A Way Out
by Rafael Alunan III
Rafael Alunan III, former DILG chief, offers solution to dangerous “BBL” problem
The outspoken and fearless former chief of the country’s Department of Interior and Local Government has just offered the embattled Noynoy Aquino administration a way out of the unconstitutional Malaysia-engineered MILF territorial law mess (also known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL) it has forced — and is forcing, the country’s institutions and population to face. Without a shadow of doubt, Rafael Alunan III has emerged as the strongest champion of national cohesion for the Philippine republic. The no-nonsense former Interior and Local Govt chief, one of the major state actors who helped pave the way for the PH Govt and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to reach a peace deal in 1996, is widely recognised today as the nation’s most fearless advocate for maintaining the country’s territorial integrity. Read his brief or “A Way Out” destined for the eyes and ears of President Noynoy Aquino and his BBL panelists. ~~ Blog Administrator *****
If we take away all the unconstitutional provisions of the BBL as cited by various Law Deans, ex-Supreme Court Justices, Sen. Miriam Santiago and other public leaders, and align the BBL to the Philippine Constitution and existing laws, without any opening for dismemberment and governance misalignment, then what we have is the existing ARMM structure and system of governance.
If ARMM is not working because it does not have the human resources to make it a viable public service platform, then focus on improving capacities and capabilities. If it lacks financial resources, then channel more funds to it subject to proper controls. If it lacks the teeth to complement the local government units under it, then it should be empowered.
That being the case, what we will end up with is a re-energized or re-engineered ARMM without wrecking the system. That is our way out of this dangerous BBL.
One question to ask is, will there be a marked difference in the quality of governance with the passage of BBL versus a re-engineered ARMM under the MILF, given the built-in flaws from a feudal, violent and vengeful culture? If no, why change ARMM?
Additionally, will there be a dramatic change in peace and order in terms of marked reductions in ridos, extremism and lawlessness? Will a rebel group with global jihadist ties realistically bring about peace? If no, why change ARMM?
Has poverty been markedly reduced in LGU’s they’re in control of? If not, will BBL be able to alter that reality dramatically overnight? If no, why change ARMM?
The right package of solutions must be reckoned with the root cause. Resolving the problems by addressing the symptoms will mean more of the same failures.