Which BBL will peace council sell to us?

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Monday, March 30, 2015


WHAT exactly is the job of the Peace Council that President Aquino announced last March 27, whose members include former Supreme Court chief justice Hilario Davide Jr. from Cebu?

Text of the executive order creating the council was still to be released. News stories quoted the president's speech, not any document.

One broadsheet story said the council would "spearhead" a national discussion of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) "to help people understand the proposed autonomous law that would establish a new autonomous region for Muslims in Mindanao."

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The story subhead said the summit will "educate" the public on the proposed BBL while the story's lead said the council will "work for the passage" of BBL.

But what version will the council "educate" the public about, whose passage it will "work for"?

It must be what administration allies filed in Congress, the same draft that the Mamasapano incident left in tatters.

That version suffers from major flaws:

-- (1) it deals only with MILF rebels whose trustworthiness as peace partner and credibility as representative of Muslim Mindanao is in serious doubt;

-- (2) it has constitutional issues that can't stand close scrutiny in the courts.

Rahrah team?

How could the council push this bill, as is, when congressional leaders are bent on overhauling it to remove the objectionable provisions?

Define the role, specify the function of the peace council: whether it would be working with Congress for a new draft acceptable to the public or it would just be a team rooting for the Malacañang-MILF version.

(paseares@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2015.

Opinion

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