PEACETALK: We have not abandoned this position, and we will not abandon it

Want create site? With Free visual composer you can do it easy.

(Opening statement of Robert M. Alonto, Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and senior member of the MILF peace panel at the Media Roundtable at the Pearlmont Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City on 21 February 2015).

The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), in light of the Mamasapano incident and the subsequent volte-face by legislators working for its passage in Congress, is now consigned to an uncertain fate. Senator Bongbong Marcos has a more imaginative description for it when he said that the BBL is now ‘comatose’.

The BBL, in light of the Mamasapano incident and the subsequent volte-face by legislators working for its passage in Congress, is now consigned to an uncertain fate. Senator Bongbong Marcos has a more imaginative description for it when he said that the BBL is now ‘comatose’.

Yet, there are hopes that the BBL will still be passed by Congress. The 64 dollar question is: Which BBL? The BBL according to Congressman Rufus Rodriguez and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano or the BBL that is – in the words of MILF Chair, Bro. Al Haj Murad Ebrahim – the “mutually-agreed” one?

From the time the BBL left the portals of the BTC, we have always held on to the principled position that the BBL should and must be in accordance with the FAB and CAB. Government ought to have held on to the same.

This is not just wishful thinking on our part. This is not mere imagination. This is a commitment of government in the peace negotiations. Otherwise, it would not have signed the FAB and CAB from which the BBL draws its rationale and legitimacy.

We have not abandoned this position, and we will not abandon it. It is for this reason that we stand behind Brother Chairman Al Haj Murad who stated without equivocation that the MILF will not accept any watered down version of the BBL let alone a mangled one that is far removed from the spirit and letter of the FAB.

Even GPH Peace Paned Chair Miriam Coronel Ferrer, perhaps in a moment of epiphany, has realized the logic and validity of our position when she said: “No BBL is better than a mangled BBL.”

It is very unfortunate that the BBL, not to mention the MILF, suffered the worst collateral damage inflicted by the fallout of the Mamasapano incident. In fact, given the emerging facts surrounding the Mamasapano incident, we are inclined to believe that the BBL was, and is, a target, apart from the so-called terrorists Marwan and Usman, of the people behind the debacle in Mamasapano.

At this point in time, when the MILF’s sincerity is being questioned and we are being crucified in public, and when ludicrous conditions have been imposed on us in connection with the Mamasapano incident, we are now deprived of the luxury of focus and freedom to argue our case vis-à-vis the BBL before the bar of public opinion. For no matter what we say, no matter what appeasement some of us resort to, we will not be listened to because in the eyes of high officials the likes of Cayetano et al and sectors of the mainstream media, we are villains that do not deserve such a thing as the BBL.

And even as we speak now, the politicians claim that the MILF entered into a political agreement with the Executive branch alone, not with the Legislative and Judiciary branches of government. What sorcery is this? Given a hypothetical situation wherein we have to negotiate again with government, whom do we talk to – Malacanang? Congress? Supreme Court?

No wonder why perhaps renegade groups such as the BIFF do not want to participate in peace talks. They are as confused as we are now as to which in the “holy trinity” of government is government.

So, tell us: At this point in time, when the MILF’s sincerity is being questioned and we are being crucified in public, and when ludicrous conditions have been imposed on us in connection with the Mamasapano incident, we are now deprived of the luxury of focus and freedom to argue our case vis-à-vis the BBL before the bar of public opinion. For no matter what we say, no matter what appeasement some of us resort to, we will not be listened to because in the eyes of high officials the likes of Cayetano et al and sectors of the mainstream media, we are villains that do not deserve such a thing as the BBL.

And even as we speak now, the politicians claim that the MILF entered into a political agreement with the Executive branch alone, not with the Legislative and Judiciary branches of government. What sorcery is this? Given a hypothetical situation wherein we have to negotiate again with government, whom do we talk to – Malacanang? Congress? Supreme Court?

No wonder why perhaps renegade groups such as the BIFF do not want to participate in peace talks. They are as confused as we are now as to which in the “holy trinity” of government is government.

So, tell us: What do we do?

In grappling with this colossal injustice – nay, national madness – we are now facing, we can only take refuge in the fact that we are a revolutionary organization of the Moro liberation movement and shall remain a revolutionary organization until those who call themselves our “partners in peace” finally learn, minus the political gimmickry and showbiz fanfare, the real meaning of peace and the real meaning of justice; in short, until they are able to really understand, in the words of the surviving framers of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, that “Bangsamoro is about the development of people, not the constitutionality of words.”

Thank you and good day. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Peacetalk is open to anyone who wishes to share his/her piece on peace in Mindanao)

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

Comments

comments