BBL is not dead

The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not dead --- and will never die, contrary to what Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile said recently. Or to say the least, the fundamental elements of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) will not die. They are the heart and soul of the struggle of the Moros for right to self-determination. No law or not anyone can extinguish them. We will continue to assert them and tell government not to continue to renege on their obligations contained in signed agreements.

It is unfortunate or fortunate that Enrile would not be around to continue to deny Moros their fair share of powers and resources in a genuine autonomous entity. He is already too old and would no longer be part of the next Senate.  We do not know whether he can still be made accountable for his bloody role during Martial Law where thousands upon thousands of Moros died in series of massacres. He was then martial law administrator and subsequently defence secretary. His hands are full of Moro blood!

We thought that even for the last remaining few years of his life, he would temper his thesis that Moros, if given the opportunity, would secede from this country. It is an outdated idea that does not fare well in the 21st century or in matured democracies such as in Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, and Finland. But it seems he never changed.

Is his idea more to secure this country from dismemberment or something innate? It is a fact that he was the only senator who wanted to continue interpellating Senator Bong Bong Marcos, who is the main sponsor of the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR).

Former President Fidel Ramos was also part of the Martial Law infrastructure. But he had the courage --- and openness --- to sign the GRP-MNLF Final Agreement of 1996 and granted autonomy, no matter how limited, to the Moros. Indeed, it is a prelude to greatness or already greatness itself.

In spite of all these, we still do not burn our bridges completely with Enrile.  In fact, many Moro voters voted for his son when he ran for the Senate in 2010. It is not our policy to burn bridges with anyone or group. If we cannot agree on certain matters, we just leave them that way. Man has the capacity to change or not to change. Let history handles them.