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There Will Never be Lasting Peace with the Bangasamoro Basic Law

t is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). continued below graphic
Remains of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troops killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao arrive at Villamor Airbase on January 29, 2015
First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international terrorist. Because the SAF officers were in what the rebels perceive as “their” territory provided the Moros with the excuse they needed to savagely slaughter the group. This incident, known as the Mamasapano Massacre occurred shortly after the Moros and the Aquino administration signed the BBL.

So much for a show of good faith from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The fact that they fervently want the BBL agreement ratified by the Philippine Government, did not stop them from killing as many Philippine policemen as they could.

Next, the Filipino people find out that the Moro representative who actually signed the agreement, did so using a pseudonym—a fake name, a nom de guerre. Mr. X? Lubis Abas aka Mohagher IqbalThe Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator, known to one and all as Mohagher Iqbal is not his true name. He has refused to disclose his real name to the media or the Philippine Senate. It is difficult to follow the logic put forward by Iqbal that he is hiding behind a pseudonym to protect his family. When ordinary citizens enter into a contract or sign an agreement, the law requires that they use their true name. But for some incomprehensible reason, the Aquino administration is okay with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s representative signing a comprehensive agreement of great importance (one which establishes an autonomous region, and commits the government to billions of pesos in funding for decades to come) with a fake name.

The Filipinos of tomorrow—the ones who will truly bear the brunt of the BBL should it become law—will be aghast when they learn that that onerous agreement was signed by a Moro representative who refused to publicly identify himself. Iqbal might just as well have signed it as “Mr. X”

And most recently, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has stated categorically that they will not turn over to Philippine investigators any of the fighters involved in the Mamasapano incident.

During the recent commemoration of the Fall of Bataan, President Benigno Aquino III noted that Filipinos, Americans, and Japanese are now close allies although not long ago, Japan was the enemy. What Aquino failed to mention was that Japan was first totally defeated before it changed its ways. The same can be said of Germany. Even in the history of the United States, the Southern states that rose up against the North had to first be defeated before they were fully integrated back into the Union. Most recently, North Vietnam had to decisively defeat South Vietnam before they could become the unified vibrant Vietnam that we know today.

If we Filipinos are to learn anything from history, it is that a two-state compromise is usually unworkable. The Philippines must exercise complete control over all of Mindanao before any change for the better can occur. During waning days of World War II, there was never any serious talk of making a deal with Hitler or the Japanese emperor. Hostilities might have ended sooner and thousands of lives would have been saved if the Allies had allowed the Nazis or the Japanese to keep some of their territory in exchange for a cessation of hostilities—a “win-win” situation for the Allies and the Axis powers. Germany and Japan would save face and continue insisting that their cause was right. But alas, that world would be a very different—most likely more dangerous—place than what we have today.

Instead Germany and Japan were totally defeated and the Allies exacted full capitulation from them. The Germans and the Japanese eventually realized the error of their ways and changed for the better. Today both have one of most robust economies in the world.

By contrast, in 1951 General Douglas MacArthur was relieved of his command as Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command (UNCOM) by US President Harry Truman. MacArthur wanted to bring the fight all the way to Pyongyang and crush the communist north. He knew there was no substitute for total victory. In one of his letters he noted “…we must win. There is no substitute for victory.”

But with MacArthur out of the way, a political accommodation was reached. To this day, Korea remains a divided country with a despotic communist government in the North, and a highly industrialized democratic government in the South.

Is this the kind of divided country Filipinos of today wish to pass down to future generations? A well-armed, distrustful, predominantly Muslim region that views itself as co-equal to the Philippine government? Say “NO” to the mediocre, defeatist stand the Aquino administration is imposing on its citizens. Instead let us first take full control of all of Mindanao. Then we can all work as one people to make it better. We must learn from the past. We owe it to the next generation because they, more than us will have to live with whatever decision—right or wrong—we make today. Published 4/18/2015

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There Will Never be Lasting Peace with the Bangasamoro Basic Law

It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international terrorist. Published 4/18/2015

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