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BBL relay: From Aquino to Peace Council to Marcos

News & Interviews
6 May 2015

By Yen Makabenta | The Manila Times


The BBL is now the baton in a weird track-and-field relay.

First, President BS Aquino had an “aha moment” wherein he saw himself handing off the ugly offspring to a handpicked Citizens’ Peace Council composed of supporters and proven cronies, whom he charged with the daunting task of making the BBL acceptable and legitimate.

As requested, the council in just two weeks of looking busy dutifully proclaimed the baby legal and constitutional. They got so excited, they called the BBL “overwhelmingly acceptable.”

The council came out with a 196-page report on the 122-page Bangsamoro bill. The verbiage made Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma enthuse, “the Council went through the draft BBL thoroughly.”

Like Aquino, the convenors performed a swindle by describing a mere legislative proposal (a bill) as already a law— hoping our unthinking legislators will not bother to examine it, and the people will get confused.

Will Bongbong carry the torch?

Yesterday, members of the peace council went to the Senate to present their cringe-making report on the BBL to the Senate committee on local government, which is conducting hearings on the bill under the chairmanship of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The report is so shameless and padded, Cardinal Tagle and businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala declined to go along to the Senate. Those who did – former chief justice Hilario Davide, former Vatican ambassador Howard Dee, and Muslim youth leader Bai Sumndad-Usman — did their utmost to sound earnest. Like snake-oil salesmen, they tried to inveigle Bongbong into joining the BBL relay. They told Bongbong that he will seal his place in history if he leads in passing the measure in the Senate.

Will this new generation Marcos fall for the swindle? Not likely. The still youngish senator thinks before he leaps. He measures his words and his decisions. And recent history proves it emphatically.

During the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona, Bongbong rejected all the blandishments of Malacañang, including P100 million of DAP funds, and voted to acquit. While opposition senators who voted yes – like Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla —are now languishing in detention on murky plunder charges, it would be the height of irony if he who resisted to the last will now surrender to temptation.

Along with others, I will warn Senator Marcos that the baby that has been placed in his hands is not only illegitimate and unconstitutional, it is a Trojan horse.

Inside the horse are Malaysia and the MILF. It will complete the sellout of Mindanao and Sulu to Malaysia, that began with Ninoy Aquino cutting a deal with Malaysian officials and royalty, was carried forward by president Corazon Aquino, and has now been accelerated by their son, BS Aquino.

No amount of cheerleading and propaganda by the yellow crowd and yellow media will make this ugly offspring benign and legitimate. No prince of the Church can wash it clean of its sordid origins. No endorsement by the Makati business community will deodorize it. No testimonials by surviving members of the Constitutional Commission (which drafted the 1987 Constitution) will square it with the strictures of law and national honor.

Echoes of Chamberlain and Munich

To fully recognize the false choice presented him, Senator Marcos should be mindful of what awaits him if he yields to the temptation of serving as yet another foster father of this BBL baby.

He will become the equivalent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on the eve of World War II, when he negotiated a peace deal with Hitler in 1938.

At the time, Chamberlain was applauded by most Britons when he returned to London from Munich, waving an agreement with Hitler’s signature on it, and proclaiming “Peace for our time.”

To quote the author and professor Thomas Sowell on Chamberlain’s peace initiative: “Who cared that he had thrown a small country to the Nazi wolves, in order to get a worthless agreement with Hitler? It looked great at the time because it had apparently avoided war.

“In 1938, Winston Churchill was one of the very few critics who tried to warn Chamberlain and the British public. Churchill said: ‘The idea that safety can be purchased by throwing a small State to the wolves is a fatal delusion.’ “

“After the ruinous agreement was made with Hitler, Churchill said: ‘You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.’ “ Chamberlain’s ‘Peace for our time’ lasted just under a year.”

Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” is the classic tale of appeasement. BBL is the Filipino equivalent of that worthless agreement.

Bongbong has the magnificent opportunity to perform a great service to the nation. He can be our Churchill in this contentious time of decision.

At a news conference after meeting with the Peace Council convenors, Marcos said the Peace Council report supported the committee’s belief that the BBL should be amended to make it compliant with the Constitution.

“I think I can categorically state that the draft BBL, as transmitted by President Aquino to the Senate and the House of Representatives in its present form, won’t pass either House,” Marcos said.

Supreme Court as the end of the line

Once we examine the hard, cold facts of the Aquino administration’s actions in the GRP-MILF peace agreement and the BBL, it becomes painfully clear that Aquino and his peace negotiators never thought through the implications of every provision they were agreeing to during the negotiations with the MILF.

They foolishly agreed to throw aside existing peace agreements and covenants that were already in place, in favor of a mirage of peace that only a delusional president could love.

This BBL relay and charade will no doubt persist, because BS Aquino is an obstinate brat, who once fixated on an objective, will do all to get it – even expend blood and treasure.

I say, let him be as bratty and batty as much as he likes. He can recruit and corrupt as many as he wants to carry the BBL baton. This baby will still be ugly and illegitimate. Its DNA will remain questionable.

When the time comes to hand off the baton to the Supreme Court and the people, they will resoundingly reject it — first as an unconstitutional measure, and then as no child of the Filipino nation.

And that will be the end of the line for BBL.