Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Robin Padilla: It pains me to support the BBL

Cenon B. Bibe Jr


Actor Robin Padilla on Wednesday morning said it pained him so much to support the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) but was doing it for the sake of peace.

“Napakasakit sa akin na sumuporta sa BBL,” (It pains me so much to support the BBL) Padilla said, speaking on Failon Ngayon on radio dzMM.

He explained that the BBL would mean abandoning the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the creation of which he supported under the leadership of “Brother Nur (Misuari).”

Misuari was chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) which entered into a peace agreement with the government of then-President Fidel Ramos and led to the ARMM. The ARMM was envisioned to allow Muslim Filipinos to administer their own region.

However, another group of Muslims, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) broke away from the MNLF and continued their quest for an independent Islamic state.

The proposed BBL is the result of peace talks between the MILF and the government of President Benigno Aquino III.

Padilla admitted that earlier he “neither supported (the BBL) nor rejected it” so he asked proponents to explain to him its benefits. “May maganda at hindi maganda” sa BBL, the actor said.

What is not good, he said, would be the billions of pesos to be allocated for the Bangsamoro political entity.

He recalled that during the ARMM the problem was billions of pesos provided for the autonomous region eventually fell into the hands of traditional politicians.
“Nasaan ang pera?” (Where did the money go?) the actor said.

He explained, “Nawala ang mga rebolusyonaryo—ang mga MNLF na may ipinaglalaban—napalitan ng mga traditional politicians. Sila na ngayon ang nakikinabang.” (The revolutionaries—the MNLF who were advocates—were replaced by traditional politicians. They now benefit from it.)

“Hindi kaya ganito rin ang mangyari (sa BBL)?” (Could this also happen?) Padilla said.

What Padilla liked about the BBL, he said, was the imposition of Shariah Law which is based on Islamic teachings.

A convert to Islam, the actor said Shariah was embodied in the Constitution and was already being observed in the country, like when Muslims are married.

Asked by host Ted Failon about fears that a watered down BBL could lead to further bloodshed in Mindanao, Padilla said he would personally ask the MILF to help prevent it.

Padilla said we cannot afford a war at this time. “Hindi po natin afford ngayon ang gera,” he said.

“Under threat tayo ng China. Under threat tayo ng Malaysia. Panahon ngayon ng pagkakaisa,” (We are under threat from China. We are under threat from Malaysia. This is the time to unite) he concluded.

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