Saturday, October 3, 2015

MNLF not surprised by BBL’s ‘death’

From the Daily Tribune (Oct 3): MNLF not surprised by BBL’s ‘death’

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) group of chairman Nur Misuari is not surprised over the “death” of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being pushed by its breakaway faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Aquino administration.

Rev. Absalom Cerveza, spokesman for the MNLF-Misuari group, said that the MNLF has been consistent in its stand that the BBL was bound to doom.

“That is what we have been saying long before, it will not stand,” Cerveza told The Tribune.
“It (BBL) was problematic, and was crafted in haste and was not studied well,” he added.

Cerveza also cited the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the Philippine government and the MNLF as among the obstacles in the passage of BBL.

He noted that same areas covered by the 1996 FPA, signed by Misuari and former President Ramos, were included in the BBL.

In August 2013, the MNLF-Misuari group declared independence from the Philippine government and established its so-called Bangsamoro Republik in protest of the Aquino administration’s signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) with the MILF.

A month later, hundreds of MNLF fighters laid siege on Zamboanga City, trigerring weeks of armed confrontation with police and military troops. The clashes ended in the killing of dozens of MNLF fighters and government troops.

Cerveza stressed that the Aquino administration offered areas covered by the 1996 FPA to the MILF.

“No man in his right mind will agree to that…that is betrayal, travesty and hindi matuwid na daan,” Cerveza said.

Another MNLF spokesman, lawyer Victor Emmanuel Fontanilla, echoed Cerveza’s statements.
“There is an existing agreement between the MNLF and the government…and BBL violates the Tripoli Agreement. Expectedly, it will not prosper,” Fontanilla said.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have conceded that there is not enough time to pass the BBL.

Also, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who are heading the congressional panels hearing the BBL, have rejected some provisions of the Malacañang and MILF-proposed BBL for being unconstitutional.

The MILF has been consistent in saying it will not accept a watered-down version of the BBL.

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