Robin Padilla: Hot-headed senators should study history of Bangsamoro
To those calling for the junking of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), actor Robin Padilla has this advice to give: Educate yourself on the history of Mindanao.
“Let us look at our history first before we comment or quarrel on the issue of the BBL,” Padilla said at the sidelines of “The Bangsamoro in National History” forum in Manila.
“Ang unang pumasok sa isip ko sana nandito yung mga senador na maiinit ang ulo. Sana nandito lahat ng humihingi ng all-out war (The first thing I thought of was I wish those hot-headed senators were here. I wish those calling for all-out war were here),” he said of the forum organized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Padilla was referring to senators questioning the BBL and the overall peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), one of the groups that figured in the botched Mamasapano operation on Jan. 25.
Because of the deaths of 44 policemen during the a so-called misencounter with the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other local groups, public perception on the government’s peace agreement with the MILF suffered.
A recent Pulse Asia survey showed that 44 percent of Filipinos disagree with the passing of the BBL, which remains stalled in Congress.
The actor, who has converted to Islam, said the problem was that the public was not given enough information on the issue.
“Often the opinion we get are from people who have their own hidden agenda. Let us continue to give correct information,” he said.
He said it was important for people to understand the concept of the Bangsamoro and where it came from.
Padilla said people should be educated first before giving their opinion so as not to confuse or mislead other people.
At the same time, he said it was unfair to judge the long process of the peace in Mindanao on the Mamasapano operation alone.
During the forum, historians and scholars traced the history of Muslim Filipinos and their role during the Spanish colonization. Also tackled was the infamous Jabidah massacre and the creation of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The Mamasapano operation, which resulted in the deaths of 67 Filipinos, has put the peace process in jeopardy and contributed to the declining performance ratings of President Benigno Aquino III.
Critics of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which was signed exactly a year ago, have been using the Mamasapano debacle to justify calls to declare an all-out war in Mindanao or for the government to turn back from its peace deal with the MILF. RC
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