MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 3 Feb) – Congress has left the Bangsamoro Basic Law to die on the bloodstained path to elusive, if not illusive, peace in Mindanao, and so it can now be said that it was a bill no lawmaker wanted passed. At least not after the Mamasapano Tragedy that rekindled anti-Moro sentiments and which opportunists like Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Grace Poe-Llamanzares have used as building blocks of their ambitions for the presidency.
Never mind if the BBL versions that were tackled in both chambers of Congress were already mangled, stripped of the spirit and substance of the original bill crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission. No, the representatives and senators were not talking about breathing life into something that was meant to give flesh to peace; they were debating on how to abort it so that it would come into this world without a whimper.
“Who doesn’t want peace?” We have heard this often from even among the sworn enemies of Moro self-determination. Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat leads the pack in the House. In the Senate, Juan Ponce Enrile, has joined the band of vultures. It seems the burning of Jolo and other crimes against the Moro people during his stint as Martial Law-era defense minister had not sated his lust for blood in Mindanao.
This in itself is a shameful tragedy beyond compare. Who would have imagined that decades after the overthrow of the Marcos regime, Enrile, aided by the dictator’s unrepentant son, would still be around to help frustrate the aspirations for peace in Mindanao? Who would have imagined too that Enrile and Marcos Jr., who were at each other’s throats 30 years ago this month after the former betrayed his master, would find themselves on the same side again?
Patriotism? Maybe. Yet, if we should examine motives, their rantings sound more like Freudian slips of one who wanted to settle an old score to the point of sacrificing a political goal that would benefit not only the Moro people but also the nation as a whole. Enrile has forgotten that the Edsa uprising saved him and his cabal from the firepower of the dictator. But he has never forgotten that the turn of events forced him to abandon the original objective of the coup against Marcos – install him as president and head of a junta.
For Marcos Jr., it’s all about avenging the ignominy of his family having to flee Malacanang to escape the angry mobs that would have skinned them alive. I can hear him say to Aquino: “Your mother’s supporters drove us out of power in a shameful way, now go leave the Palace without a legacy to your name. If this leads to another war, so be it.”
Nonetheless, Aquino shares the blame. The Mamasapano misadventure gave the filibusters and opportunists an excuse to clobber the BBL to death.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)