MIND DA NEWS: Keep Quiet, Please!

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 04 Sept) — To OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. and to the Presidential spokespersons, just one small request: Keep quiet, please. Annonce the submission of the Bangsamoro Basic Law Bill to the Congress after it has been submitted. Avoid countless “foul ups” that would erode your credibility very badly.

You are like an Ilonggo guide who keeps telling the alien traveler, “Malapit na gid! (We are already near) when their destination is still far.

Last August 15, you said the “mutually agreed BBL draft” would be presented to the President on August 18 and to the Congress by the end of the month. On August 18, there was no presentation; it would be on August 20 and the submission to the Congress would still be by the end of the month.

August ended. No BBL draft bill had been submitted to the Congress. On September , two news reports, in the INQUIRER.net, the other in philstar.com., said the BBL draft had been reviewed by the President, his comments sent to the GPH and MILF panels for refinement, and the draft would be returned to the President for certification to the Congress – “any time now”“before he leaves for Europe”.         

Today, philstar.com repeated the report (Draft BBL to be submitted to Congress next week, The Philippine Star, Updated September , 2014 – 12:00am). With Coloma as the source, The Star said, The long-delayed draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be submitted to the House of Representatives before President Aquino leaves for his European trip on Sept. 13.

The Star report continues;

The promise to present the draft measure, which Aquino is expected to certify as urgent, came from Secretary Teresita Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, who declared the BBL as a done deal.

“The draft BBL is now undergoing final stages of refinement. By the estimate of Moro Islamic Liberation Front panel and Bangsamoro Transition Commission chair Mohagher Iqbal, the draft bill is now 99.99 percent done,” Deles said in a statement.

According to Deles, the draft BBL “was completed almost two weeks ago.”

“On the basis of the President’s comments, there were further discussion and exchange of notes between MILF and the Office of the President, the results of which were also submitted to the President,” she said.

Is Secretary Deles telling the whole story?

The draft is “a done deal”; it “was completed almost two weeks ago”; it “is now 99.99 percent done”; it “is undergoing final stages of refinement”. This is a riddle. The answer is the 0.01 percent undone.

What is this? From Deles’s statement, it is the further discussion and exchange of notes between MILF and the Office of the President” based on “the President’s comments”. As stated, the results had been “submitted to the President”.

May we know from the good Secretary Deles. Sa totoo lang (to tell the truth): (1) Where is the BBL draft now? () What are the refinements being done – the 0.01 percent undone?

While we are hoping, we are not expecting the whole truth in the next press statement of the good OPAPP Secretary or of the Communications Secretary. But, please, if the BBL draft bill is not certified to the Congress by September 13, don’t make any statement. Wait to announce the submission after the draft bill has been submitted.

To lie once to a Moro is not good. To lie repeatedly to the Moros is worse – much more.

[Author’s Note: Mind da News, the alternate of COMMENT, is a comment on current news. The author may be contacted at patponcediaz@yahoo.com.]