that one now tends to believe that indeed our President is unfit for the job as shown by his frantic efforts to cover up his knowledge and deny responsibility for the fiasco.  
Many could only guess that there was in that uncanny reaction of PNoy, even castigating the bereaved family members of the fallen heroes, something that more than meets the eye.  Sad to say, PNoy even failed to admonish the arrogant spokesman of the MILF, Mohagher Iqbal, after he nonchalantly replied that the MILF cannot comply to the demand of the government for an explanation of the incident, but will only submit their report to a third party, referring to Malaysia, which has been brokering in all these years their secessionist war. 
The assertion by the MILF is telling.  Its unwillingness to submit to Philippine authority indicates that war clouds loom over the horizon.   The MILF purposely avoided the use of such terms as “surrender” or “comply” in their handing back of the weapons taken from the fallen SAF members.  Instead, they termed their decision as gesture of “sincerity” but only after they were cannibalized and replaced with worn-out parts.  Worse, they rejected the government’s demand to identify those MILF and BIFF fighters who participated in the carnage.   
All these point to the fact that the MILF has no intention of subordinating itself to our government even under any redefined and expanded concept of autonomy, or is willing to accept that the territories it wants to be integrated into their Bangsamoro  be accorded the status of autonomous provinces.  MILF’s confidence stems from the fact that this government allowed it and its broker, Malaysia, to approve who should constitute the members of our panel who turned out to act more as their fifth column.
Most debilitating is that we have been entrapped in a never-ending recrimination that instead of us concentrating on how to ramify the perfidious agreement into something acceptable to both parties but keeping intact the country’s territorial integrity, the head of the Peace Process, Teresita Deles, has become furious as the MILF spokesman, while PNoy intensifies his blame game of pointing to the opposition for trying to stall its hypocritical quest for peace. 
The PNoy government wants Congress to ratify the BBL at all costs.  He is confident that Congress will approve it much that his government has virtually put into its pocket the majority of the members using the DAP and PDAF as its bribe money, and who knows, even foreign money to grease them up as what this pretending-to-be-honest government did to  kick out Chief Justice Renato Corona, Jr.  Nobody really knows whether lucrative rewards like business concessions, investment and partnership in Malaysia and Sabah await them should they succeed in ramming into our throat the passage of the BBL.
One thing that PNoy government has not told the people is that once Congress approves the unpopular BBL, that then will formalize our acceptance for the balkanization of this country like what NATO did to dismember Yugoslavia.  Not one official in the government has dared to explain that after our seemingly rubber-stamp Congress approves the BBL, the people will still have to ratify that, it being an amendment to the Constitution.  They have been keeping that part of the process under wraps because the issue has become highly emotional with some even demanding PNoy’s resignation or ouster.
Moreover, even if the government would insist that the BBL is not a grant of independence, such would not matter to the MILF because their leadership never interpreted what they signed along what PNoy and his minions have in mind.  They already manifested that either the Philippine government take it or leave it. Since the signing was personally witnessed by PNoy, he cannot now backtrack, for that would make him appear silly.  
The perfidious PNoy government can never get away with the process of having the BBL ratified by the people in a plebiscite to be held not just in those areas claimed as part of the Bangsamoro, but by the entire Filipino people because it is they who will ultimately determine whether to peacefully allow a portion of their national territory to be separated from the Philippines.   It is noteworthy to point out that the people will decide the fate of the BBL not on the basis of constitutionality, but on whether they are willing to accept it, a political decision not even our Supreme Court could forestall.  In fact, an overwhelming sentiment expressing dissent has already been heard, which explains why PNoy only refers to Congress as crucial for the implementation of his sellout agreement.
Once Congress approves the BBL, the government would be having rough time defending itself from the charge of aggression should it attempt to exercise authority in their covered areas, even if we insist that our interpretation of the BBL did not mean the grant of independence.  The MILF needs only to dangle before  the international community and the UN Security Council the Congress-approved BBL as their  basis to secure recognition which for sure will be spearheaded by Malaysia, the US, United Kingdom, and countries from the Muslim and Arab states.   
In that status, the MILF now would be fighting a “just war” or bellum justum to preserve the territory which our government handed them in the name of “peace.”   The US, Malaysia and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) sympathetic to the MILF could intervene to preserve their “independence” under cover of seeking to restore a status quo ante bellum.  In which case, the betrayed Filipino people could no longer invoke their right to secure their country’s territorial integrity because the BBL allowed the MILF to  assert their sovereignty over those territories which our government granted  by sheer stupidity.    
So, the war that could have been resolved by the peaceful grant of autonomy or by an all-out war for which the Armed Forces always managed to maintain the upper hand is now open to foreign intervention.  From thereon, there will be a perpetual civil war like what is happening now in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.
It will be a long, arduous, cruel and bloody war because we allowed ourselves to be diplomatically, politically and militarily isolated. It will be most difficult because the MILF will employ religion as their cover to accuse us of discrimination and persecution when before they were agitated by Malaysia, the Muslims and Christians alike were living peacefully under one community.

rpkapunan@gmail.com

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