EDITORIAL| Continued injustice

IT SEEMS both Houses of Congress are giving false hope to the people of Mindanao by saying that they can still pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law before President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino steps down next year.

Finally last weekend, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the adhoc committee on the proposal in the Lower House, admitted that Congress will not have enough time to pass the proposal.

Even if the Lower House is able to pass its version, Rodriguez said it will still be reconciled with the version of the Senate. Another major problem in the Lower House, as in the Senate, is that many of the members have asked for more time to question its proponents.

But the biggest obstacle in passing the proposed law, which was crafted to gradually provide a venue to address injustices committed on the Moro people, is the fact that most lawmakers have started positioning themselves for the upcoming elections.

But if there is one thing that the situation is indicating, it is that there is no political will on the part of the two legislative bodies to pass the proposal and come up with a compromise to at least slowly address the problems in Mindanao.

What they could have done is to pass the proposal and allow the next administration to fine-tune it loopholes, if any, because by then there will be a basis as to what provisions need to be revisited or added.

Instead, they allow their biases to dominate themselves so they could pass the problem to the next leaders of government. In short, they are the people who could not be relied on.

The lack of political will is not only present in the legislative branch of government but also in the executive department as Mr. Aquino could have gone an extra mile in asking members of his coalition to at least find a way for a settlement among the legislators so that the proposal can be passed.

The bottomline is that the peace settlement, which would have been started after the peace agreement was signed last year, would still be another elusive dream for the people of Mindanao. No amount of lip service will be able to change that.

Posted in Opinion