Diabolical PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 May 2015 08:28

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — It’s only a matter of weeks before the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region is approved and signed into law by the president — without amending the constitution. Muslim separatists from down south have declared their adverse support to the law that will scuttle the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) created for them and the other Muslim groups by the Cory Constitution. It is a paper that will declare the right of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) along with its constituents to govern themselves, applying state and shariah laws in the area of “confined Muslim autonomy.”

For the record, Congressman Celso L. Lobregat tried to stop the vote from proceeding last week by the ad hoc committee because of the “opt-in” provision inserted at the last minute by Malacanang that would still make it possible for cities and provinces opting out of the new ARMM from crawling in. The latest to voice out his objection to his province’s inclusion in the new ARMM is Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao. He will dislocate his left shoulder, this time, pounding on the table to get his view across.

Next month, the MILF and Malacanang shall be toasting their champagne glasses and celebrating a victory. The legitimacy of the MILF shall have been recognized. After that, its guns shall be pointed at the voters during a referendum (of some kind) to ratify the peace law and, thereby, legitimize the MILF’s claim for self-governance and, depending on how politics is played out after the presidential election next year and the involvement of the observer-countries, eventual self-rule. This basic law will no doubt move the MILF an inch closer to its ultimate hidden goal of creating not a Bangsamoro political entity but a sovereign juridical entity independent from the Philippine republic. This, too, is Nur Misuari’s new quest for his faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) — INDEPENDENCE. He declared it so before he ordered the attack on Zamboanga on Sept. 9, 2013.

After the vote, the next flash point is the ARM election. You will note that the acting governor of the ARMM is from Basilan. The interim officials of the ARMM and their Malacanang sponsors are hoping that the ARMM elections will bolster the legitimacy of the new ARMM. Dissatisfied by its non-inclusion in the peace process, the two other factions of the MNLF might unleash its dreaded fighters to disrupt the polls. They’ve done this before.

And what about the dozens of well-armed private armies in Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Maguindanao? What do they have to gain or lose if they join the “Sovereign Muslim Nation”? Will the ARMM government go after them and seize their superior firearms, something that all past administrations deplorably failed to do? While “misunderstandings are best prevented by pen and ink,” how do we prevent violent sieges and atrocities from happening?

Zamboanga is apprehensive about the imminent outcome of the peace agreement because of painful lessons learned. We felt the earth shake from bomb explosions that have killed countless of innocent civilians, including women and children, from the declaration of Martial Law in the ’70s until now. We’ve seen the horrible effects of a terror attack, the heinous and savage siege on our glorious city, the inhuman results of a burnt municipality inflicted by ruthless, armed raiders (Ipil).    Diabolical.