Close  

Palace not giving up on BBL; not end of world, says MILF

Mohagher-Iqbal-0304

Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

CONGRESS may have run out of time to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) but Malacañang is not giving up on the Mindanao peace process.

The Palace on Sunday said President Aquino had directed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) to promote the peace effort during the remainder of the President’s term and until the next administration takes over.

ADVERTISEMENT

On the rebels’ part, Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), told the Inquirer the death of the BBL ‘’is not the end of the world for us.”

“That’s only a confirmation of what we have been foreseeing since December last year … We will continue pursuing a settlement,” Iqbal said.

FEATURED STORIES

In his Sunday press briefing over state-run radio, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma quoted Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos Deles as saying: “We will still need to do consultations, including and specially with the MILF.”

“Our measures will include strengthening existing peace bodies and mechanisms to include the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, ceasefire and other joint security mechanisms and bodies for socioeconomic interventions,” Deles said.

Deles said there was also a need to ‘’ensure the success” of the peace effort in the next administration.

“We need to do all that is possible to ensure the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro beyond this administration,” she said.

 

No time, says Drilon

Senate President Franklin Drilon has told Mr. Aquino that with hardly any time before Congress adjourns on Friday, the BBL is dead in the current legislature.

ADVERTISEMENT

Drilon said that even if the Senate wanted to, it could not act on the BBL until it was approved by the House. “There is no more time,” he said.

Deles also stressed that the Jan. 25, 2015 Mamasapano debacle—where 44 police commandos were killed in a clash with Moro rebels—“only served to strengthen the Opapp’s resolve to continue pushing for peace in Mindanao.”

“The unfortunate incident showed the fragility of the path to peace … but there is no alternative to peace. War cannot end war,” Deles said.

Deles said many people had pointed out that the BBL became a casualty of the Mamasapano incident and that ‘’we were those who perished.”

“It became a subject of such intense negative propaganda that those who worked so hard to bring [forward] the peace process … became the devil in the eyes of the angry public,” she said.

Deles recalled their critics “criticized the mechanisms without knowing the history behind its implementation.”

She said it was “oddly strange that those who spoke for peace were so viciously assailed by the people.”

Recording with Marcos

She said another issue that confronted the Opapp after the Mamasapano debacle was the release on social media of an alleged audio recording of her meeting with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“People who wanted to again hit the administration … released and shared under a false headline the recording of my meeting with Senator Marcos, making it appear that the conversation was about a whitewash and coverup, instead of an innocent conversation about the incident, in which it was clear that we were both trying to make sense of what had happened,” Deles said.

She said allegations of a whitewash were false.

‘’It was a disservice then and is a disservice now to mislead and lie to our people,” she said.

In his statement, Iqbal said the Mamasapano incident also caused the delay in the passage of the BBL bill.

“We thank those congressmen who supported (its) passage,” he said.

Government and MILF peace negotiators signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in March 2014,

The draft law is aimed at ending a Muslim separatist revolt that has claimed over 100,000 lives since the 1970s. With a report from Agence France-Presse

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, MILF, Nation, news
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.