For peace sake,give it a try PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 July 2015 10:49


BY Jack Edward Enriquez

Topping the news today is all about the Bangsamoro Basic Law that is placed under scrutiny and discussions point by point in the House Ad Hoc Committee for possible revision or amendments in order for it to become legally compatible with the existing laws of the land before the eyes of the Supreme Court.

Aside from that, a series of consultations have also been conducted among the people of Mindanao Specifically those in the affected areas supposed to be covered by the proposed law on Muslim autonomy.

In simple language, the ongoing congressional process is like doing the “finishing touches” for approval and passage and finally signed by the President into law. But down the road stands the Supreme Court, the highest arbiter of the land, which is mandated to see to it that said law is strictly in accordance with our Constitution otherwise the BBL will be repudiated as unconstitutional. In truth, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and constitutional analysts are so wary about its congruence with the constitution.

To the Muslim belonging to the MILF, the Bangsamoro political entity is the right solution to the decades-old armed conflict in Mindanao. And so with the Executive Department in Malacanang, administration legislators and some Muslim-Christian peace advocates while the lumads and indigenous people are hanging on to their wait-and-see attitude. But to the MNLF, BIFF and the rest it does not answer their call for political reformation. More so the bandits, kidnappers, robbers, extortionists, terrorists, etc. just don’t care about it for they can only have enough through lawlessness.

Certainly the Mindanaoans want peace. We are peace loving people who deserve to live in peace. But for almost five decades now we have not seen peace lucidly and absolutely except for its silhouette in the distant horizon. Why? Because of several factors that require serious attention to put things in their proper perspective through genuine reforms and discipline.

Tremendous efforts have already been exerted to bring about long and lasting peace here in Mindanao, but apparently in vain. In fact, many peace advocates have gone without seeing the fruit of their labor.

Pinning all hopes on the Bangsamoro entity, the BBL is evidently running after time in Congress. From the Ad Hoc Committee to plenary session, endorsed to the Senate Committee on Local Government and the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, then to the Bicameral Committee for final approval.

Naturally obstacle is inevitable, such as harassment in civilian communities or against military patrols by the BIFF and terrorists. The joint efforts for peace was badly affected by the Mamasapano incident for one reason or another as the passage of the BBL has to cross the stormy waters in Congress.

From media reports we’re dismayed to learn of the alleged railroading in the Lower House, payola or incentive given to supporters, bias in opinions, etc.

According to surveys, a big percentage of he Mindanaoans are skeptical or having second thought on the outcome of the Bangsamoro entity due to the volatile situation in certain areas, sporadic clashes, political intervention and corruption although truly committed to bring about genuine peace for all Mmdanaoans regardless of creed and belief, culture and status.

Despite the ill-timed issues to the detriment of the passage of BBL in Congress, the people of Mindanao cannot deny that they are thirsty and hungry for peace. Many had died without knowing what peace really is. The situation aggravated more simply because most of us are overrun with suspicion and mistrust that contributed why peace has gone astray to this day.

Nonetheless, for the sake of peace, let’s give it a try with all trust and sincerity in our hearts, those who are outside the proposed territory can stand witness to what will happen thereafter when peace is virtually enjoyed by the next generations to come.