LOUD WHISPERS| Bangsamoro…whither now?

I DON’T really know how a Malacanang official could say to the public, “… the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is considered to be failed experiment in attaining peace in the region.”

How can such a confidant in Malacanang, Deputy presidential spokesperson, Abigail Valte, admit that the most expensive and dragging issue, is a failed … experiment? (Albeit, she could have also said that it is a futile exercise.)

Oh! My.. so everything is just an experiment and this official, supposed to be a confidant in Malacanang, could ever say that in public? For me thou, that was a great and bold stance because if she is telling the truth, then we, the waiting anxious Filipinos, have been cheated all the time that the government panel who has been working for its implementation, are not actually genuine and sincere about that Mindanao peace process thing. Oh! What a hullabaloo.

Then she even said, “.. the peace process is not all about money, but the quality of leaders being elected during elections…” (Seems she is already campaigning .. and for whom?)

She even admitted that the government alloted large amount of money to ARMM, but the region remains to be poor. Wow!! What an admission of failure and weakness. So, what has the government done all the 4-5 years in office as public servant? Really, I want to ask, “What have you done to Mindanao (its people and its natural resources) within your administration four almost four to five years? Has Mindanao improved in terms of enhancing the living condition of the Mindanaoans? Have you enhanced the education of the people there? Have you elevated the living condition and living style of the indigenous people in Mindanao? Have you protected their rights as real owners of the land they possess under the ancestral domain law?

I am thinking that the spokesperson could just have said, “Sorry for the failure. We were remiss in our goal and objective to uplift the economic life of our people in Mindanao.”

I surmise, the government could have just spent all the billions of pesos thinking of infrastructure projects that Mindanao really needs. It could have poured the billions to pesos farmers in Mindanao who supply the rice to the Filipinos for their daily subsistence. I always believe that Mindanao is very rich in agriculture and natural resources. This is the reason why foreign invaders are really bent on squeezing their necks and bodies into the island thru thick and thin, because they know that Mindanao is a land of promise.

Many times in the times did I mention that Mindanao was branded in the past, as the “rice granary of the country.” With Ilocanos, Muslims, Ilonggos, IPs, Lumads, Tagalogs, Cebuanos, Chabacanos, and others, in that green and vibrant island, the place is really the bread basket in the south.

With the uncertain passing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, there now comes the pros and cons about it. One side says it is unconstitutional. The other side says it is constitutiional. But I (this is my opinion), it is neither. What is vital and critical is for every constitution-minded people to examine the contents and implications of the articles which may have an adverse effect on the people living there.

All rights of the Filipinos who are living in Mindanao must be protected from harm, from sin, from crime, evils of society, hell’s temptation, and others. The Filipinos must also taste the richness of the sea and waters; the mountains, hills and skies.

So, now there are two groups of lawmakers who are accusing the government panel on the Mindanao peace initiatives. They accused the government panel for treason and for usurping a power they did not have when they committed to cause the amendment of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and existing laws to conform with FAB and CAB.

But I opine, they should also include in their charges, the Commander in Chief, (or the :President) who has the command responsibility and accountability of all these mess that is going on. Indeed, this is a “trial by experiment.” This is one effort that seems to be wasted and seems to just die a natural death. I just pray that this would not happen. Because lives, money and time, have been sacrificed for this seemingly futile exercise.

The decommissioning process is also to be stopped or suspended also for the moment that there is no legal and proper process of collecting and confiscating weapons and ammunition. Have we come to realize how much would this process cost? Destroying or burning or burying all these most expensive equipment and facilities? (Just to satisfy the whims of the peace panel?) So, I guess, there is really a rason d’ etre for the probe. Let’s all be vigilant and observant and let’s not give up if we think we are right. OK??

Posted in Opinion