BBL is dead, long live BBL PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 January 2016 10:33

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

“The King is dead, Long Live the King”.  This is the shout of a King’s Coroner when a successor is named immediately after the King dies. The BBL unlike a coin with two sides, is like a cube with four sides. The Philippine Government on one side, The U.S. Government on the other side, The Malaysian government on the third side and some European nations and the Japanese Government on the fourth side. This four governments are stakeholders of the Bangsa Moro Basic Law (BBL) and they played an important role in its almost approval by the Philippine President to establish a different form of autonomy for some warring Moro tribes in Central Mindanao and led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Force (MILF), that has waged war for almost four decades with the Philippine Government. In the name of total peace, President BS Aquino III is offering the BBL for them, after a lengthy negotiation with the government’s peace panel and made possible with the assistance of the three foreign governments. However, Congress after also a lengthy discussion and debate, found out that some provisions of the BBL are unconstitutional that may not bring total peace but unreliable guarantee for total peace in war-torn Mindanao. It was also discovered by constitutional authorities that the BBL autonomy was granting a portion of Mindanao a status of a “state within a state”.

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The BBL is still under discussion in Senate and most of our senators opined that the BBL is dead or already disapproved. However, the seat of power in Malacanang is still hoping beyond hope that the BBL will live or will still be approved, not in his term and it might be on the next administration. This is an open-ended statement coming from the Office of the President. Especially election for the Presidency is coming by May and the administration has a candidate for the presidency. The danger is, as if  the present administration is so sure of still retaining the power in the next administration and therefore can still tackle the BBL issue until it will be approved. It is not an impossible dream especially the powerful and rich governments of America, Japan, Malaysia and some European nations are behind the present administration.

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Recent press releases are geared towards that suspicion. Multi-millions dollars for development in the BBL areas are poured by those nations/stakeholders and their governments and even promised of a continued support for the development of BBL areas, because their governments believe that the BBL will still be approved by the Philippine government. Rich and powerful governments will never invest in an area without a guarantee that there will be a “return of investments”. Because rich and powerful nations are never charitable institutions.

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The BBL negotiations with the government and the foreign stakeholders are like employing a guerrilla tactic in war. While a ceasefire is effected, the wiser protagonist is  busy buying new assault and heavy weapons and stockpiling ammunition and provisions.This maybe the real reason as to why some peace panel members from the government side is threatening the country especially Mindanao on the entry of extremist and radicals in Mindanao, should the BBL be disapproved. Those peace panel members prefer a violation of the Philippine Constitution rather for the government to go to war to protect the Constitution. They might be in the wrong place, perhaps, they should join the “Salvation Army”.