The central issue being discussed among ourselves especially online is really about competence. Is the President competent to lead us, especially at these times when threats, local and foreign, looms larger than before?
When I say "threats", I do not just mean military-related, but more of "security" which is a subject encompassing several topics like food security, housing, social-related or economic security. Ours is a fledgling democracy, where resilience thru consistency in policy is always a point of debate.
Threats against our very existence as a nation, that's one point which is being argued by those who favour not the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Let's question the inquirer--is the Bangsamoro Republic really a threat to our existence?
Yes, if this is created apart from us and thru armed struggle. Wars like what happened in Mindanao has a reverse effect on us, especially in our economy. Since we don't have industries which, in a war economy, benefit from it, wars have a negative effect since it affects investor confidence. The only ones benefitting from wars are foreign defense contractors.
When the lives of the citizenry are under a disruptive mode, economic performance is affected. Everything is under what we call "suspended animation" where there exists a condition of uncertainty. When uncertainty abounds, the flow of investments is impeded. There is no change in the condition because no one will ever invest in a place which is always in a destabilised mode.
A state created within a state is always under destabilisation precisely because it is unnatural. So the question really is neither if this Bangsamoro Republic is created outside the very constitutional limitations that are established thru convention nor within the very legal bounds as set by the imperial state--the most pertinent question is the most basic, which is, the ability of that state to really exists while within the very territory that the bigger state occupies.
Reality is, the Bangsamoro claimed territories are within a major island of a state, which is the Philippine state run under a Republican democratic setup. Whether the Bangsamoro people obtain independence thru parliamentary or armed struggle is of no consequence, since the very attainment of either does not affect the reality which is it (meaning the future Bangsamoro state) existing within and under the rules set by another and bigger state.
Obviously, a call for independence is surely not the way to go because it will only make destabilisation and war permanent. Looking at the Bangsamoro Question, I find the threat of calling for independence a shallow thing because it will not amount to anything beneficial to the Bangsamoro people. It will only decimate their ranks and the possibility of ethnic cleansing exists.
Now, subsuming to the wiles of the bigger state is always problematic because the bigger state runs its way against conventional wisdom by the smaller state. There will always be conflict because of the differing ideological, social, economic, and cultural perspectives.
Having said that, am I suggesting that there is no permanent solution to the Bangsamoro Question except perhaps the Bangsamoro people working within the very limits and bounds set by the bigger state? Yes, but only in these times of weakness.
There will always be a yearning by the Bangsamoro to dominate and eventually separate from the Philippine republic precisely because of the obvious differences in conduct and of thinking.