House leaders to peace advocates: BBL won’t be less than ARMM

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QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/06 May) – The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that Congress will pass will not be less than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that it seeks to replace, officials of the House of Representatives assured a delegation of peace advocates led by Mindanao’s lone Cardinal, Orlando Quevedo.

“One thing is sure, it will be very hard to have a BBL that has less powers than the ARMM,” Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong, Deputy Speaker for Mindanao, said during a 75-minute dialogue at the Speaker’s office on Monday afternoon. Belmonte and other officials nodded.

The government and MILF peace panels had agreed in 2012 that “the status quo is unacceptable” and that they would work for the establishment of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the ARMM.

MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal had repeatedly said that what the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) provides and what the BBL has articulated in its provisions is a future Bangsamoro government that would be “less than independence but more than the ARMM.”

Concerns have been raised over proposed amendments to the draft BBL that the 75-member Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL will introduce as what will come out may be a “mangled” BBL or a “watered down” BBL that will make the future Bangsamoro less autonomous than the present ARMM.

Constitution, Comprehenshive Agreement

According to Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong, chair of the House Committee on Muslim Affairs and a former commander of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in pushing for the BBL, “we are guided by this CAB and above all, by the Constitution. “

“If there is something in the CAB that is contrary to the Constitution. let us find a language that will conform to the two – the Constitution and the CAB,” Loong said, adding “there is no BBL without this (peace) agreement.”

TALKING PEACE.  (L to R)  House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Pangalian Balindong of Lanao del Sur, former Comelec chair Christian Monsod, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.,  Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo,  Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong and Samiria Gutoc during a 75-minute dialogue with Speaker Belmonte on the Bangsamoro peace process Monday afternoon, May 4, shortly before Congress resumed sessions after a six-week break. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO.
TALKING PEACE. (L to R) House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Pangalian Balindong of Lanao del Sur, former Comelec chair Christian Monsod, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Friends of Peace lead convenor Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong and Samiria Gutoc during a 75-minute dialogue with Speaker Belmonte on the Bangsamoro peace process Monday afternoon, May 4, shortly before Congress resumed sessions after a six-week break. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO.

“We are just acting on the basis of what has been agreed by the executive branch of government and the MILF. So as co-equal branch of government, we belong to the legislative branch, that is our job now, to put everything in order,” he said.

Belmonte said what bothers him is how the “common man” understands the BBL.

He said some “might think that when somebody is questioning the constitutionality or what to do this way or that way, they might think that one, the national government is reneging on agreements. Yung expectations might be too high because of itong sinasabi mo na ‘di naman masama kung ilagay mo yan dyan.’ You understand that this is subject to negotiation. You understand it, I understand I but does the common man understand?”

Quevedo, lead convenor of Friends of Peace (FoP), a group of peace advocates and peace networks promoting the passage of a Basic Law that would respect the Bangsamoro’s right to self determination and provide them genuine autonomy, expressed concern over news reports quoting representatives as saying they will delete provisions that are “unconstitutional” but actually conform to the Constitution and the CAB.

“Why remove them?”

Last month, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the 75-member Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL said in several media interviews that eight of the 250 provisions in the BBL will be deleted because of questions of constitutionality.

Among these, he said, are the provisions authorizing the Bangsamoro government to have its own Commission on Elections, Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit and  Commission on Human Rights.

The proposed BBL, however, provides that the creation of the Bangsamoro Commission on Audit is “without prejudice to the power, authority, and duty of the national Commission on Audit to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and the use of funds and property owned and held in trust by any government instrumentality, including GOCCs;” the proposed Bangsamoro Civil Service Office which shall develop and administer Bangsamoro government employees and officers is also “without prejudice to the Civil Service Commission’s powers;” the Bangsamoro Electoral Office “shall be part of the Commission on Elections;” and the Bangsamoro Commission on Human Rights (BCHR) which shall have investigatory and prosecutorial powers shall in the performance of its functions, coordinate with the Commission on Human Rights.”

The present ARMM has set up its Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) as this was mandated by RA 9054, the basic law of the ARMM.

Quevedo cautioned against deleting provisions that “would make the Bangsmoro less powerful than the present ARMM.”

An example is the RHRC from where the proposed BCHR was patterned and other bodies already set up by the ARMM “so why remove them now?”

The Peace Council, which submitted to President Aquino on Monday morning its report on the BBL, said in its letter to the Filipino people that “overall, we agreed that the BBL is overwhelmingly acceptable and deserves the support of all Filipinos. On the few provisions that needed some refinement, we offered recommendation.” (see other story)

Two mandates

Lawyer Christian Monsod, a former member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution and former chair of the Commission on Election noted that the BBL “is supposed to give life to two mandates of the Constitution: to create an autonomous region with real autonomy and to deliver social justice and human development to the peoples of Bangsamoro because we have neglected and oppressed them for so long. There are two mandates of the Constitution there but the question is, are we fulfilling it by all of these restrictions we are putting there so that they would have no real autonomy?”

Fr. Bert Layson, head of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate’s Inter-religious Dialogue said residents in the conflict-affected areas may not know the details of the BBL “but what they are just waiting for is peace. They are tired of war, Muslim man o Christian o Lumad. Pagod na talaga sila sa gyera. Naghihintay sila na ito na ang panahon.” (They are really tired of war. They are waiting if now is, indeed, the time).

 PEACE. Mindanao’s lone Cardinal, Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, Archbishop of Cotabato, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Fr. Roberto Layson of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate’s Inter-Religious Dialogue flash the Peace sign after a 75-minute dialogue between House leaders and representatives of the Friends of Peace led by Quevedo on Monday afternoon, May 4. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

PEACE. Mindanao’s lone Cardinal, Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, Archbishop of Cotabato, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Fr. Roberto Layson of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate’s Inter-Religious Dialogue flash the Peace sign after a 75-minute dialogue between House leaders and representatives of the Friends of Peace led by Quevedo on Monday afternoon, May 4. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Amina Rasul, president of the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy residents in conflict areas “don’t care about these legalities” for as long as the BBL promises a better future for them, “jobs, peace, education.”

Other members of the Friends of Peace who attended the meeting were Samira Gutoc of the Young Moro Professionals, who read some provisions comparing what is provided in the present law governing the ARMM and the proposed BBL, and Sister Arnold Maria Noel of Balay Rehabilitation Center and the Mindanao Solidarity Network.

With Belmonte, Balindong and Loong were Misamis Occidental, and Rep. Henry Oaminal. Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, who came in towards the end of the meeting.

No certificate of urgency yet

Congress resumed sessions Monday after a six-week break to deliberate on priority legislations, including the BBL.

President Aquino, however, has yet to issue a certificate of urgency on the matter of the BBL” “I think he wants to take a look at it first before he does. As of now, wala pa,” Belmonte told MindaNews.

Rodriguez, who was not in the meeting with Belmonte,  told MindaNews last month that he expected the certificate of urgency to be issued by the President “when sessions resume.”

MindaNews sources privy to the Bangsamoro peace process said Murad met with the President on January 13 this year to express concern over the absence of a written certificate of urgency. At that time, Congress was expected to pass the BBL before Congress took a break in the third week of March.

On January 25, however, a total of 66 persons were killed — 44 members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police (PNP-SAF), 17 from the MILF and five civilians — in a law enforcement action purportedly to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who was also killed.

But the BBL became yet another casualty of the law enforcement operation that was not coordinated with the local or regional police, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and the peace process mechanisms agreed upon by the government and MILF peace panels, as the resurfacing of biases and prejudices against the Moro further delayed the passage of the law.

“Fair, just acceptable”

The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed by the government and MILF on October 15, 2012 provides that the draft BBL that would be submitted by the Transition Commission “shall be certified as an urgent bill by the President.”

The 15-member government-MILF Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) which drafted the BBL, submitted it to Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Belmonte on September 10, 2014, in rites held in Malacanang.

PEACE TALK. Mindanao's lone Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, with House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., other House officials and members of Friends of Peace. MIndaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
PEACE TALK. Mindanao’s lone Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, with House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., other House officials and members of Friends of Peace. MIndaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

During that handover, President Aquino assured members of Congress that the BBL was crafted to be “fair, just, and acceptable to all, whether they are Moros, Lumads, or Christians.”

A former congressman and senator, the President said he understood the need for Congress to thoroughly review the draft BBL but “we ask Congress, however, to pass this bill in the soonest possible time.”

“If we are able to legislate this, we can give our Moro brothers enough time to prepare, thus enabling them to nurture the seeds of meaningful governance which were planted for the Bangsamoro,” Aquino said.

In their historic meeting in Japan on August 4, 2011, Aquino and MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim agreed to fast-track the peace process so that an agreement could be reached within the first half of Aquino’s six-year term (2010 to 2013) and implementation would be done during the second half (2013 to 2016)

Reckoning it from May 6, 2015, only 421 days are left to June 30, 2016, the end of the Aquino administration.

The peace roadmap of the government and MILF had earlier targeted June 30, 2016 as the inauguration of the Bangsamoro government, supposedly after a year-long transition. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews


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  1. If the Filipinos cannot get truth and justice without the deception of this evil #BangsamoroBarbaricLaw now!

    How can we attain it when the criminals and terrorists are freely roaming around in their newly claimed “territory” with our billions of money to continue their kidnapping and criminality! #NoTruthandJustice #NotoEvilBBL #BurnBBL!

    • If that’s what you are thinking, then you are the evil one! It only shows your ignorance towards the law. FYI, BBL has the objective to control strife and violence in the region, and promote social and economic development and protect and promote the culture of the Moros and the distinct practice of their Faith.. Majority of the Filipino support the BBL! #Alloutpeace #YestoBBL

      • Correction, if you are reading the news majority of the Filipino people and 65$ of the people in Mindanao are overwhelmingly against this #BangsamoroBarbaricLaw!

      • I would laugh at your comment if the situation wasn’t so serious. I would also say that you are a complete fool but a fool would not recognise his own folly. The comments I have read on here are so stupid that my brain aches in bemusement. Who is ignorant here? Are you a moslem practicing taqiyyah or are you so dangerously progressive that you have actually lost your sanity? BBL have an objective to control strife and violence? Really? How wonderful, let’s see how that works out shall we.

      • That objective is what the peace panel would have us to believe but read the Congress version and check if you find what you have just stated.

    • Ikaw ang evil te! Maybe if you educate yourself more about BBL then you might actually see the good it will bring all of us most especially our Muslim brothers and sisters.

      • BBL is only good for the Muslims but detrimental to the majority of the Filipino people. Try convincing majority of the people in Mindanao who are overwhelmingly against this evil BBL!

      • Maybe you should remove your head from your backside and look around. You are clearly the one in desperate need for an education in common sense.

      • Mark: I suggest you read the BBL and try to put your shoe in people who will eventual receive (if the BBL is approved), 75B in the first year; 2 chunks of 12B and 15B every year plus a share in the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment). It seems unfair to other areas of the country and I bet you will see those MILF and peace negotiators laughing their way to the bank because there are protion which are not subjected to national government audits. Just have another look at the Congress version of the BBL.
        Besides all these “autonomy and territorial” mambo-jambo, the Bangsamoro will have control of the air above their area(s), immigration, customs to state some perks. And all those areas mentioned as ARMM areas as per the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, have been inserted as part of Bangsamoro in the Congress approved draft.
        What does the above mean? Bangsamoro can impose a levy to all flights crossing Mindanao on top of the current overflights being paid to the national government. That is extra cost to airlines which will be passed on to consumers. Imagine Bangsamoro having control of immigration and customs. Even without immigration control, they have cuddled wanted terrorists for so long what more once they have control! There are more is you just care to re-read it, once or twice and see through it objectively and not riding on a band wagon of the administration’s flowery rhetorics.

  2. Passing the BBL
    in its substantive meaningful form will create a new
    region of peace and prosperity and end decades long conflict and destitution
    for Muslim Filipinos.

  3. Pass the BBL. Refine enhance and leave
    constitutionality to the SC. and leave ratification to a scheduled plebiscite
    within the year. I-push na yan. Wag tayong papaapekto sa iilan na naninira dito..

      • There will never be peace. Read the Koran. here is a sample; “do not hanker for peace with the infidel; behead them where ever you find them”. 47;4

      • Look forward but peace is certainly not what awaits you. Ask yourself, have their met demands bought peace so far? Did armm bring peace or more bloodshed, cowardly murder and violence? There will be no peace until the entire world is moslem, apparently. In other words, until civilization is wiped out and all that’s left is generations of inbred bearded morons enforcing strict sharia. You should fight this while you have a chance, whether moslem, muslim christian or other this will not be good, do not support this insanity.

  4. We are positive that BBL would be passed.. All of it’s objective is for the goodness of the Filipino in Mindanao, whether they are Moros, Lumads, or Christians.. It is the right thing to do..

  5. We must decide whether the Philippines should remain with one sovereign authority or disperse it to another with its own government, set of values and objectives. There should only be one sovereign power in this country. We cannot have two and believe they will live in peace.

    One of the provisions of BBL allows the Bangsamoro to expand to its neighboring areas with a minimal vote by that territory. With agitation, terror and inducements, the neighboring Christian communities can be swallowed up by “legal” annexation.

    We are seeing the possibility of the whole of Mindanao becoming a Muslim country!

    • You are right. it is jihad. just as Indonesia and Malaysia were once Hind/Buddhist countries but were obliterated by moslem jihad.
      Their agenda is no different for Mindanao. By deception/taqqiyya, mass breeding and violence.

      • Pnoy and his peace panel does not see it that way. They are playing into the hands of Malaysia who are the sponsors of the MILF. 75B is a lot of money and annually the Bangsamoro will receive two chunks of 12B and 15B. There are other neglected areas in the country because our cultural mentally is that of regional mentality – Ilocanos in the north, Pampango in Cenral Luzon and so forth. The sitting President will always take care of his/her regional groupings. Thus, as an example, Bicol, Samar- Leyte, and Mindanao have been neglected – no President was elected from these areas.
        Withe the billions in dole-out, will the others not follow suit to ask for the same or comparable amount form the government?

  6. Sa Mga Mahal na Senators at Honorable men sa Congress,

    Kung maari lang, pag-aralan ninyong mabuti ang BBL na iyan. Ako ay against sa BBL dahil galing yan sa mga kamay na syang ginamit sa pagpatay sa SAF 44 at sa iba pang humahabol sa mga terorista.

    Kung kailangan mang ipasa ninyo iyan, paki sigurado na lang na sa bandang huli ay hindi magkawatak-watak ang bansang ito. Hindi natin papayagan na may dalawang gobyerno sa sa isang bansa. We are campaigning for One Nation, One Government, One People. Kung may kailangang alisin sa BBL na yan, alisin ninyo. Nakasalalay sa inyo ang kinabukasan ng mga kabataang Pilipino.

    Maraming Salamat,
    I AM SAF

  7. You cannot coexist with crocodiles in your home. You cannot coexist with an ideology of hate intolerance and murder of all unbelievers. Their false prophet mohammed commanded them; “Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; Behead them where ever you find them”. 47;4; “until there are no unbelievers”, For that is the agenda of islam. To take all of Mindanao, just as they obliterated the original Hindu/Buddhist inhabitants of Indonesia and Malaysia by deception mass breeding and violence.
    The Koran also teaches them to lie and deceive it is called taqqiyya. Vowing peace until their numbers are sufficient to revert to violence to obliterate you. “allah will absolve your vows with the unbelievers”. 9;3
    There should be one civilised law for all Philippine people, based on the Christian ethos of “Love your neighbour/enemy”. Matthew 5;44; that all the peaceful prosperous western countries benefit from today. That many millions of moslems are escaping to from the mayhem and human rights abuses that exist in moslem lands caused by islamic laws and ethos of hate and violence.
    It is foolish and madness to reward their barbaric heinous acts of violence that has taken many thousands of innocent lives by giving them an autonomous Islamic state from which they will continue to commit more heinous acts of terror to demand more sovereign Philippine Territory.

    • I’m shocked reading the comments on here, they actually believe they are voting for peace. Good lord what is going on in the world? Has everyone lost their minds?? Remember when you look back at this, remember how you voted for “peace” people of Mindanao. Now i’ll sit back and watch your slow and unfortunate, but once avoidable suicide.

  8. The suicide of Mindanao. You have planted the seeds now get ready to reap your harvest. Your naivety will cost you and your children dearly, say farewell to your beautiful island as you reward and welcome more savagery.

  9. There will be much more blood spilled now before the civilised people of Mindanao prevent their beautifull island being taken by more deception and heinous acts of terror committed by moslems.

  10. Comments below are Fear mongers who doesnt even live and suffered with people of Mindanao. What provisions do you fear rather than discriminate a people base on belief of Moro? Can you site it one by one? Can you talked rationally rather than by express fear of unknown?

    • The people in Mindanao are not just the Moro or more appropriately, the Muslim. There are also Christians and members of other religious sect. All of them have been neglected just like some areas in the country (see my post further up this thread). There a number of provisions which stoke fear to most people that are non-muslims and to the entire population:
      1) The opt-in provision – requires just 10% of an area’s registered voters to opt-in to the Bangsamoro. Thus, even if 90% does not want to be included, the 10% will hold sway. It that democracy? Is that the fairness that most people in Mindanao have longed for for centuries? This is a expansion in every sense.
      2) Control of immigration,customs and the skies above. That is similar to having another sovereign country within the Philippines. it is a preclude to secession, which was the original aim of the MILF and MNLF and their armed groups the BIFF and Abu Sayaf. Imagine what a group can do with control of immigration and customs away from the national government’s monitoring.Even now criminal elements were able to enter the MILF territory and practically took up residence in their area.
      3) Too much money to be doled out: 75B in the first year; 27B every year plus a share in the IRA and some portions are not subject to audits.

      So the BBL is very palatable to those who will be the “leaders” of Bangsamoro. They will be laughing their way to the bank and to Bahamas while the real beneficiaries will receive the morsel. Meanwhile, we the taxpayers in other parts of the country who are toiling day in and day out to survive will be working for the Bangsamoro.

      Please read the new version and do not be biased. We are all Filipinos, we have to unite for the common good of the country and not just for the political and financial ambitions of the few. We are all disenfranchised because of too many corrupt leaders that has come and gone. Let us not allow the Color of Billions to produce another bunch of corrupt leaders who will fatten themselves while the rest of us are fighting for morsel. Let us not be sway by their rhetoric. We as a nation are all for peace. War is cruel and there are no winners only losers!

      • Moro and Lumad can answer all your ‘feared concerns;
        1) When the colonizers draw the boundaries. We have Moro and Lumad brothers who was divided on the ‘other side’. Now if we seriously want to address that grievance, we must provide for them the chance of ‘joining in’. Other scenarios are those also on the nearby boundaries of ARMM/ Bangsamoro are ORIGINALLY Moro and Lumad dominated areas that was actually ‘shrinking’ slowly over the years. In fact that the accusation of CREEPING INVASION was actually done by the accuser by using, Settlements, Land Tenure, CASADRAL ACT, Torrens Title & other legalize land grabbing method employed tru the years.

        • The Moro and Lumad brothers can have OPTION to JOIN IN…if they see Bangsamoro Areas are improving/ developing due to the Wealth Sharing Provisions in the CAB.

          These nearby areas are the one who always receive the evacuees when a major armed conflict spill overs, and they will also the ones to received improvements if Bangsamoro Autonomy suceeds.

          If they see its a failure…they can opt out or
          if they see its a success they have chance to harvest with us. Its a choice. Dont deprive them of this important choice.

        • I have a problem with the methodology of 10% which tantamounts to a creeping expansion of Bangsamoro area. And the idea that the BBL is creating a sub-state with all the trappings of a sovereign nation. the name itself implies that it is a nation. Bangsa – is Nation. it is the same word where Bansa in Pilipino was coined.

          If you check the history of the area, those areas were settled by the indigenous tribes who were driven to the mountains when Muslim traders arrive in Mindanao before the Spaniards came. Thus, both the Moro and the Lumad grab those tribal lands as well. Putting titles ,etc are the very same thing that were done in other areas of the country for 400 years of Spanish colonization. Vast tracts of land owned by Filipinos in other areas of the country were annexed by the Spaniards before they surrendered to the US. Families of Katipuneros lost vast tracts of land after they were annexed. by Spain and given to Spanish businessmen like the Ayalas, Tuazons, elizalde, Araneta , among others. Our family were affected as well. It is not a reason to create a sub-state more so with the aim to secede from the rest of the country. My grandfather, my uncles and my father fought for this country and I do not want to see it divided.

      • 2) Jurisdictions in Sea, Air, Land are signs of TRUE AUTONOMY…this is NORMAL in other GENUINE AUTONOMY exercised now by Real Autonomy rule all over the world. The option is give us Real Autonomy or we will demand Independence which is our right under Self Determination. This is called DEVOLUTION OF CENTRAL POWERS.

        This jurisdiction will give us MUCH NEEDED REVENUES to CATCH UP with the rest of the Philippines. We are a neglected back water. We live in destruction as we are the PROMOTIONAL AND MEDAL MAKERS for your War freak PMA graduates who wants to rise up ranks fast. Its easy to destroy but difficult to build.

        Mindanao Seas, lands and forest and fields are the food producers for cities in Luzon & Bisayas. We sent our rich catch and harvest up North yet our children is dying of hunger. This is the policy for years and years. We now want a fair share for what we toiled our backs for you over 100 years. But we are still willing to SHARE as per the agreed sharing of 50 -50, 60-40 or 70-30 depending on what agreed.

        • Not when the area is still part of the Republic of the Philippines. Your area will still be generating revenues even without control of the skies,the ports, etc. Mindanao is not the only depressed area in the Philippines. So many areas have been neglected and so many Filipinos are hovering below the poverty line. There are over 5 million Filipinos hovering below the poverty line and most of them are outside Mindanao. But, there areas do not have control of the skies, the ports, immigration and customs. The take a share in the form of IRA. Much like what is prescribed in the draft and congress versions pf the BBL – a share of internal revenues (IRA), an annual 27B allocation (this is not even given to other regions) and the initial 75B.

          Let me ask you, who controls the revenues in those areas at this current time. There are only a few people making money in your areas and they are in cahoots with each other – private armies supporting the businessmen, the armed groups and the MILF. The people who are suppose to benefit from the revenues – Muslims and Christians alike only get the morsels. In the MILF area it is total control.

          The children in Mindanao are not the only ones going hungry. And to make that an argument for jurisdiction over the seas, the skies, forest and fields is unfair to the other Filipino children. The northern areas of the Philippines are also producing food but we still have children who go by a meal a day, unable to go to even a public school.

      • 3) With the riches of our Land, Sea, Forest and Mining… unjust laws and trickery allowed our wealth to be siphoned off for over 100years…you already got the BEST OF OUR FOREST, SEAS and MINES. What we have are few scraps of left overs.

        We also dont under estimate calculating genuis of the Central Government. This amounts are just a ‘helping hand’ until our areas NORMALISE.

        If your relative is very sick and you honestly wants them to recover, how much is the Hospitalization?

        Our ‘sickness’ is done by the past mistakes of Central Governments.

        Do you honestly think they will give us those crumbs if they think it is too much and will not return a hundred fold?

        Central Government neglect and pacification wars resulted in moral damages and , trust and generations lost.

        Can you pay enough to the more than 100,0000 lives lost, destroyed harvest, houses burned and dreams lost for generations. Desperation and Extremism will breed and cost us all more if we dont act soon.

        Have you also counted the hundred billions LOST & WASTED in this 50 year civil war?

        Look at this as a Peace Investment, as when peace reigns, you will save all Billions more, focus on Philippines Development more, a more United Country.

        Lets use our imaginations on positive real peace it can bring not the IMAGINED FEAR.

        • That is not my point with regards the billions and the annual dole outs. In the BBL draft and congress versions there are no safeguards to how the funds will be utilized and part of those funds will not be subjected to the audit process. Even the big chunk is supposed to be audited by the central government. However, it is up to the leadership of the Bangsamoro to agree. If they don’t, no audit. who do you suppose will be the losers besides our brothers in Mindanao, whether Muslims or Christians or what ever affiliations they have? All taxpayers as we will all have to shoulder the initial funding and the annual 27B.

          There had been no effort by the central government past and present to eradicate corruption in Mindanao and the local leadership, except for a few, have not lent a hand either. The GMA government only provided arms and money to ensure a win in the elections. The money did not filter to the real recipients – those who are actually in need on assistance but to the warlords. The arms and bullets found its way to the armed groups terrorizing innocent civilians.

          That is the concern of most people who are not pro BBL in its undiluted, unrevised form. It is not IMAGINED FEAR. It is the fear that the financial assistance will go for naught and we will just be enriching those MILF leadership and their armed followers. I am concerned as I have plenty of friends in Mindanao – formers classmates, schoolmates, acquaintances and business partners. The BBL is not a comprehensive agreement and it will not answer what our brothers and sisters need. Peace should be comprehensive. It is time that the innocent bystanders do not have to leave their homes each time they hear a conflict brewing. The school children should not be disenfranchised because of a conflict. And these conflicts were instigated to by people who really do not want peace. peace to them is just lip service.


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