The House just voted and passed the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) with most of its provisions submitted by the Palace approved. Immediately, Senators led by Miriam Santiago and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. registered their dissent, with Santiago alleging that the BBL aims to create a "sub-state" which is entirely violative of the Constitution.
Malacanang has set a deadline--June 10--for the passage of the controversial law. Opponents of the BBL are organising an anti-BBL rally on Sunday. Some of those opposing the passage of the law includes former officials of the Ramos administration.
Giving more powers to the Bangsamoros is a given in any negotiation with them. Who will not demand for an arm and a leg? Decades of imperialist rule by Tagalogs and Visayans justify such an arrangement with them.
The MILF Central Committee has already given their decision--they will not accept a "diluted" BBL. What is the consequence? Will it be all out war?
I think war is a far-fetched idea given that the Bangsamoros follow what the Noble Qu'ran teaches them to do-- that you don't go to war if peace is possible. If the BBL fails to pass, the next step really is for both parties--the MILF which represents the Bangsamoro People and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to go back to the negotiating table.
The problem with a re-negotiation is that the first one was actually mediated by a third party state--Malaysia. Second, Japan also came into the picture. I don't know what face will we be able to show to these two countries which gave so much of their political capital just to make this a reality.
And the MILF leadership also sacrificed a lot of political capital when they sat in that negotiating table. The risk is greater for them than the government peace panel. Losing their respective reputations means a weaker hold of grassroots groups. A weaker centralized leadership could lead to disunity or worse, creation of smaller, more mobile yet more lethal revolutionary groups. International support could reach these groups, giving them more ammunition and more sophistication in their military operationss.
A failed BBL could result to a more serious security threat against the Philippine Republic. What this issue has achieved is it led to a re-consolidation of Bangsamoro groups. IF a war does ensue, that would be more intense and more serious than past conflicts because it would probably show a stronger more resilient Bangsamoro front. Even the middle forces in Bangsamoro society would surely take part in this war. And that would seriously affect peace and order in the region.
I think it is time for the government to understand what things hinder these Big Business groups from this BBL. There is nothing wrong with talking with these Big Business Groups and the hawks outside government and understand where they are coming from, and why they militate against the BBL.