BBL won't end armed
look for better alternatives to have genuine peace - Cayetano
By Office of the Senate
June 1, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senate
Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said the passage of the proposed
Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will not guarantee lasting peace in
Mindanao, since it is not inclusive, not even within the Moro Islamic
liberation Front itself.
He cited a recent news
report published by the Manila Standard claiming that at least 85 top
commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) denounced the
leadership of MILF Chair Ebrahim Murad for forging a “doubtful” peace
deal with government and vowed not to support the BBL.
"The bill has not even been
enacted into law, yet we hear of Moro commanders eyeing to break away
from the MILF. This adds to our fear that even if the BBL is passed,
there will be more armed clashes,” the senator said.
With this in mind, the
senator stressed that all efforts for peace in Mindanao should no
longer be focused on a single group like the MNLF or the MILF.
“We must learn from the
lesson of history. Before the BBL, we already had peace negotiations
with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), leading to the
creation of ARMM. We all expected this to bring peace in the region,"
Cayetano said. "But soon after, MILF broke away from MNLF due to their
disagreements with the signed peace deal. Now that it is MILF’s turn
to talk peace, there is a threat of another breakaway group. So how
sure are we that the BBL can really create permanent peace in
Further, Cayetano said he
learned from consultations with stakeholders that many Mindanaoans
distrust MILF’s intentions in pushing for the BBL. He said both Muslim
and Christian leaders in the region are looking for a better measure
that will promote the welfare of all groups in Mindanao.
"The BBL is not the answer
to Mindanaoans’ problems. What we need is a better solution, a real
change for peace, one that takes into account the concerns of all
other stakeholders," he said.
One alternative, he
suggested, is to pass a bill that seeks to strengthen the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) or have two autonomous regions in the
Moreover, he assured the
public and stakeholders that senators will not railroad the passage of
the BBL, noting that an enacted law should not only be constitutional,
but should also address the needs of all Mindanaoans.
"This development should not
be disregarded. OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles and chief peace
negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer should explain what they know about
this issue and how this could greatly affect the ongoing peace
process. This should serve as a wake-up call for government to learn
from the mistakes of the past and not allow history to repeat itself,”