Palace stands by BBL, downplays World Bank-funded report | Inquirer News

Palace stands by BBL, downplays World Bank-funded report

/ 02:39 PM April 11, 2015

Malacañang on Saturday said it was inaccurate to say that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would not succeed in ensuring peace in Mindanao.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. FILE PHOTO

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. FILE PHOTO

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte reacted to the statement of Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, citing a World Bank-funded report.

READ: World Bank: BBL can’t ensure peace, new threat groups emerging


Escudero on Friday cited the study to point out that even if the BBL is enacted into law, the government will still need to deal with other armed groups in Mindanao. The BBL is a product of the peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government.


But Valte said the study did not even look into Malacañang’s version of the BBL.

“It did not consider the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law submitted by President Benigno Aquino III to Congress on September 10, 2014 so it was not covered in the report,” Valte said over state-run radio “Radyo ng Bayan.”

The spokesperson said the study “Rebellion, Political Violence and Shadow Crimes in the Bangsamoro: The Bangsamoro Conflict Monitoring System (BCMS) 2011-2013” was published by International Alert in August 2014.

Valte also said the report shouldn’t be attributed to the World Bank since it only funded the study, which was implemented by International Alert.

Escudero on Friday said government peace negotiators should “not raise false hopes that the BBL will bring peace to Mindanao.” He explained that there are still other armed groups in Mindanao.

READ: What it takes to promote peace


During the controversial Mamasapano operation last January 25, more than 60 people were killed during a clash between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and various armed groups, including the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the United Justice Movement (UJM).

Valte, on the other hand, said the report also acknowledged that ending the conflict between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would reduce “a significant source of political violence with huge costs in terms of death, injury and displacement, and will impact positively on the prospects of peace and stability across the Bangsamoro.”

READ: Aquino says PH stands to lose more if BBL not passed

She also said the report had “very interesting data on the conflict in areas of Mindanao, in such that it identifies new causes of violence.”

Valte said the report will be useful for those involved in the peace process, especially the policymakers.

Responding to Escudero, she said the peace process between the MILF and the government “means peace with the largest and most organized armed group, which has been fighting the government for decades.”

“So to end this armed conflict means that this organized armed body ceases to fight with government and instead becomes a partner in addressing the problems that are facing the country,” she said. “So it enables the effective exercise of the rule of law over areas previously outside the reach of government and in, you know, as some quarters would say, ‘ungovernable.’”

READ: ‘2 trending lies’ on BBL debunked by PH peace panel chief

Valte said the government’s partnership with the MILF was valuable and in line with the nation’s aspirations on security and prosperity.

“It’s not that you’re talking to them to the exclusion of other groups who are also willing to talk peace,” she said.

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Valte also said that not all armed groups in Mindanao wanted to talk peace. Others just want to pursue their own interests, she said. IDL

TAGS: BBL, Malacañang, MILF, Palace, peace, peace process, World Bank

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