Passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) may be the solution to the long-term conflict in Mindanao that will finally bring peace to the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao. The purpose of this law, according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, is “to establish the new Bangsamoro political entity and provide for its basic structure of government, in recognition of the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.”
However, we’ve been hearing a lot of opposition to this. There are numerous blog posts and online petitions against it, with most of them saying that the law will only allow the Muslim rebels in Mindanao to have their own state and will be funded by the Philippine Government from our taxes.
This was just a theory, but it is not baseless, Muslim rebels have always been receiving funds from the government indirectly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the details yet.
Personally, I can’t blame the Muslims in Mindanao if they wanted to be separated from the twisted and corrupted government system in the Philippines. Clearly, they may have believed that Mindanao will be better off without the control of the central government.
We should let the Bangsamoro have their own government entity (not a sub-state) and let them progress at their own pace and their own way. If you have read the BBL, it has been very clear that it will have no prejudice to the power of any government agency. So basically, Philippine government will still be allowed to interfere to the affairs of Bangsamoro if necessary.
If BBL works fine after a few years, let’s just say five years, I believe other provinces have to follow the footsteps of Bangsamoro and be ready for another House Bill like CBL (Cebu Basic Law) or IBL (Ilocos Basic Law) or whatever provinces who wanted to have their own government entity.
Everyone should chill for a while and take a look at the BBL itself. This law will open a new door for the Philippines. It might not entirely make a difference to the whole nation, but surely it will make a lot of difference to the Bangsamoro people.
If one hasn’t read the whole house bill entirely, one should stop pretending that he clearly knows what will happen if BBL will be passed. As a matter of fact, most of the people are clueless what the BBL is really about. Their minds were easily corrupted by the black propaganda of the anti-BBL supporters. Some people are just surfing along the waves of the issue just to flaunt their opinions which were basically copycat from others.
The only thing that I dislike regarding BBL is Article II, Section 3 which states that “the Bangsamoro Parliament shall adopt the official flag, emblem and anthem of the Bangsamoro”. Being an autonomous government entity maybe constitutional and acceptable but creating their own flag is a step ahead towards creating a sub-state within our country.
Remember that creating a sub-state is unconstitutional. However, many BBL patriots defend this part about the official flag using Republic Act No. 8491, Section 44 which states that any government entity, including the military, may adopt appropriate coat-of-arms, administrative seals, logo, insignia, badges, patches, and banners.
As you can see, Section 44 only mentions banner but never a flag. According to merriam-webster dictionary, a banner is a piece of cloth attached by one edge to a staff and used by a leader (as a monarch or feudal lord) as his standard or a strip of cloth on which a sign is painted. on the other hand, a flag is usually rectangular piece of fabric of distinctive design that is used as a symbol (as of a nation), as a signaling device, or as a decoration. Both banner and flag were defined distinctively from each other.
Thus, a flag is not a banner and a banner is not a flag. Legislators must be precise when discussing law-related subjects as the law itself is a precise endeavor. One must not be fooled just because they used an existing law to cover their asses. I just hope that the congress will have to do something about Article II, Section 3 this June.
I just wanted to clear that I am not pro-Noynoy. I never was and I never will. However, I am pro-peace. And if there is any chance to resolve the conflict in Mindanao no matter how slim the chances are, I will support it. It is better to give BBL a chance than to do nothing at all.
*Edrian Echague is a marine engineering graduate of the Philippine Merchant Marine School – Las Pinas, where he served as president of the supreme student government from 2012 to 2013. He was selected as one of the ten outstanding graduating maritime students in the Philippines during the said school year.