From the Philippine Star (Aug 18): Cop hurt in NPA attack
A police officer was wounded when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas harrased a police detachment in Calinog town, Iloilo on Sunday.
Police Officer 1 Junel Gardose, 26, was taken to a hospital for a bullet wound in the jaw, according to Chief Inspector Rogelio Ortigas, town police chief.
Reports said the rebels shot at the detachment in Barangay Agcalaga at around 11 a.m.
Authorities recovered eight bullet shells for an M16 Armalite and AK47 assault rifle.
Meanwhile, as the rebels assaulted the Calinog detachment, another group of communist insurgents clashed with government security forces in the nearby town of Tapaz in Capiz.
Maj. Ray Tiongson, spokesperson for the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said troopers belonging to the 61st Infantry Battalion were patrolling in Barangay Aglinab when they encountered the rebels at about 10:45 a.m.
None of the troopers was killed or injured in the firefight.
Their arguments hinged on stressing the autonomous character of the entity, as indetachable part and parcel of the Philippine state. They want to erase any hint of so-called substate status for the Bangsamoro new entity, and finally, any justification for secession. Fear has now become the prime enemy of peace through the BBL.
Well and good! But they are only overstressing what is obvious. Redundancy is never the best practice in writing and in law-making. Besides, never in signed agreements, much more the BBL itself, any hint that the BBL does not seek to establish an autonomous entity, real and functional one. But alas! both the House and Senate versions will only establish an entity lower than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
But here is the catch for the change of acronym from BBL to BAR. Soldiers and rebels alike are very much aware of the acronym BAR. It is the beginning letters of Browning Automatic Rifle, which was used by the United States and numerous other countries during the 20th century. It also saw action in the early part of the Vietnam War. The rifle was originally designed by John Browning in 1917 for the US Expeditionary Corps in Europe as a replacement for the French-made Chauchat and M1909 Benet-Mercie machineguns.
The imposed wars from the Spanish period to the advent of the Americans in the 19th century and onto the declaration of Martial Law in 1972 have compelled the Moros to defend and arm themselves or perish. Consequently, as warriors, their psyche is easier to sway to take the path of war than to embrace the so-called path of peace. It is only now under the Aquino dispensation that they see the peace process as genuine.
Perchance, the legislators failed to realize how strong the effects of symbolism in determining the mindsets and attitudes of people. By using BAR, it continuously reminds the Moros of their martial history as an unconquered people and the BAR as a very reliable weapon in their wars with government forces in early 70s. The BAR is next to the machineguns in effectiveness, both are using same ammunitions.
Another important point to stress is that both government and MILF have seen to it that the BBL does not contain any provision repugnant to the Constitution. The BBL has passed through various discussions including long sessions with constitutional experts like Fr. Joaquin Bernas, former Supreme Court Justice Hilario Davide Jr., and many others to ensure that it is compliant to the Constitution.
Finally, there is one thing that many lawmakers refused to heed. In fact, they seemed to have ignored it at all. The BBL is designed to solve the Bangsamoro Problem or Question, which is the only agenda of the GPH-MILF peace negotiations way back in 1997. They overstressed the so-called constitutional infirmities of the BBL, which are disputed by other people including lawyers.
What then is the use of a law passed by Congress only to prolong the miseries and sufferings in Mindanao, because it violated the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) --- and the MILF is forced to reject it? Come to think of this, dear anti-original BBL solons?