No to resignation and no to BBL
STRAWS IN THE WIND - Eladio C. Dioko (The Freeman) - March 5, 2015 - 12:00am

The call for President Noynoy Aquino to resign continues to reverberate. In fact, a new group called Kayumanggi something has just been organized with the same demand. Malacañang of course keeps on saying PNoy will not step down, and keeps on dishing out half-truths about what really happened in Mamasapano.

The general feeling however is for PNoy to stay put until his term expires in 2016, a rational position, actually. By not resigning he does not rock the boat, so to speak, and the vessel of state goes on sailing until it reaches the electoral shore in 2016.

That situation may not be what Vice President Binay is praying for although publicly he said he wanted PNoy to finish his term. A Binay presidency? Most Filipinos would be turned off just to think about it. Not that they have already condemned him. But the leader of the land must not only be virtuous (like Caesar's wife) but must also be above suspicion.

Besides, Filipinos have already rocked the boat before with Edsa I and Edsa II and what happened? The same problems go on hounding the country. More people are jobless and the poor have proliferated, while politicians have become more vicious in their greed and criminality is on the rise.

It's not another people power we need. It's a massive wave of social transformation. But how to bring this about nobody seems to know. Even the NTC people don't know. Even the Church seems helpless.

There are talks of system change involving the adoption of a federal form of government. There are insinuations too about installing a strong-fisted man in Malacañang. But as long as the heart of the average Filipinos remains unchanged this country will continue to be a poor man's place in Asia. Of course, a form of government that will diminish the power and influence of Imperial Manila and strengthen the local governments would help. But a strong man for president? That would be inviting another dictator to rule the country.

These are however prospective concerns. Right now the nation is grappling with a crisis in leadership. Forty-four young and promising peace officers died needlessly because their commander-in-chief failed to issue the critical command at the critical moment. And yet that commander refuses to acknowledge his fault.

And talking of fault, a more serious one is emerging as PNoy keeps on pressuring Congress to approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law. This, despite the massacre at Mamasapano engineered mostly by MILF fighters. BBL proposes certain areas in Mindanao as Bangsamoro country to be administered as autonomous region by MILF itself. It will have its own bureaucracy with offices which will operate almost independently from the national government. Worse, it will maintain its own security force with minimum supervision from the PNP or AFP. In short, it will be virtually a state within a state.

It is unconstitutional, blatantly unconstitutional, declared many political analysts. But Malacañang would not listen to them. In fact, some legislators are beginning to say Amen to the wishes of that high office, which is not surprising because election season is just around the corner, and who does not need a presidential blessing at this time?

Peace, peace in Mindanao is the call of those who would have the BBL approved. Of course, who does not want peace? Yet only the most naive believe that BBL translates into peace. To be sure, there are the MNLF, the BIFF, the Abu Sayyaf, and private armies all of which are potential, even actual, sources of trouble. How then can the BBL of PNoy and MILF once approved guarantee peace in that southern diaspora?

Unless all these groups can be made participants in peace negotiations and eventually sign a covenantof peace and unless the government embark in a no-nonsense effort to develop the economy of Mindanao, peace will remain an elusive thing in that southern backdoor.


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