MAKATI CITY (MindaNews / 31 December) – I was about to extend my wishes for a “Happy New Year” to my friends online, but then certain things were bothering me; certain questions lingering on my mind. So, what I did instead was to scribe this personal letter to Year 2018:
Dear Year 2018,
Will you be really a ‘happy new year’? I’m asking you this rather awkward question because of the undesirable unfolding of events in the remaining days of your predecessor (2017).
After the global attention had been invariably diverted to false flag operations (activities related to terrorism and violent extremism), it is drawn back again to a main global issue – the Palestinian Question – thanks to Donald Trump’s blunder.
Will Trump triumph in pushing for his agenda of Zionization of Jerusalem?
Not to mention the internal squabble within the kingdom, will Saudi Arabia be able to rescue itself from the quagmire of Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and more recently, Lebanon?
Dear Year 2018,
Now, two months have already passed since the end of the Marawi Siege. Do you think the Philippine government will be able to aptly ‘reinvent’ itself (see “Time for government’s ‘self-reinvention’?”), particularly on the pressing issue of the city residents’ return, resettlement and reintegration, in accordance to the 30 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement laid down by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)?
Within this year, Duterte said many times he will father the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to make sure it will come into fruition during his term, with a warning that trouble might brew if the said draft law will not be passed. (See “PPRD calls on Congress to expedite BBL,” PTV News, October 30, 2017.)
Yet just two weeks ago (December 17, 2017), a perceived ‘anti-BBL’ congressman was allowed to be named as one of the three members of the subcommittee who would take the lead in ‘harmonizing’ the four BBL bills filled in Congress.
Is the fatherhood to the fetus transferred to someone who is expected to abort it?
Worse still, two days afterward (December 19), the supposed ‘father’ expressed doubt if the BBL could hurdle constitutional barriers. Was there any lawyer among the government representatives in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) who could have detected these ‘unconstitutionalities’ while drafting the BBL? What was the use of the more-than-two-month time interval between the submission of BBL to its supposed ‘father’ on July 17, 2017 and its filing in Congress as a bill on September 29?
Is the original ‘gameplan’ really to subsume the BBL into the federalism track? In that case, is there any real guarantee that a BBL compliant with the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed in 2012 and 2014, can be truly pursued under a federal set-up? In other words, is it reasonable to make a dress without getting first the body size of the person who is supposed to wear it?
Dear Year 2018,
As the current Philippine administration’s abstention to the UN General Assembly’s resolutions about the status of Jerusalem and the plight of the Rohingyas is widely perceived to be ‘denial of current wrongs’ and is therefore contradictory to the spirit of the 2016 presidential campaign on ‘correcting historical injustices,’ will you not be a 365-day extension of “That’s Entertainment” show in Manila-Davao theaters?
Dear Year 2018,
Exactly after 50 years, will you not be a repetition of the year 1968 when our youth would no longer listen to and follow the elders, and eventually pursue their way of expressing the inalienable right to self-determination? What will be the decision of the middle-aged like me: to cling to and always believe in the wisdom of the elders, or to join the youth in charting their own destiny?
Due to these lingering questions, I would rather seek refuge and find solace in this short supplication:
“O Transformer of the hearts and insights!
O Alternator of the nights and days!
O Changer of the conditions and states!
Change our condition with the best of conditions!”
[MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Mansoor L. Limba, PhD in International Relations, is a writer, educator, blogger, chess trainer, and translator (from Persian into English and Filipino) with tens of written and translation works to his credit on such subjects as international politics, history, political philosophy, intra-faith and interfaith relations, cultural heritage, Islamic finance, jurisprudence (fiqh), theology (‘ilm al-kalam), Qur’anic sciences and exegesis (tafsir), hadith, ethics, and mysticism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.mlimba.com and http://www.muslimandmoney.com.]