Marcos is taking all his sweet time in making it appear in statements that the proposed BBL is so infirm that its present form and substance will only bring more chaos to the country instead of a peaceful resolution in the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.
I say sweet time because while everybody else is desirous of BBL’s immediate realization, Marcos is making the delay according to his political plan, thus, his adversity for rushing it so he could have more time for political posturing.
Let me just reprint his statement describing the proposed BBL as a masterpiece of failure, for better appreciation of his hidden political agenda: “Unfortunately, the BBL in its present form and substance will not bring us any closer to peace. Instead, it will lead us to perdition. Armed conflict will ensue. Blood will be shed. And when blood is shed, it will not distinguish between right and wrong; between young and old, neither between men and women, nor soldiers or rebels, combatants and civilians, rich, poor, Muslims, Christians. Nobody wins. Everybody loses.”
Why all of a sudden Marcos is sounding alarmist, portraying grimly the proposed BBL when the respectable five-man Citizens’ Peace Council formed by President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) to scrutinize the BBL from different perspective approved it and called on the Filipino people to support it?
Even the reportedly 14 surviving members of the 1987 Constitutional Convention agreed with the findings regarding the constitutionality of the many provisions of the BBL. Needless to say that there are also some flaws, but not so alarming that it could not be revised and corrected, nor so disturbing that the ambitious son of the dictator Marcos will utter words of doom.
Former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, co-convenor of the Citizens’ Peace Council, pointed out the significance of passing the BBL as an instrument of peace and development not only for Mindanao, but for the country.
“The Bangsamoro government as constituted in the BBL is compliant to the requirements of the Constitution,” Davide said.
Davide explained that the BBL does not make the Bangsamoro government a state as provisions on “people,” “territory,” and “self determination” do not imply the creation of a separate state, but are consistent with the constitutionally mandated creation of autonomous regions.
Davide also stressed that intergovernmental relation between the national government and the Bangsamoro government is consistent with the allocation of powers mandated by the Constitution.
But this is not what interests Marcos.
What interests Marcos is not so much that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has totally ignored some major stakeholders, like the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), but more about breathing life to the present Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) so that he could continue the legacy that his father, the dictator, has started, thus giving credit to the Marcoses for lasting peace in Mindanao instead of PNoy administration’s BBL claiming the honor.
If this is not a self-serving political ploy that Marcos has concocted because he wants to reclaim Malacañang, with his mother, Imelda, prodding him, I do not know what is.
Simply said, Marcos is showing his true color.
All these times, since the Marcos family’s return to the corridors of political power and influence, they had been waiting for an opportunity to be in the limelight and be seen as a savior of some kind to erase the stigma of the Marcos name, and the BBL controversy has given the Marcos son the moment to exploit the situation and come out a hero in the eyes of the ARMM citizens.
But for as long as the Filipino people continue to recognize the grim truth about the Marcoses, then it does not really matter if lasting peace in Mindanao will come about because of the BBL or the amended ARMM.