LOUD WHISPERS| PHL to spend P2.6-B on normalization under BBL?

I REMEMBER one item in a broadsheet last year saying that the government was setting aside some P2.6 billion for the disbanding of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the disarming of its guerillas and other armed entities in accordance with agreements with the rebel group as part of preparations for the creation of a new autonomous region in Mindanao.

Is the MNLF excluded from this grant? Why is it that only the MILF is explicitly mentioned? (May I ask Sirs and Ma’ams?).

This is in line with the Normalization process that the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro) has programmed for the new entity of government called the Bangsamoro territory or government. This P2.6 billion was allocated for the “Normalization Fund” in transition fund for last year when the normalizations and the disarming of the MILF’s armed forces and private armed groups shall have taken effect.

I am wondering if this had been implemented already. This week we heard that there had been debates in the Senate and in the Congress on the approval of the so-called BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law). There was even a call or demand to revise or to edit the draft because some “bright boys and girls in the House and in the Senate” claim that there are provisions which are unconstitutional, or not acceptable or implementable in Mindanao area or the proposed Bangsamoro territory.

The first draft BBL has been presented by the committee commissioned to revise this and when the President approved it and passed it to Congress for legislation (supposed to be), then started the bickerings about this. There were those who disagree and did not support the passage of the HB 4994 and those who were in favor. Then a Congressman presented the HB 8511, the so-called substitute Bill. But another Representative refuted and even grilled the author of this substitute Bill.

One of the arguments in the substitute bill is that the Normalization Process need not be included except for the setting up of the Police Force in the Bangsamoro. Does this mean then that the P2.6 billion be used for this purpose? Does this mean that Bangsamoro territory will have its own military force? (Albeit, other than the AFP or the PNP that we have in the country at present?)

Wow!! This must be big surprise. Because if this will be implemented and if the either HBs be enforced, we will see three (3) types of Policemen in the country—the “Khaki Boys,” the “Blue Boys,” or perhaps, the “Yellow Boys” (symbolizing the favorite color of the former President, Cory Aquino.)

Then these group of new Army will have its own rules, laws, policies, commander, territory, and budget. I guess the P2.6 budget will only be used to prepare the new military and to establish the army as “Bangsamoro Army” or BAP (Bangsamoro Army of the Philippines).

However, Deles said that not all the LGUs in Mindanao will be part of the Bangsamoro territory. Why? Because she said, there are two requirements for the LGUs for inclusion. One is that the LGU must be close and near the Bangsamoro region. Second is, that the LGU must be one of the 13 provinces covered by the Tripolo Peace Agreement between Misuari’s MNLF.

But I am wondering why this particular group is so mum about the Peace Process development? Seldom did we hear Nur Misuari’s name mentioned even before the early conception of this peace process? Why are the past presidents not included as consultants or advisers to this BBL?

I guess that they should be tapped because they started this peace process even before the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. This is why (I think, one royal woman in Mindanao asked Senator Bongbong Marcos (head of the Peace Process committee) to ask his mother to talk about the Tripoli Agreement.

I would suggest, in addition to what the princess demanded, that all those involved in the past Peace Process Initiatives be invited in the Senate and the Congress if only to give their inputs, insights or their recommendations to the present committee handling this particular case.

Even the former President, Fidel V. Ramos, must be invited because he was also an instrument to a peace process agenda. And also, former President Joseph Estrada should be asked to shed light to all these queries that the country and its people need to be answered.

Further, may I also ask if these queries, doubts and conflicting issues are really supported positively by the members of the Philippine Constitution? (FVS)

Posted in Opinion