From Day One: The only thing getting in the way of President BS Aquino’s personal agenda is the Philippine Constitution. The flawed-by-design Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) fiasco is but the most recent example. Negotiating with terrorists is one thing, allowing a top representative — the Man Formerly Known as Mohagher Iqbal — to sign legal documents using a fake name is another. That plus layer upon layer of irregularities have not stopped President BS Aquino and his henchmen from continuing to force the BBL down Filipinos’ throats, insisting that the alternative is war — a sad parroting of the position the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front has taken and chief negotiators Teresita Quintos Deles and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer continue to defend.
At the very core of the multi-layered cake of dysfunctional thinking that is the BBL lies its core flaw — its fundamental incompatibility with the 1987 Constitution, the legacy of President BS Aquino’s own mother, the late former President Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino. Way back in April 2014, constitutional law expert Senator Miriam Santiago had already pointed out that the BBL was illegal — calling it an agreement that grants the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rights just shy of complete secession. No surprise around how far astray this initiative has gone, considering that President BS Aquino consciously took a stealthy approach to engineering this scam. Indeed, he had been in secret talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leadership since 2011. But even then, he had already attracted criticism for the project’s blatant lack of regard for protocols and established channels.
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Back then, warning beings issued by even President BS Aquino’s closest allies about these improprieties were remarkably prescient…
Senator Francis Escudero, found reason to question the propriety of the President secretly meeting with Murad.
“I think the President may have been ill-advised to meet personally as he (Murad) is not even his counterpart. And it might not be a good tactic in the negotiations,” he said.
He said Deles should “protect the President from such things.”
“She should just do her job and give her President deniability with respect to this early stage of the negotiations,” Escudero said.
Contrary to what BBL apologists are now claiming, the “peace” deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was not put in jeopardy by the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) police officers in Mamasapano in January. The deal has always been a dud — borderline criminal even.
The scariest part of the deal, as Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao pointed out in the past is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front being given authority over their own police force. That means these bandits will be sharing with the “Central Government” a capability to apply state-sanctioned violence on its citizens. Consider that, even without that authority, they already see themselves as possessing that right to effect violence on innocent civilians. Scary indeed!
Offering the MILF “autonomy” to govern and “keep the peace” over a big chunk of Mindanao is like giving a blowtorch to a two year old to play with and then leaving him to watch over your house alone. It just does not make sense. The Bangsamoro Basic Law just does not make sense — not when you step back from the distracting detail and look at it from outside the square that imprisons the Filipino mind.
On top of it all, is the “inconvenient” matter of Iqbal’s true identity. Who the heck is he? It’s been almost two months since the issue of his real identity and even his nationality was brought to question and any statement to clarify that matter coming from the proper authorities has yet to be issued through official government channels.
Consider, then, the families of tens of thousands of soldiers and police officers who died gallantly fighting the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the New People’s Army (NPA) over much of the country’s recent history. What would they be thinking of successive governments who rewarded violence with sovereign-sanctioned legitimacy? The MNLF was given their Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is on the verge of being rewared with a Bangsamoro “nation”, and the NPA’s bosses have all but infested Philippine Congress.
It’s time we abandon President BS Aquino’s delusional vanity-fueled fantasy and get back to regarding the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and all those that embrace organised violence as a means to resolving their grievances for what they are — murderous terrorists who had found a sucker of a government to hoodwink into thinking their “demands” are worthy of a seat in a table of equals that includes the office of the the Philippine president no less.
[Photo courtesy Channel News Asia.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.