Don't resurrect the BBL
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 2, 2016 - 9:00am

The Senate President has already declared unequivocally. There is no more time to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The other side of the peace process has already pronounced the ultimate judgment of the Bangsa Moro people. that the President does not have any political will to push for the passage of the BBL law. Well, while the pillars of the administration, by this time, must already be accepting the inevitable: that indeed, President Benigno Aquino III has failed in his ambition to leave the BBL as his presidency's legacy, they should be aware too that on the other hand millions of Filipinos are celebrating the non-passage of the law as a major victory of the people.

The great majority of the people are overjoyed by the failure of the Senate and the House to pass the BBL proposed legislation for many sound and compelling reasons.

First, The Malacañang version of the proposed organic law would have dismembered the republic and unwittingly gave impetus to the Bangsa Moro peoples' secessionist aspiration, surreptitiously disguised under the so-called principle of self-determination.

Second, the failure to pass means that the option which other provinces, cities, and municipalities would have used to leave the mainstream republic was not allowed to come about. And so, it is a great success of the indivisibility of the Philippine state.

Third, the failure to pass that highly onerous and one-sided BBL bill was likewise a victory of the many other factions of the Bangsa Moro which factions were excluded from the bargaining table. The group that purports to represent the entire Bangsa Moro was only one faction. It was neither elected by the majority of all the people who are directly affected by the issue nor did such faction enjoy any recognition any other factions. Thus, there was a clear and imminent danger that BBL - assuming it was passed - would ultimately be rejected by the people themselves.

Fourth, to reward such faction of the Bangsa Moro with a legislation that shall give that faction tremendous powers, as well as absolute control of billions of public funds, would be to reward them for the massacre of SAF 44. That Mamasapano tragedy was the will of God, or of Allah, to prevent the passage of such a nefarious piece of legislation. Had there been no such tragedy the BBL should have been a law now and there would be great rejoicing among the people in whose controlled territory, forty-four of our finest police officers and men were slaughtered mercilessly. They do not deserve such a magnanimous piece of legislation.

Fifth, the BBL, as drafted by our negotiators, who seemed to have been co-opted by the other side, and abetted by a Prime Minister of a nation with whom we have a territorial dispute, was a fruit of a poisonous tree. It was only just and reasonable that our Lower and Upper House did not ram to our throat that highly destructive piece of legislative incongruity. We should be thankful to Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for refusing to be pressured by Malacañang, and by proposing a fairer, a more balanced, and a more acceptable version. If not for the patriotic stand of Senator Bongbong Marcos, the people would not have fully realized the horrible consequences of the original draft.

Now, that Congress will no longer be in session, and when all the members of both the House and the Senate will be out campaigning, then we, the sovereign Filipino people can sleep soundly and, in the meanwhile be at peace. It is high time to reflect on how to proceed with the peace process in Mindanao without having to give up any portion of our territorial domain and any component of the State's sovereignty.

When the next President shall have assumed office in June, and the next Congress shall convene, what matters most is that our beloved homeland shall remain one, united and not fragmented. Yes, the BBL is dead, and its death is good for our nation and people. We should never resurrect such a legislative monstrosity.

ATILDE BANGSA MORO BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BBL HOUSE AND THE SENATE LOWER AND UPPER HOUSE MALACA PEOPLE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRIME MINISTER SENATE AND THE HOUSE
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