Tag Archives: ARMM

There's No Turning Back

With all that’s been written about the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity MOA on Ancestral Domain (BJE MOA on AD), it is as if the issue gets more and more tiring to discuss and write about everyday. It’s September 2. Two days more and the SC TRO celebrates(?) its one month anniversary. To this day, although the BJE MOA on AD seems to be good as dead — or “comatose” as others have called it — the issue just wouldn’t die a natural death. And why not? Freedom(?) or self-determination and the struggle for it is something far more important than the struggle for survival. If you don’t believe it, ask yourself why we have heroes now. Ask yourself why Jose Rizal, the Ilustrado that he is or Andres Bonifacio, the poor guy that he is — the two of them doing their own style of revolt had no second thoughts about putting their lives at risk for something they believed was above them or of their preoccupations — the vision of a free Philippines. They know first-hand how a lot more difficult it is to survive and yet be enslaved or put more objectively, be under the rule of a colonizer. It is every man’s instinct to fight for freedom — for self-rule. Continue reading There's No Turning Back

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There’s No Turning Back

With all that’s been written about the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity MOA on Ancestral Domain (BJE MOA on AD), it is as if the issue gets more and more tiring to discuss and write about everyday. It’s September 2. Two days more and the SC TRO celebrates(?) its one month anniversary. To this day, although the BJE MOA on AD seems to be good as dead — or “comatose” as others have called it — the issue just wouldn’t die a natural death. And why not? Freedom(?) or self-determination and the struggle for it is something far more important than the struggle for survival. If you don’t believe it, ask yourself why we have heroes now. Ask yourself why Jose Rizal, the Ilustrado that he is or Andres Bonifacio, the poor guy that he is — the two of them doing their own style of revolt had no second thoughts about putting their lives at risk for something they believed was above them or of their preoccupations — the vision of a free Philippines. They know first-hand how a lot more difficult it is to survive and yet be enslaved or put more objectively, be under the rule of a colonizer. It is every man’s instinct to fight for freedom — for self-rule. Continue reading There’s No Turning Back

Perception vs. Reality

I find it inexplicable why the BJE MOA on AD is being considered at odds with our constitution, hence this TRO and oral arguments, when a member of the MILF peace panel, MOHD. MUSIB M. BUAT in his article “A new formula in resolving the Mindanao conflictβ€”Mohd. Musib M. Buat” at the abs-cbnNEWS.com website, said:

“But subsequently in February 2008, information was received by the MILF Peace Panel through the Malaysian facilitator that the GRP had decided to have the draft MOA-AD first reviewed by a panel of legal experts to ascertain whether or not the draft agreement would meet a constitutional test if challenged before the High Court. It took the government more that 100 days to conduct the “due diligence review” of the draft MOA-AD.”Β  Continue reading Perception vs. Reality

Live and Let Live: The Non-Negotiable Solution

Today’s article at abs-cbnNEWS.comFrom Brink of Peace to Brink of War” by Atty. Soliman M. Santos, Jr. brings to mind my long-held stand on the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (BJE MOA on AD). Continue reading Live and Let Live: The Non-Negotiable Solution

Eyes On The Prize

I need not elaborate. I’m sure any of you reading this have heard the news — endless and hopeless as it may seem. Fighting continues in Mindanao. Ambush here. Strafing there. Evacuations here and there. Oral arguments re: unconstitutionality of BJE MOA (which, by the way, has been extended Firday once more, August 29) happened today. Sol. Gen. Devanadera submitted a petition for the SC citing GRP’s decision not to sign the MOA, thereby rendering the petition filed against it “moot and academic”. Torion, the petitioner’s counsel, on the other hand insists on a court decision saying regardless of the BJE MOA being signed or not, SC’s ruling is important so as to create a “guideline” for the GRP on it’s expected “renegotiation” or “furthering of negotiations” and subsequently assure compliance to the constitution.

There are certain points in the oral arguments I’d like to comment on, as follows:

Continue reading Eyes On The Prize

Deferred Peace is Expedited War

The events of late speak for itself. We have gone to war. Continuous attacks from the MILF, aggravated by an ambush at Lanao del Sur, followed by killing civilians and burning houses are but indications of clear and present danger. Chief of Staff, General Alexander Yano calls it a “virtual declaration of war” and indeed it is. Actually, it’s not even “virtual” to me. It is a definite and crystal clear declaration of war — a blatant disregard for the peace process and disrespect to the laws of the land. For what else can you call something as atrocious as these? As of this writing, the rebels have left the scene yet took adult male hostages — probably to use as human shield as they walk through the area.

While it is so tempting to blame people now, the events have been too tragic that my brain can hardly come up with a good argument for finger-pointing. Reports say that there were dead people on the roadside. The bus driver in yesterday’s ambush swore to have seen and heard these rebels shout “patayin ninyo lahat yan” (“kill them all“). Just thinking about it is horrifying enough. I can’t imagine the terror in the faces of the people inside the bus. And I can’t imagine that such evil people exist. And sometimes, I ask myself how grave our inequities to these people may have been for us to go through the burden of talking peace with people who prefer expressing themselves through their guns? What have we done to deserve this problem (if we even deserved it at all)? Continue reading Deferred Peace is Expedited War

The Buck Stops Here

Now that the ball has been passed to (or should I say was “taken” by) the Supreme Court ever since issuing the TRO last Monday, August 4 — it has been clear that the BJE MOA on AD is in for a long deliberation — possibly ultimately leading to its abolition — if its existence is to be recognized in the first place. It has been predicted that this might take longer than usual — even forever. And knowing that we are in the Philippines, this doesn’t seem like an exaggerated prediction.

True to our expectations, the Supreme Court seems to be having its sweet time deliberating on it. Not that it’s bad or wrong anyway — but longer just the same. And I’ve written before that the clock is ticking — time is of the essence here. The longer we wait, the longer it takes for Mindanao to move forward. The longer it takes for real “help” to arrive. We can’t just send doctors on a medical mission to a hostile territory. We can’t pave roads while there is serious threat to practically anybody crossing the street. Investors will not dare put up businesses where fighting can ensue anytime. Continue reading The Buck Stops Here