A Change of Pace on the BJE MOA: Other Avenues of Peace

16 Aug

This is something I never saw coming — Malacanang giving up so soon on the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity MOA on AD — at least unofficially. Reports coming in, however, are indicative that a change of pace and style in the approach on the peace process is imminent. Esperon’s comment about being open to the possibility of re-negotiating the MOA coupled with PGMA’s statement that she wants non-government organizations to spearhead peace negotiations with the MILF are tell-tale signs of a new strategical approach in the works. I expected the Palace to be firmer and more resolved on this BJE MOA as it has been on the issue of EVAT on oil (wherein amidst protests and lower approval ratings, PGMA has been hell-bent on keeping the EVAT as it is). Although Ermita claims that rumors of such “plans” clearly did not come from Malacanang because they are still waiting for the Supreme Court’s final ruling — without which, they cannot move forward and decide what next step to undertake, it seems that this change of plan is not a remote possibility. Maybe the issue has gone way out of their control, thus prompting them to have a sudden change of heart if only to survive the avalanche of criticisms (as if there is not a mountain of criticisms already) brought about by the BJE MOA.

There are even unconfirmed reports of the government allegedly talking to the SC informing them that they wouldn’t sign the MOA anymore and consequently asking the SC not to rule on it. Note, however, that many speculate that since the Palace has a significant number allies in the SC, it can be inferred that it will eventually rule in favor of the government. That is also something I believed early on.

Now, there’s nothing entirely wrong with renegotiations. It can even pacify protesters, debaters, Church leaders, business groups — even the political opposition — which sounds all good, right? But then again, let’s pause for a while and rethink this.  Okay, here I go again — going back to my long and winding discussion about the sense of urgency. Implications of this renegotiation are also (if not as) risky as the the first one. The MILF is disappointed as it is. And must I remind you of what happened in Midsayap as an effect of the TRO? The government, on the other hand is losing faith and yes, almost about to lose face as well. And no matter how they deny this by saying they are “open to other avenues of peace“, this is just short of saying they are slowly abandoning the BJE MOA for a more “popular” and “agreeable” variation. Whatever happened to PGMA’s statement in her recent SONA saying “Leadership is not about doing the first easy thing that comes to mind; it is about doing what is necessary, however hard.“. The 2010 elections is nearing. And the closer we are to 2010, the farther we are from settling the peace issue unless a concrete and effective agreement is signed before the elections take place. This is because the moment the “feel” and general atmosphere of the “fiesta that is the national elections” come in, we will all be teleported to a new “delusional world” and lose interest in everything else — including the peace process in Mindanao. It is also a no-brainer that should the BJE MOA be renegotiated (that is, if the MILF even renegotiates in the first place), it will be opposed just the same — by another self-righteous group — political or otherwise. There is no way that a MOA which has anything to do with “ancestral domain” and “dismemberment” — as often branded by oppositors to the BJE MOA, is ever going to be agreeable to all. You appease one sector and you anger another. <p style=”text-align: left;” mce_style=”text-align: left;”>This is something I never saw coming — <b>Malacanang</b> giving up so soon on the <a href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/08/beginners-guide-to-understanding-bangsa-moro-judirical-entity-bje-moa-ad/&#8221; mce_href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/08/beginners-guide-to-understanding-bangsa-moro-judirical-entity-bje-moa-ad/&#8221; target=”_self”><b>Bangsamoro Juridical Entity MOA on AD</b></a> — at least unofficially. Reports coming in, however, are indicative that a change of pace and style in the approach on the peace process is imminent. <b>Esperon’s </b>comment about being open to the <a href=”http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080816-155080/MOA-renegotiation-an-option-says-Esperon&#8221; mce_href=”http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080816-155080/MOA-renegotiation-an-option-says-Esperon&#8221; target=”_blank”><b>possibility of re-negotiating the MOA</b></a> coupled with PGMA’s statement that she <a href=”http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080816-155078/Arroyo-now-favors-NGOs-involvement-in-talks-with-MILF&#8221; mce_href=”http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080816-155078/Arroyo-now-favors-NGOs-involvement-in-talks-with-MILF&#8221; target=”_blank”><b>wants non-government organizations to spearhead peace negotiations with the MILF</b></a> are tell-tale signs of a new strategical approach in the works. I expected the <b>Palace</b> to be firmer and more resolved on this <b>BJE MOA</b> as it has been on the issue of<b> EVAT</b> on oil (wherein amidst protests and lower approval ratings, <b>PGMA</b> has <a href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/07/c-vat-is-this-the-common-ground-solution/&#8221; mce_href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/07/c-vat-is-this-the-common-ground-solution/&#8221; target=”_self”><b>been hell-bent on keeping the</b> <b>EVAT</b></a> as it is). Although <b>Ermita</b> claims that rumors of such “plans” clearly did not come from <b>Malacanang</b> because they are still waiting for the <b>Supreme Court’s</b> final ruling — without which, they cannot move forward and decide what next step to undertake, it seems that this change of plan is not a remote possibility. Maybe the issue has gone way out of their control, thus prompting them to have a sudden change of heart if only to survive the avalanche of criticisms (as if there is not a mountain of criticisms already) brought about by the <b>BJE MOA</b>. <img src=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif&#8221; mce_src=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif&#8221; alt=”” class=”mceWPmore mceItemNoResize” title=”More…” /></p> <p style=”text-align: left;” mce_style=”text-align: left;”>There are even unconfirmed reports of the government allegedly talking to the <b>SC</b> informing them that they wouldn’t sign the <b>MOA</b> anymore and consequently asking the <b>SC</b> not to rule on it. Note, however, that many speculate that since the <b>Palace </b>has a significant number allies in the <b>SC,</b> it can be inferred that it will eventually rule in favor of the government. That is also something I believed early on.</p> <p style=”text-align: left;” mce_style=”text-align: left;”>Now, there’s nothing entirely wrong with renegotiations. It can even pacify protesters, debaters, Church leaders, business groups — even the political opposition — which sounds all good, right? But then again, let’s pause for a while and rethink this.  Okay, here I go again — going back to my long and winding discussion about the sense of urgency. Implications of this renegotiation are also (if not as) risky as the the first one. The <b>MILF</b> is disappointed as it is. And must I remind you of what happened in <b>Midsayap</b> as an effect of the <b>TRO</b>? The government, on the other hand is losing faith and yes, almost about to lose face as well. And no matter how they deny this by saying they are “<b>open to other avenues of peace</b>”, this is just short of saying they are slowly abandoning the <b>BJE MOA</b> for a more “<b>popular</b>” and “<b>agreeable</b>” variation. Whatever happened to <b>PGMA’s</b> statement in <a href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/07/post-sona-2008-sentiments/&#8221; mce_href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/07/post-sona-2008-sentiments/&#8221; target=”_self”><b>her recent </b><b>SONA</b></a> saying “<b>Leadership is not about doing the first easy thing that comes to mind; it is about doing what is necessary, however hard.</b>”. The <a href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/08/2010-presidentiables-and-surveys/&#8221; mce_href=”http://adayinthelifeofrj.com/2008/08/2010-presidentiables-and-surveys/&#8221; target=”_self”><b>2010 elections</b></a> is nearing. And the closer we are to <b>2010</b>, the farther we are from settling the peace issue unless a concrete and effective agreement is signed before the elections take place. This is because the moment the “feel” and general atmosphere of the “fiesta that is the national elections” come in, we will all be teleported to a new “delusional world” and lose interest in everything
else — including the peace process in Mindanao. It is also a no-brainer that should the <b>BJE MOA</b> be renegotiated (that is, if the <b>MILF</b> even renegotiates in the first place), it will be opposed just the same — by another self-righteous group — political or otherwise. There is no way that a <b>MOA</b> which has anything to do with “<b>ancestral domain</b>” and “<b>dismemberment</b>” — as often branded by oppositors to the <b>BJE MOA</b>, is ever going to be agreeable to all. You appease one sector and you anger another. Catch-22. Let us also consider that “<b>territory</b>” and “<b>power</b>” mixed with the prospect of “<b>oil</b>” are big issues that any country in the world is all too willing to wage war on.</p> <p style=”text-align: left;” mce_style=”text-align: left;”>We delay peace and we rush war. Plain and simple. So, let’s not delay. As <b>MILF Central Committee member</b>, <b>Ghazali Jaafar</b>, in an <b>ABS-CBN</b> interview  puts it “<a href=”http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storyPage.aspx?storyId=128398&#8243; mce_href=”http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storyPage.aspx?storyId=128398&#8243; target=”_blank”><b>I cannot imagine what will happen if we fail in solving this problem</b></a>”. And neither can I. Can you?</p> <p><img class=”alignleft” src=”http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/85704/rjmarmol/sig_1217605896.jpg&#8221; mce_src=”http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/85704/rjmarmol/sig_1217605896.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”” width=”181″ height=”38″ /></p>

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