BBL? Yes, but peace in Mindanao will be won or lost in the mosques*

grand mosqueby josephivo

More of the same results in more of the same. Six centuries of Moro factions in a struggle to keep their influence in Mindanao saw a continuous flaring up of violence. Rulers changed, violence remained. A new peace agreement between the Government and the currently most influential faction, the MILF, will not end this cycle of violence. The problem is not the struggle for influence, the problem is violence. What causes this violence?

Some statements are exaggerated into black and white to make a point, reality has more shades.

* Free translation of what an Al-Qaida double agent said on the BBC, “The war against ISIS will be won or lost in the mosques.”


1.1  Double loop thinking

Things have 3 levels: a product level, a process level and a belief level. Thus two loops: Processes influence products and products influence processes. Beliefs influence processes and seeing processes succeed or fail influences beliefs.

We can try to change what we see, but as what we see is the result of processes, changing these processes might be more effective. But processes do not fall out of the blue sky, they are the result of our ways of thinking, our beliefs. How to change our beliefs? As this has the most leverage.

1.2 Economical component, power/cultural component, religious components.

The struggle for influence always has many components such as possession, power, cultural, religious and other beliefs. Often religion is the pretext as it always mobilizes the strongest emotions. The struggle between popes and emperors was a struggle for wealth and possessions, too.  Iglesia Ni Christo (INC) and block-voting has more to do with power and influence than with strict religion. The crusades wanted to liberate Jerusalem but were often more motivated by land and titles in the Holy Land and the control of trade. The same for the Saudi family; religion but also the hunger for power and possessions drove their conquests. There is no clear scale to measure those factors. The rational and the emotional motivations might even be different.

1.3 Violence and the nature/nurture cocktail

The causes of violence are multiple. Part is nature, brain structures or hormone levels, and part is nurture, what our parents taught us or the influence of our surrounding culture. But nature and nurture can reinforce each other in a deadly cocktail.


Some of the genes lead to brain structures that favor violent behavior are identified (e.g MAOA, DRD2, DAT1 or DRD4 genes; see the Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine). Malnutrition during pregnancy and at a young age can lead to violent prone brain structures. The part of the pre-frontal cortex that controls impulses only matures in the mid-twenties. Testosterone and other hormones influence violent behavior. Testosterone peaks at the age of 17. Nutrition influences the functioning of our brains and the production of hormones.

But equally or more important is learned behavior. Unstable families produce more violent offspring. In some cultures a fighting spirit is applauded while in others you have to stay friendly at all costs. If you have one of the contributing physical properties, it can be suppressed or enhanced by the environment.  In some areas uncontrolled testosterone bombs of late teens or early tweens easily explode; in others the energies are channeled into less harmful activities.


2.1 The unequal opponents

In the Bangsomoro negotiations, we have on one side a religious motivated group and on the other side we have the state and its constitution. The motivations are different – e.g. Koran versus constitution – and the constraints are different – e.g. high risk allowed versus restrictions on collateral damage, Geneva Convention . . . –  and the objectives are opposite – an independent religious state versus one sovereign, secular state.

A fair struggle would be between the ING and local Islam or the Catholic Church and Sunni Muslims. Or at the other hand, between the traditional Sultan(s) with territorial claims and the patronizing state.

One party is the most representative organization for all Moros with a traditional leadership, the other party is the legitimate democratic state of all Filipinos.

2.2 The diplomat/missionary versus warrior/jihadists

Catholics believe in missionaries: our God understands, we will explain and try to baptize you in the process. Muslims believe in Jihad: our God is merciless, convert completely or die. This makes a meaningful conversation difficult.


MILF Chief Negotiator Iqbal, a Muslim representative who tries to convince and thus acts as a missionary, sounds hypocritical. A Muslim should show his intention to fight. And Caytano, in return, can raise the tension by appealing to our fear of an Islamic Jihad. This makes it easy, too, for Muslim agitators to appeal for violence based on the need to defend religious values threatened by the warrior language of yet another infidel.

What is based on facts? What are all the facts? Where is the thin line between racism and the ignorance of religious practices and symbols?

2.3 Saudi Wahhabism influence

One of the Sunni “denominations”, the Wahhabis, happened to conquer Mecca and Medina and get access to enormous oil wealth, so it is also called oil-Islam. They knew that all starts with education. If you control the religious education, eventually you can control the people. So the Saudis sponsored Mosques all over the world and developed the wealthiest Muslim universities with the large scholarships for international student. The founder Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the 1700s happened to be an “outlaw” in the most conservative Hanbali denomination, condemned by his father and elder brother. He believed that to avoid rulings on situations not explicit described in the Coran or the hadiths, it was best to return to a society equal to the perfect one in Mohamed’s’ time. Today the Saudi royal family like their comfort, so they tweaked the interpretations a little in their favor, but the basic teachings didn’t change.

Most Muslims hold on to a very literal interpretation of the holy scriptures. And a holy war is always justified, killing infidels, those who did not submit to God and thus are in cohorts with the devil. “Thou shall not kill” only applies for Muslims, real Muslims, and for most this means that we can decide who real Muslims are. (A less radical fraction says that only God knows who real Muslims are.) Thus, for many Muslims, fighting is easily justified for God is with us.

One Islam does not exist as one Christian faith does not exist. Some denominations are even mutually exclusive. In Islam, you have Sunnis, Shias, Sufis and half-Islamists like Druze. Also Sunnis are split in various denominations with some considering the others as infidels.They cover a whole spectrum from more liberal to extreme extremists. And, in a denomination, the individual experience can be quite different. Just think of the Catholic Church with Opus Dei and Liberation theology. Or in the Philippines with a history of Augustinians, Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans and regular clergy competing for land, souls and influence. And imagine what would have happened if an outlaw of the Christian Fundamentals Association in a coalition with the ruler of somewhere had conquered Jerusalem and then possessed half the world’s oil reserves.

mosque mindanao

Remember: more Christians died by the fanaticism of other Christians than by the fanaticism of Muslims. More Muslims died by the fanaticism of other Muslims than by the fanaticism of Christians or Jews.

2.4 Islam and Political Islam

Islam is a religion of total, unconditional and without the slightest exception, submission to the Lord. But there is also a political Islam, a tool to achieve political goals. In a country with freedom of religion, the first is nobody else’s business than that of the believer. But the second? A Catholic party, political active bishops in a secular state? An Islamic party with Islam as the binding grounding principle in a secular state?

Political Islam is a different issue altogether and it brings us back to the discussion on sovereignty. Can a sovereign state forbid certain religious sects? What are sects? Where are the border lines? The Scientology church is considered as a sect and forbidden in several European countries, yet it is recognized as an official religion in the USA. Can a representative of one religion call the head of a competing religion to be the “representative of the devil”? Freedom of religion? Free speech? All this needs clarification in the Bangsamoro debate. In a secular state, is a discussion with a religious geographical entity possible?

But equally important should be the discussion on the other side. How to adapt the interpretation of religious texts. What does Jihad mean? Do we have to kill homosexuals and unbelievers? The Cordoba imams and the imams in Turkey had more secular interpretations of Islam. Is living in a caliphate the ultimate goal, and how is this achieved? Is a caliphate made where I live today by killing all non-believers, even if Muslims are a minority? Or do I have to move to an existing caliphate if I don’t like the secular laws where I currently live? (as the Muslim major of Rotterdam tells his fellow Muslims. Or “Cuius regio, eius religio”  . . . “whose realm, his religion” . . . of a previous blog.)


So what has to be done to avoid the perpetual recurrence of violence? Some ideas in a nutshell:

  1. More study is needed to identify the contributors of violence in Muslim Mindanao. In the meantime, based on current knowledge, some actions could be taken.
  1. Well-being of the individuals:

2.1. Assure sufficient and healthy food for pregnant women and babies.

2.2. Invest in assistance for “broken” families, often with absent or uninterested fathers.

2.3. Invest in hands on education, especially for boys.

2.4. Provide alternative activities for teenage boys to absorb their energy.

  1. Cultural changes

3.1. The influence of Salafism/Wahhabism should be recognized and reduced.

3.2. A more local East Asian Islam can be promoted.

3.3. Organize imam schooling on a Philippine level.

3.4. Organize an interface dialogue to discuss/define words/concepts such as secular, laïcité, submission, blasphemy, respect, tolerance . . . and other Arabic, Latin, English terms that are common/similar.

In the end, mosques and mullahs will be crucial in creating a lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.

216 Responses to “BBL? Yes, but peace in Mindanao will be won or lost in the mosques*”
  1. PinoyInEurope says:

    We should never forget the tribal aspect. Religion is only an overlay in the Philippines.

    – Tausug: MNLF and Abu Sayyaf

    – Maguindanao: MILF

    – Maranao: co-opted by Marcos, example: late Senator Mamintal Tamano.
    Possible linguistic and tribal ties to Bikolanos

    Giving MILF too much power shall provoke resentment among the other Muslim tribes.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      One of the most modern political parties in the Philippines is that of Eddie Ramos: “Lakas–CMD (Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats) is a center-right political party in the Philippines. Its ideology is heavily influenced by Christian and Islamic democracy.” Simeon Datumanong is its congressman for Maguindanao.

    • Joe America says:

      “Other Muslim tribes”. The BBL is not a religious document, but a socio/cultural document that recognizes the disenfranchisement of local residents most of whom are Moro who abide by the Muslim faith. So the BBL is sensitive to their strong religious beliefs. The self-governing power only extends to within the Bangsamoro domain, and other indigeneous tribes within that domain are recognized by the BBL, and given certain authorities, to include representation in Parliament. MILF ceases to exist when the new law becomes operative, and the area is governed by ALL its various peoples. Inclusive, the way the document is written in intent. In practice . . . we wait to see . . .

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        In practice.. it was only negotiated with the MILF. That spells trouble.

        “Raja” Misuari, Maranao royalty and the Sultan of Sulu were not involved.

        • Joe America says:

          Had such hardliners been permitted to join the negotiations, the discussions would have jammed. There were opportunities for them to participate and they declined. One can’t run the process to satisfy the extremists, if they refuse to negotiate or bend in what they demand. They become outlaws in the news state if they don’t abide by the laws. And the peacemaking will have to come, as josephivo suggests, from within the Mosques, or rather, the legal domain of the Bangsamoro.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Maranao royalty is already fully integrated into the Philippine state – Adel Tamano is an NP member. Simeon Datumanong is LAKAS-CMD congressman in Maguindanao. Looks more like the yellow tribe chose to deal with the MILF tribe exclusively. Like Marcos dealt mostly with the Maranao, then with the Tausugs – from whom two of the SAF 44 came. Also no Lumads were represented. Law in the Philippines often has been used by ruling groups.

            Two weeks after Mamasapano, the AFP actually RESCUED MILF from the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan. Why? Then again a few weeks later, AFP helped MILF against BIFF. Not helping their theoretically own comrades in SAF but then helping the MILF? Very strange.

        • Steve says:

          Actually the primary author of the draft BBL is a Maranao from one of the royal houses. I don’t see much problem integrating the Maranao per se. The Tausug and Sama… hard to say. If they can pull off initial elections with any semblance of free choice in the islands, they can make it work. The problem will be how to prevent the dominant political clans from taking over again. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Misuari is a spent force and a relic of the past; the “Sultan” is a relic of the ancient. They will try to cause whatever trouble they can in pursuit of their personal agendas, but sooner or later the past has to be left behind.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Thanks for filling that in. I was under the impression it was only negotiated with MILF. What worries me, however, is the Jihadist strain that MILF has – fighters who trained in Afghanistan among others, have heard some were in Bosnia as well:


            The MILF definitely is extremist if you ask me. Why did one not negotiate directly with clan leaders like General John Pershing did as Moro Province Governor back in the days? Black Jack Pershings approach was very effective, even in disarming Moro clans.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Now this part becomes interesting. Back to 2012:


              and then the AFP going out of their way for MILF but not for SAF:


              Gerhard Schröder moved to Gazprom after he finished his term as German Chancellor. Shortly before that, a major deal between German Ruhrgas and Gazprom was approved by German antitrust authorities. Just saying: we should look where Noynoy goes 2016.

              That is definitely not corruption, Schröder was not prosecuted at all. But not good. Since we are all for transparency and stuff, we should ask Noynoy to sign that he and his family are to have no involvement in oil, or palm oil plantations Malaysia plans, or natural gas.

              And then dealing with guys who have known ties to Jihadists and Al Qaida and might just use oil money to arm themselves even more and take the whole of Mindanao? No way.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                As I wrote in my Tipping Point article: where there is gold there is blood – Russian saying.

                Or like I wrote in a posting within the Vindictive Justice article: let us deal with the Moro issue with “more openness, but not naivety”, like Norway’s Stoltenberg said after Utoya.

              • Steve says:

                The headline about “suspends drilling” is a bit of a stretch. There wasn’t any drilling to suspend. What was suspended was the bidding of contract blocks, which is on hold until the process is clarified. I don’t see anything very conspiratorial about that. The reserves are not that huge anyway. Potentially significant on a domestic scale, but not world-shaking by any means.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

       Ligwasan Marsh near Mamasapano probably has huge natural gas reserves.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                5. (SBU) The Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) has already identified natural gas and oil deposits in three areas of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago: the Cotabato Basin; the Davao-Agusan Basin; and, an area straddling Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. The Cotabato Basin, notably, includes the 288,000 hectare Liguasan Marsh, straddling the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudurat. This swamp/marsh — which is an officially declared bird sanctuary and game refuge — remains an important MILF stronghold, home to an estimated 280,000 Muslims, and an area where members of the terrorist Jemaah Islamiya (JI) have historically conducted training and sought refuge. 6. (SBU) The Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) began exploring for oil and natural gas in the Liguasan Marsh area in 1994 under Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) 73, which covered all of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudurat, Sarangani, Davao, and Bukidnon provinces of Mindanao. Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas, partnered with the PNOC. By the late 1990’s, they had located natural gas and/or oil in five sites, including Datu Piang (Dulawan) and Sultan Sa Barongis in Maguindanao and Lambayong in Sultan Kudurat. According to the PNOC, the estimated natural gas deposits in Sultan Sa Barongis alone would be enough to fuel a 60MW combined cycle power plant for 20 years. The PNOC had hoped to use this gas to support the power requirements of Mindanao as well as for industrial applications. However, the PNOC and Petronas MANILA 00000740 002 OF 004 suspended operations in the Liguasan Marsh area due to threats from the MILF and extortion by local mayors and political warlords. 7. (SBU) Additionally, competing land ownership claims will make exploitation of these resources difficult. The clan of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zacaria Candao has already staked a claim to 40 percent of this land, while other clans — including the Mangudadatus and Pendatuns — have claimed at least 50 per cent ownership. MILF Vice-Chairman of Political Affairs Ghazali Jafaar has referred to the Liguasan Marsh as a “legacy from our forefathers” and stated that the “Bangsamoro” people (Filipino Muslims) would not part with their lands in the marsh. The MILF has created the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) to lead, manage, and determine developmental efforts, including in the Liguasan Marsh. Separately, the Maguindanao tribe — the predominant indigenous and largely Muslim ethnic group living in and around the Liguasan Marsh — considers the marsh as part of its own ancestral domain. The Maguindanao-based clan of the deceased Salipada K. Pendatun — the first Muslim to serve as a general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) — has also claimed ownership over the entire Liguasan Marsh by virtue of an original land title. Though Pendatun’s daughter/legal heir, Bai Monera Pendatun, has said that the Pendatun clan is open to sharing the marsh with others, she has opposed any amendment to the law that would allow titling of lands within the marsh. The head of the Alamada clan, Rebecca Dilagalan Alamada Buan, has separately claimed 14,000 hectares in North Cotabato Province, near the borders of Maguindanao and Lanao Del Sur. Meanwhile, the Ampatuan clan, led by Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan and ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, politically dominate the region, also including most of the mayors of the 11 municipalities of Maguindanao, eight municipalities of North Cotabato, and one municipality of Sultan Kudurat that encompass the Liguasan Marsh. 8. (SBU) The 1987 Constitution specifies that “all lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State” and that all “exploitation, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State.” According to the Expanded Organic Act for the ARMM (RA 9054), the GRP — rather than the Bangsamoro people — explicitly controls all of the natural resources in the Liguasan Marsh. However, the Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA) provided that indigenous peoples within and along the Liguasan Marsh could claim the land and natural resources in the marsh as part of their ancestral domain.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Palm oil:

                MANILA, Philippines – Environmental groups are wary of government plans to establish one million hectares of “palm oil estates” in Mindanao, saying this will involve the burning of forest lands and cause the displacement of tribal folk.

                They are particularly concerned about the Liguasan Marsh, Asia’s biggest wetland, which is being targeted by Malaysian companies for conversion into palm oil plantations as they anticipate an improved peace and order situation in Mindanao.

                “That will worsen the floods in Mindanao. If they convert the Liguasan Marsh – a catch basin of water – into palm oil plantations, where will the water from the mountains go? They will go to the low-lying populated areas in Mindanao,” said Grace Magdamo-Teoxon, executive coordinator of the Mindanao Environment Forum Inc.

                Teoxon and De la Paz were reacting to reports that Malaysian investors last week started visiting key areas in Mindanao where they committed to invest P23 billion in palm oil plantations and other agricultural and industrial businesses.
                Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

                Secretary Lualhati Antonino of the Mindanao Development Authority told reporters in Mindanao that the Malaysian group was led by the Putraya Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is looking for 68,000 hectares of land to plant palm.

              • Steve says:

                They seem to me more speculations than answerable questions, and I really don’t see any likelihood that any foreign party has a dog in the hunt beyond trying to remove a long festering mess.

              • sonny says:

                @ PiE & other friendly ears

                To wherever this comment fits.

                The country is so small by many standards. It is no bigger than the state of Arizona. I would refrain from even thinking in terms of world corporate giants in energy production and just focus to scales that would fit the size of our national patrimony in energy and food production. For example how big is the Liguasan Marsh potential? How much is the palm oil production potential matched against the environmental impact of bulldozing 68,000 hectares of a rich natural preserve? Off hand I would sooner look to the development of a deep sea fishing industry targetting close to 75,000 sq miles of the Sulu and Celebes Seas or lining the windward sides of Luzon and Mindanao with wind turbine farms to catch the 20 some typhoons that visit the islands yearly for our energy needs or harness the central seas of the Visayas to develop food sources from our country’s marine life; then feed and shelter the hungry minds and stomachs of our youth to man research educational centers around the population centers of Luzon, Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao.

                Then maybe we can fit our Moro problem in a more blended and beneficial way to the needs of one unified country.

                Nasasabi ko lang naman kung nasaan ang pag-iisip ko.

              • Steve says:

                The reserves in question are in no way “huge”, they are in fact quite modest even by the most optimistic accounts. PNOC believes that they could set up a production facility and a power plant and profitably generate electricity that would alleviate Mindanao’s power crisis, which would be a very useful thing… but we are not talking about world-scale reserves or any project that would involve gas exports.

            • Steve says:

              The MILF has always had a strong base among both Maranao and Maguindanao; it’s not exclusively a Maguindanao organization. Less influential with the Tausug, but since the collapse of the MNLF there is no organization that can credibly claim to represent Tausug resistance.

              It is simplistic, I think, to say the MILF is extremist. Certainly it was under Hashim Salamat, but since then the organization has bifurcated, with the majority following a more moderate course under Murad, while a few Salamat loyalists, mainly of his generation, kept up the radical ways. The danger is that if negotiation consistently fails to bring any result, the commanders in the field will give up and swing back toward the radicals.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                OK. But why are they so obviously being favored:

                – by the AFP even over their own SAF comrades

                – by Noynoy over other Muslim groups

                and then you have big business opportunities there: oil, palm oil, natural gas.

                Given that things like Schröder/Gazprom happen, my questions are legitimate.

              • Joe America says:

                Perhaps they are being favored because they have demonstrated a legitimate trend toward moderation and desire for economic well-being over fighting. They are substantial enough to form the core of a peaceful region, accountable for their own success or failure, and well worth talking to . . . versus shooting at . . .

              • Joe America says:

                The events you cite would be good if viewed as a part of the “trust building” that needs to go on.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “legitimate trend toward moderation” yeah, Joe, we saw that at Mamasapano. Sorry.

                “desire for economic well-being over fighting”. Make money out of oil, natural gas and palm oil and live like sheikhs. Asking who might have a piece of the action is legitimate.

              • Steve says:

                Why they are favored over other Muslim groups is pretty obvious… what other groups are there with any credibility? MNLF has collapsed into rival factions; BIFF and ASG are totally hostile extremist fringes. Who else is there to negotiate with?

                I see no reason to conclude that the MILF are favored above the PNP by AFP. Different things happen in different circumstances, no reason to stretch to reach conclusions.

                Certainly everyone in the picture wants to see more investment an more economic activity in that area: what better way is there to drive and sustain peace? Unless there’s some specific evidence of conflict of interest I see no reason to assume it.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “The events you cite would be good if viewed as a part of the “trust building” that needs to go on.” Yes – and the economic aspects should be openly discussed in terms of trust building towards Aquino. Sorry, but Gerhard Schröder and Putin/Gazprom is real.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Unless there’s some specific evidence of conflict of interest I see no reason to assume it.” Aquino is pushing BBL too hard. He wants it passed in his term. Come on Steve, I have been places. Business is business, Schröder and Putin/Gazprom real, questions allowed.

              • Steve says:

                Wanting it passed in his term doesn’t have to be a matter of financial interest. It could just as easily be a legacy issue, and a desire to show at east one stellar accomplishment to boost his stature and the weight of his recommendation before an election arrives.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Could be, Steve. But the public is hardly aware of the economic potential of the region.

                This is also part of the package and should be brought out into the open for discussion.

              • edgar lores says:

                Isn’t the economic potential of the region good for Bangsamoro and ultimately good for the nation?

                Arguably it is good for Bangsamoro because it means the that autonomous government will be economically viable, able to sustain itself to a certain degree, and will be less dependent on the national government.

                Why assume malice with respect to the economic potential?

                What exactly are the resource sharing provisions of the BBL?

                Could it be that Bangsamoro will become so developed and wealthy that it will be able to pass on largesse (in whatever form) back to the national government… largesse that can in turn be redistributed to the less developed regions?

              • Joe America says:

                There is a provision in the BBL that when the Bangsamoro becomes self-sustaining financially, the Bangsamoro can spend money outside the region.

              • Steve says:

                The economic potential is widely exaggerated and at this point rather speculative. It all depends on peace, and there’s a whole lot to be done to assure that: an agreement is just a start. There has been a concerted effort in some quarters to push the idea that there’s some sort of Malaysia-US-Aquino conspiracy to “get” Mindanao, but it seems a pretty frail argument to me.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Steve, I am not making any such speculations.

                I am only stating facts and asking questions.

              • Joe America says:

                With overtones of skepticism and mistrust, which can be healthy or self-defeating depending on what facts are available and how one spins them.

              • Joe America says:

                Fact AFP is working with MILF. Fact MILF slaughtered SAF. Conclusion . . . MORE work between AFP and MILF is needed to build trust, not less. To stop the coordination because of Mamasapano is a sure path to suspicion and more slaughters, I think. MILF bandits are not MILF moderates, I would guess. To blame moderates for the excesses of the bandits would be like blaming Aquino for NPA killings. Or the Mamasapano killings, now that I think about it, and Marcos making that claim yesterday. “The President killed the 44”.


              • josephivo says:

                Long time ago by a visit to Basilan, I was struck by the “dreams” of Muslims on one hand. Hoping to strike it rich, fast and easy, with rubber plantations. On the other hand in ARC’s I saw the daily hard work of Christian, using all the infrastructures, irrigation, roads… build to help the poor Muslims.

                Raising the already exaggerated dreams of sudden wealth is dangerous. It should be clear that hard work, day after day, is the easiest path to prosperity and security.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Yes Joe, skepticism and mistrust I admit to, given the facts I know. It is healthy democratic practice to question things. Or a kind of due diligence. Worked with auditors before. They can be like bloodhounds.

              • Joe America says:

                I agree that it is good to question, but facts can be spun and it is good to listen to the analysis and sometimes challenge presumptions as to what they might mean.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “what facts are available and how one spins them.” Its no spin, it’s just my gut feeling.

                If you buy a business, you try to find out what its earning potential is.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “facts can be spun” – there are multiple sources on google for each of the three things: oil, palm oil and natural gas. In journalism two independent sources are the minimum standard. The most important links are above, including wikileaks.

              • Joe America says:

                And my presumption is, similar to Edgar’s, the more successful the Bangsamoro are at tapping the wealth there, the better. But related to that is the provision that allows expansion of the region if contiguous populations vote in favor of joining the Bangsamoro (10% petition followed by 50% referendum) and I think that sets up a competition for land area. Dangerous. I’d kill that for a periodic (10 year) review of the region by the inter-government panel, any change to be voted on by the national legislature.

              • Joe America says:

                I would also say that one of the “facts” that is available for the finding is the language in the BBL. It is 122 pages full of dynamite and good will.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                ” it is good to listen to the analysis” I am listening, but I am also expressing my doubts.

                My analysis also has this as a background – follow the money makes sense:


                Thai sugar is cheaper than Philippine sakada-produced sugar and is flooding the market since early 2015. Who is a sugar baron? Might he be looking for new sources of income?

                It’s OK if they do business, don’t get me wrong my leftist phase is over, but not at the expense of the country – the business of the Philippines should be business too. So no problem with them earning money, as long as they do not rush a bad deal for the country.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “But related to that is the provision that allows expansion of the region if contiguous populations vote in favor of joining the Bangsamoro (10% petition followed by 50% referendum) and I think that sets up a competition for land area. Dangerous.” Agree fully.

                I am for continuing to discuss the BBL and amend it properly. But the economic aspect should be discussed maturely as well – not immaturely like leftists and Santiago.

                AND the whole thing should not be rushed. The real nitty-gritty should be discussed. THESE are the discussions that should be taking place in newspapers and politics. Not the kid stuff they are getting all worked out about now. Grade 1 talaga, as they say.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                ” It is 122 pages full of dynamite and good will.” – in theory. Theory and practice often diverge significantly in the Philippines. But yes, we should give it a chance.

                Openly, but not naively, like Norway’s Stoltenberg said after Utoya. I’ll read it…

              • Joe America says:

                The theory is the good will, the practice is the dynamite, here and there, that needs to be anticipated. I agree, there is no need to rush, and no need to be knee jerk about judging ala Santiago.

              • Steve says:

                I think there’s been a great deal of distortion of economic potential. A US report pointing out that with peace, a Bangsamoro could be economically self sustaining and even prosperous was widely reported as evidence that the US was trying to break of a Bangsamoro State to “get” the resources, even though no such possibility was even vaguely alluded to in the source documents. It is true that a Bangsamoro region could have a functioning economy, with peace and investment, but it is beyond speculative to portray it as some kind of gold mine that people are maneuvering to get a piece of.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Steve, I am not even thinking of a US role here. If the place is self-sustaining, good.

                For Aquino to rush the deal in a half-baked, possibly because of interests, would be bad.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Isn’t the economic potential of the region good for Bangsamoro and ultimately good for the nation?” Yes it is. But it depends on how it is tapped and there one must be careful.

                In Ecuador the nation hardly profits. The presidents who made the deal have flown out.

              • Steve says:

                Of course potential is no assurance that the potential will be realized. Again, though, in the absence of specific evidence, what reason is there to speculate on conspiracies, especially since at the moment there’s nothing beyond a rather distant potential to fight over.?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Potential conflict of interest because there are negotiations going on.

                That means: no railroading BBL, it has to be scrutinized well.

              • Steve says:

                As far as I can see most of what’s meant to pass as scrutiny is really just grandstanding for political points.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                That many politicians are grandstanding isn’t my problem. I am asking relevant questions.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                But who knows, I could be working for the European competition. Take your pick. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Or Russia. 🙂

              • Steve says:

                Why would Europe or Russia care?

              • josephivo says:

                If there was this potential of a “gold mine”, wouldn’t we have seen our taipans jockeying for position? Or is this the real driver of the “who is the culprit” quest, going on now?

              • Steve says:

                There must be an unseen conspiratorial hand manipulating events because… well, because there must be. Who needs evidence of something so self-evident?

                I tend to go with the old saying “never ascribe to conspiracy that which is adequately explained by fuckup”, but that’s just me.

              • josephivo says:

                to Steve. It’s less fun, but I’m afraid that I have to accept your wisdom, especially as this fuckup has so many dimensions.

              • Joe America says:

                It was a FUBAR operation, a whole platoon of Murphys at work.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Why would Europe or Russia care?” – cause there’s oil of course. I actually worked for a Romanian oil firm as an IT subcontractor and wouldn’t like being accused of vested interests, so I do not accuse anyone, only ask questions. My working for the defence company that is delivering transport planes to the AFP, now being tested in Sevilla, could also be used by the paranoid to make me look like a warmonger which I am not.

                And my remark was European irony: – something I often notice Americans don’t understand. Especially the guys at US airports who got pissed off at Frenchmen making jokes about having a bomb in their luggage. Peace. 🙂

      • parengtony says:

        The vicious cycle of war and resentment for both sides will see no end until the Muslim masa has been convinced that their allegiance to the warlords is no longer the only option available to them and their communities. Thus, winning the war for the hearts and minds of Filipino Muslims is really the only solution. This Bangsa Moro agreement with the MILF, just like the ARMM agreement with the MNLF, is a short cut solution that will enhance, not diminish, the influence of the warlords.

        • Joe America says:

          How will it enhance the warlords? I agree that it requires the masa to be convinced there are better options available to them, and it becomes something that has to happen in the mosques, as josephivo points out. They won’t see better options at the wrong end of a gun. That’s the American lesson from Iraq and elsewhere. There has to be a stepwise progression to build trust, then an economic platform, then confidence, then production and more wealth. It is not going to happen in less than 10 years. But there has been substantial peace for 3 years now, and as testimony was provided at the Senate hearing on Mamasapano, there is evidence already that economic improvements are happening. The BIFF and other extremists are recognized by people on both sides of the BBLF negotiating table as gangsters of no redeeming value, which is why we see more and more cooperation between MILF and AFP.

    • josephivo says:

      Indeed, in the 14th and 15th century the tolerant version of Cordoba Islam was dominant and the Reconquista version of Christianity. It is not so much about the Holy or supernatural, but about the human interpretation of the Holy Books. Religion is the easy “higher level” motivator for “inhuman” deeds. “In the name of God! or Allah!!!”

      Conflicts for influence are part of human nature. Our tribe is the best, we should control the other tribes. But this struggle is not always equally violent as in Mindanao. The problem is that a broadly accepted interpretation of Islam accepts violence to defend, even expand the faith. When this ideology coincides with other biological or cultural factors that influence violence, you create an explosive mixture. Explosions you can prevent by elimination the trigger but better is to eliminate the combustible materials. Eliminating the “trigger” alone in Bangsamoro will not eliminate violence.

  2. Steve says:

    It is perhaps ironic, given the contention that Islam spreads through jihad and Christianity by missionary work, that Islam came to the Philippines through missionaries and conversion, Christianity by conquest and the sword.

    It is important to note that the fighting in Mindanao is not fundamentally about religion, but about land, power, and settlement. A flood of unwanted settlers from the north, supported and favored over the indigenous populace by government, forced indigenous populations off their land and into increasingly marginal roles. Where the indigenous populace was Muslim, resistance coalesced around religion, where the indigenous populace was not Muslim, resistance has been dominated by the NPA (the indigenous Lumad dominate the soldiery of the NPA in Mindanao). The Wahabbi influence, to me, is less cause than consequence: the ideology takes root because people feel, with reason, that their government has rejected them and opposes their interests.

    Religion is not absolute: when a society adopts a religion it retains its own culture and shapes a variant of the religion that suits it. Philippine Catholicism is markedly different from that of Europe, and strict Catholics from abroad are often quite shocked at Philippine-specific rituals like the crucifixions in Pampanga, or the Black Nazarene parades, or the veneration of the Santo Nino. The habits we associate with “Islam” are largely relics of the intensely misogynistic and violent Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures that adopted Islam: they simply carried their old customs over and made them part of their new religion. SE Asian Islam has traditionally been a good deal less rigid, again I suspect because the underlying tribal cultures are less rigid.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Underneath Islam and Catholicism, Filipinos still retain much of their native spirituality.

      God, Allah and Kankanai Apo Kabunian are actually one and the same.

    • PinoyInEurope says: – the ruler of Manila and Tondo, was a Muslim and a scion of the Bolkiah family that ruled Brunei then and rules it to this day.

      The grandson of Lakandula, another of the three rulers of Manila, was David Dula y Goiti, also know as David Dulay and had a Spanish mother. He was the first mestizo to revolt against the Spanish:

    • mindanaoan says:

      I don’t really understand why you buy that crap that some moros were forced off their land. They were armed even in the olden days. And they live in clans. No way you can fight them if you are a newcomer. And you really won’t like to have them as neighbors. That’s why muslim areas are mostly muslim (>90% muslim) whereas the rest of mindanao are mixed.

  3. edgar lores says:

    Of course, the overall solution is to do away with religion.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      or at least have a secular state.

      Turkey is with Erdogan unfortunately destroying this fine legacy of Atatürk.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        I definitely object to Sharia being allowed via BBL. Let them have their own Muslim holidays, but the no Christian holidays for them. Then they can man the call centers during Christmas and Easter.

        • Joe America says:

          Sharia is allowed today in ARMM. The courts were inactive early on. I don’t know where they stand today.

          It is also worth noting that one of the original crafting artists of the BBL is Marvic Leonen, now sitting as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He made explicit mention back in 2012 that the BBL would recognize the separation of church and state.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            OK. IMHO allowing it in ARMM was already a mistake.

          • mindanaoan says:

            I don’t think anyone from the government side had a hand in crafting the BBL. It reads like it was prepared by the MILF and the government was just haggling to trim some things down. It’s obvious Leonen was rewarded for a job ‘well’ done. There are so many more deserving lawyers than the man.

            • Joe America says:

              My observation of Leonen’s rulings, like on the Ong case, is that he is a very smart and high principled young justice. I read the BBL and find it different than you, that it was written to respect the central government’s proper oversight of all things done in the Bangsamoro, written to be inclusive of human rights, and sensitive to the values of the dominant Muslim population. What is your recommended solution to bring peace and prosperity to Mindanao?

              • mindanaoan says:

                Smart, maybe. But rewarded still.

                Paper is just paper Mr. Joe. A muslim minority in a country is a source of problem the world over. It’s not unique to ours. Even china, with a very strong military has a muslim problem. Anyone selling a lasting, final, etc. solution is a snake oil salesman.

              • Joe America says:

                Any appointment or promotion is a reward. If you have evidence that Justice Leonen sold out the nation, please put it on the table. Your dislike for the BBL is not sufficient evidence.

                Indeed, many nations have a problem with their Muslim populations. The Philippines was on the way to delineating a possible solution, a way to grant esteem and economic well-being to a minority population long disenfranchised. The Philippines was perhaps leading the world toward a peaceful solution, a way to put down arms in favor of economic promise. Then an unfortunate rolling out of events at Mamasapano brought it all to a halt.

                We’ll have to see what constructive ideas the anti-BBL people set forth for resolving the problem. All out war against a population of Filipinos who have been substantially peaceful for three years, demonstrating their good will toward peace? THAT is the solution?

              • mindanaoan says:

                I don’t see any solution. It had always been like this since I was born. Those selling solutions are just trying to cash in on it. Don’t put up money for it, and see if you can even start your peace talks. Remember that it was already relatively peaceful when Cory came up and resurrected Misuari from his exile in Saudi. This has a long history already Mr. Joe. Autonomous regions, ARMM, SPCPD, so many more I can’t remember. All had been just exercises of pouring money into the sand. Insurgents and terrorists went on their merry ways.

      • Pallacertus says:

        But the Philippines is a secular state, or so the 1987 Constitution says. Of course, asserting that in an 80%+ Roman Catholic nation is hard. (I won’t say “calling for trouble”; at the very least, most Catholics here are practicing pluralists.)

        • Joe America says:

          The nation is secular in name but not deed, in show but not substance, in aspiration but not accomplishment. I like the “practicing pluralists” description. Fits.

          • mindanaoan says:

            Why do you say that? Ever heard of anyone over here forced to do something against his religious beliefs? Maybe you have a different idea of secular, but in a society where most people are of one religion, ours is satisfactorily secular.

            • edgar lores says:

              You mean… satisfactorily sectarian.

              • mindanaoan says:

                If you think a government policy is sectarian, meaning favoring a sect, you can challenge it in court. That should be a secular state for you.

              • edgar lores says:

                If our society were satisfactorily secular, the influence of religion should not be as great. We would have divorce laws by now. Contraception should not be corruption. The RH Bill should have been passed more than a decade ago. There should be no religious interference in politics. We should not have a Team Patay and a Team Buhay. INC should not be able to exercise block voting. We should not have religious paraphernalia in government offices. Celdran should not be under threat of jail. The archbishops should not be threatening to form a national council to govern the nation.

              • Joe America says:

                Not on my dollar. At least you can trust that the BBL will get to the courts and the honorable justices of the Supreme Court will reasonably weigh all the arguments.

              • mindanaoan says:

                I was talking about a secular government, you were talking about a sectarian society. Flying past each other, are we? Of course groups want to push their own interest. We are in a democracy. That’s how the system works. But in a non-secular state, there will be no more debate. You cannot have everything your way, unless you want to have a sectarian government. On your favor, of course.

              • edgar lores says:

                The government is sectarian by allowing/disallowing those items I have mentioned.

                The government reflects society as much as society reflects government.

              • mindanaoan says:

                Compare ours with secular Malaysia, where they banned the use of allah by non-muslims. Maybe you’ll appreciate our form of secular better.

            • Joe America says:

              Secular to me does not have a gradient that allows the dominant religion to impose its way on the State, lest atheists or members of other faiths be disenfranchised. “Satisfactorily” secular is not secular in the way you describe it. It is Catholic. If the Philippines were truly secular, it would not need a BBL for any reason other than to promote economic well-being in indigenous areas throughout the nation. There would be no Sharia courts or special governments. But when the “secular state” gives inordinate recognition to the Catholic faith, it gets put into the position that it must also give recognition to the Muslim faith. So, basically, it seems to me that the reason there is a BBL is because the Philippines is only a “satisfactorily secular” state.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “the Philippines is only a “satisfactorily secular” state” Unfortunately you’re right.

    • josephivo says:

      This will require some lobotomy on a massive scale, our brain is wired up for religion. We have an inborn need to worship and to find answers.

      More effective might be a “fact based approach” is currently popular in medicine. “In what diocese did poverty decrease?”, Catholicism being pro-poor. “In what diocese do we have less (real) abortions and feasible size families”, or other questions on the 10 commandments. Similar questions for other religions, then we can select to follow those who are more effective.

    • Bert says:

      Take away religion in Bangsamoro Land and it will be heaven there.

  4. edgar lores says:


    Ahahaha! Your Monday morning brain is the functional equivalent of my peak Wednesday brain.

  5. karl garcia says:

    major lobotomy or implant memories. like Total Recall, or Robocop.
    maybe that can erase religion, until a traumatic experience or a bump in the head will return it.

    to learn the abortion rate, pay or commission all clinics to make sure they ask the clients what religion they belong to., and make the necessary tabulations.

    commission the nso to check on religion,family size, how many stole,killed,covet a neighbors wife,,had other gods,dishonored neighbor,parents and whatever commandment I forgot.

  6. andrewlim8 says:


    I take special note of your conclusion 2.2 because this is a primary reason why many young men get recruited into jihadist movements. In their misery and hopelessness, the jihadists present some order or hope into their lives.

    This also parallels the rise of neo-Marcos loyalists here, who were all born after EDSA 86, but due to their less than ideal situations are easy targets for recruitment. The lack of a responsible adult in their lives, their ignorance and helplessness make them vulnerable.

    I was able to confirm this through conversations with them.

    • Was reading a post from brad delongs blog he reposted a study that shows a lot of places in the US were becoming less diverse and somewhat speculating what this does to racial politics in the future. This is one of our basic problems. Our tribalism creates modern day enclaves that feed into our fear of the outsider. We have to create projects that expose people to moderate role models. We have to do this either through the mosque or beyond it.

  7. andrewlim8 says:

    I want to share this youtube video of Mr. Greg Garcia, an advertising and PR veteran.

    (starts at 23:17)

    It is the most sensible and workable way for the President to maneuver out of this. I hope they listen. It is not destructive unlike that other adman, Greg Macabenta.

  8. karl garcia says:

    common Pie
    You mention the Philippines having trust deficits, and then you display it.

    Remember your very first comment that caught my attention is the AFP, helping the MILF against the Abus…you got it backwards. The MILF was helping the AFP…common as if Abu Sayaff was never a problem to begin with.

    that natural gas potential ..sure so has west Philippine sea , Benham Rise and others.

    palm oil… already a food vs fuel issue you will have to chop down a lot of coconut trees to do that, or even other trees like the coconut planting times, same cycle cut the trees for palm, then have the future version of Danding to ruin everything.

    who makes money Unilever,Cargill, the indonesians,malaysians,and some unnamed oligarch,
    let’s see how this works out.

    who will do it? Many Pangilinan was not even allowed to explore oil on west Philippine sea based on conspiracy theories that he’s in bed with the Chinese. so what?

    name me an oligarch who would dare make an exploration there.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Let me summarize why I am asking questions:

      – Aquino seems to want to rush the BBL

      – Philippine sugar is not profitable anymore

      – there are exploitable natural resources there

      No problem if Aquino does business there. But there is a potential conflict of interest if he is negotiating a deal regarding the same area, rushing it, maybe against national interests.

      Gerhard Schröder gave special antitrust permission for a deal between Gazprom and Ruhrgas and them moved to Gazprom which is basically Putins own company after his term. It is not even corruption, it is not even illegal, but it does leave a bad taste.

      It is not distrust it is simply follow the money and common sense. My suggestion is: BBL should NOT be rushed and be scrutinized very well. Huwag tayo magpalamang.

      I am not even making any accusations. I only think the matter should not be ignored.

      • karl garcia says:

        glad you made things clearer.
        hope you find the answers to your questions, because Trillanes and Biazon is against the June deadline, and might make moves to step on the brakes.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Good that they step on the brakes. Trillanes is actually a quiet intelligent person. Know someone who talked to him just three months ago. So someone is watching out. Perfect.

          • karl garcia says:

            I did not trust myself so I verified on what I said about Biazon, I know he wants passage of bbL but wants some issues like coordination stuff removed,etc,, he even wants a contingency plan in case bbl is not passed, so bottomline he wants bbl passed, I am not sure if he will still want it passed in June with his “suggestions to be removed” still intact.
            On Trillanes,I am sure that he said that there should be no deadline.

      • Steve says:

        I don’t see how sugar enters into the picture, and I see no reason to even imagine that Aquino is thinking of going into any business in Mindanao. He has never showed any inclination toward business in any way. It all seems like a very remote speculation, and hardy a basis to question anyone’s efforts toward a peace agreement.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Nope, but enough reason NOT to blindly trust him.

          Sugar = Hacienda Luisita. Not profitable anymore.

          • Steve says:

            The main business of Luisita is real estate development, not sugar… sugar has been peripheral for a long time. In any event the Cojuanco/Aquino clan is large, diverse, and politically fractured, and I have never seen anything indicating that Noynoy has anything to do with the business end of Luisita… in fact he doesn’t seem to have much interest in or history of business at all.

            I wouldn’t suggest blind trust, but neither would I suggest blind distrust, at least not without any evidence of financial conflict of interest.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      And yes, Filipinos have trust issues – but for good reason knowing what can happen.

      If Aquino is for transparency, then even he may be questioned – in a normal way of course.

      Duterte for example forced a traffic cop to write him down when he was caught incognito.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Someone who points out others as corrupt in such a self-righteous manner and then acts as if he is a living saint arouses my suspicion anyway. Could be hypocritical.

        This is subjective, but I have been around for a while, I give him the benefit of the doubt, but I do not fully believe yet.

        Filipinos have trust issues for good reasons. Alam na kasi ang takbo.

        • Joe America says:

          My advice, try some trust, you might find some uplift, if occasional disappointment. That’s better than constant nagging negativity, which is well fed naturally by the taboloid press and malcontents.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Actually I’m pretty positive about many things. About the future of the Philippines for example. In matters concerning natural resources I am quite skeptical though.

            Ecuador got a very bad deal for its own oil, basically earning little. The presidents who signed the deal left the country and they know why. That’s business.

            Venezuela was smarter – they benefit from their own oil. Two different ways to go.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Just applying my business skills to the Philippine situation, actually I am having fun. 🙂

              In my own business I drive a tough but fair bargain, and keep my end of the deal 100%.

            • Steve says:

              Venezuela was smarter? Have you looked at their economy lately?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Other stuff happened to their politics after Chavez. My point is: Ecuador hardly benefits from its own natural resources and the Philippines should NOT deal that way.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            And my about Aquino being a bit smugly self-righteous is my own gut feeling from looking at his pictures, I do have some life experience and am often not off the mark. Example Poe.

            Bam Aquino on the other hand strikes me as professional, honest and open-minded. 🙂

          • josephivo says:

            Trust has to do with what one does, not with what one says. I read a lot about what politicians, whisper, say or shout but very little on what is done. Poverty reduction, security, resist the Chinese, anti-dynasty-, anti-corruption-, faster judiciary legislation… Actions create trust, especially when it is a piece of cake.

            • Joe America says:

              Which is exactly what the BBL does. It creates a peaceful region where deeds can be done to move from violence to productive work. It seeks to take down the barriers of history, disenfranchisement and animosity to replace them with agreed-upon rules aimed at economic well-being, self-esteem and accountability for results. I’m not saying it will be easy or perfect, but it is close enough that the problems can be worked out if people don’t just throw their hands in the air and say “see, I TOLD you so” at the first hint of trouble.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Good. Then may it be looked at openly, but not naively.

                Actually I am encouraged: Trillanes is watching out, so no worries.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              There is an aftertaste of self-righteousness in what Aquino does, how he does it. How he seems to go after certain groups and not after others. I grew up in the Marcos regime.

              Which means I am by nature suspicious, correct. And I smell double-talk a mile away.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Noynoy = mixed bag.

                Cory was good. Ramos was good.

                Marcos was bad, Estrada was bad, Arroyo was bad.

          • jameboy says:

            Yes, trust but verify as famously mouthed by Ronald Reagan, if memory serves me right.

        • karl garcia says:

          next administration, apply as the communications wildlife chief in malacanang, you don’t have to go home, just handle the speeches via Skype or however.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I can only represent stuff I believe in, that’s my problem, that is why this will stay a hobby.

            My brother is different, which is why he works in political PR.

  9. jameboy says:

    I don’t know but there seems to be a disconnect when along the same line the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is mentioned together with the mosques or mullahs. I mean, the BBL is not a religious document nor a faith-based agreement to be link with mosque or religion and the components that goes with it. It is actually a political agreement to establish the new Bangsamoro political entity and provide for its basic structure of government, in recognition of the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.

    I get the violence aspect of the issue and the Islamic variations or denominations, the influences, etc. But with regard to peace being ‘won or lost in the mosque’, in all honesty, it’s a hazy idea to me.

  10. andrewlim8 says:


    It’s Wednesday, and like Edgar I am in my peak biorhythm.

    With all these brickbats the President is receiving, what if…..

    He endorses Binay for President?

    Will that take away votes for Binay? Will that help those who push for Poe or Robredo or whoever?


    • Joe America says:

      Ha, yes, so Aquino’s endorsement becomes the sting of campaign death. It’s getting almost that bad. But the Binays are doing fine all by themselves. The Ombudsman just suspended the Mayor et al for 6 months.

  11. karl garcia says:

    Come to think of it,how would we be shortchanged if ever they get oil there. Turn the world upside down, I still cant find anything wrong.wealth sharing like paquiao mayweather is negotiable.
    Cart before the horse Pie, wala pa nga you already killed the deal.
    You know very well facts can be spun, you even quoted your brother one time. To paraphrase: To spin things just tell the truth.
    Now again on AFTA, you already stated that be prepared for everything,and competition can be good,i forgot the rest.
    Because sugar us no longer profittable shift to oil?????
    you have been doing too much aerobics, it might be too much a stretch.

    I share your frustraton in rushed deals. As a follower if the developments in afp modernization. I am frustrated by rushed deals on warplanes and frigates. Almost 40 billion will be wasted if not done right from the start.

    • Steve says:

      The BBL has been in process for years. It is hardly a “rushed deal” by any definition.

      • karl garcia says:

        That I know. If not for the incident no one would even bother to give a care for the 122 page document.Granted it was prepared by experts for years,will that make it a closed book for further scrutiny ? What if there is some thing overlooked, what if a stakeholder was bypassed,and so on..
        Steve, I agree Btw ..just wanted to add something.

        • karl garcia says:

          moa ad part two…
          I rember govPinol,Lobregat bringing a bunch of lumads , then suddenly Enrile used his lumad roots by saying I can understand you, I am a Lumad.
          Pinol narrating that he was once an Ilaga…..
          Lobregat advocating for the catholics…
          was that resolved?

          I am still advocating for a strong military and other force multipliers be it police,security guards,baranggay tanods,cafgu.
          backed up by technology like drones,equipo,etc.

          I also want peace maintained or it will Israel vs Philistines, Persia vs Israel, Babylonia vs Israel all over again. I am also into stretching exercises. maybe I should try yoga.

          • Joe America says:

            Ahahaha, I was heading one direction, arming up with missile boats and drones, and suddenly was in a squat working out the arthritis. Wha happened?

            I was with you totally until the squat.

            • karl garcia says:

              our peace forces are up to their limits might as well have force multipliers, we just cant have everyone enter the military and police, we don’t even a reserve force to draft once war strikes, so use whatever help we can while we are suppose to be at peace time.

              afp modernization is nice, but a balance of internal/external threats must be reviewed.
              but who am I to tell them ? voice in the wilderness….
              we atre spending 18 billion for warplanes that are actually training planes, another 18 billions for ships.. so big and so expensive , so instead of protecting us, we will end up protecting those ships, we could have spent on helicopters, drones,etc.

              wee have not even solved the combat boots problem

              once we don’t have that thing solved. threats,and risks will continue.

              I am not saying forget BBL,but that is just part of the solution.

              • karl garcia says:

                I think the legislators should end the blame game and just concentrate on the things that wont make it unconstitutional or the dreaded TRO problem….

                Next, they should file a bill to ban TROS and make sure it is constitutional.

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t know if you read this old blog of mine or not:

                And note the two addenda, that in fact the Philippines has a modest program of small missile carrier boats, and the US has gone to “drone” missile carrying boats.

                Although I see the need for large boats to handle rough seas and transport large numbers of troops and goods, I agree that there is a cost-benefit reality that argues that investing in a swarm of 100 missile boats may be a better deal.

                One of the other recommendations I pop in now and then is the lack of any military industrial complex HERE in the Philippines. For the life of me, I don’t know why there are no manufacturing centers for boats and missiles and drones, or research centers to apply modern technology to the kind of island fighting that would occur here. I do see that the Philippines is planning to launch two small satellites over the next two years to provide four passes a day over the nation with high resolution cameras, useful to monitor the weather and the Chinese “slo-mo invasion”.

              • josephivo says:

                Exactly, many things have to change and the Bangsamoro side and at the rest of the country side. Such as:

                1. On a factual level
                1.1 Fight broken families, poverty, lack of opportunities…. despair throws too many young people into the claws of experienced manipulators.
                1.2 Identify, eliminate corrupt local officials
                1.3 Disarmament
                1.4 Better equip/train the army
                1.5 Trust building initiatives
                1.6 Scholarships for the 1000 brightest Muslim high school graduates
                … endless list

                2. On a process level
                2.1 Schools and scholarships
                2.2 Investments
                2.3 Peace deals
                2.4 Customs to control smuggling
                2.5 Intelligence to locate terrorists, weapon factories…
                2.6 Infrastructure
                2.7 Political parties

                3. On a “cultural” way of thinking
                3.1 Violence is the prerogative of the government and only of the government.
                3.2 Long term good education is the only way out.
                3.3 Hard work pays off.
                3.? Where needed good religious underpinning of these principles

                Religion is the best fuel for war, let 3.? be the best fuel for peace.

              • edgar lores says:

                Suggestions for 3.:

                o Plurality
                o Diversity
                o Tolerance
                o Mutual destruction

              • karl garcia says:

                all of the above.

              • josephivo says:

                All of the above and much, much more. We would need many blogs to complete the list. Each secretary should write and commit to a list, every dean of a the top 50 universities, each captain of industry, each religious leader, each respected newspaper, all NGO’s involved…. a “simple” BBL of 120 pages will not do the job.

              • karl garcia says:

                unlimited “I agree” !

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “afp modernization is nice, but a balance of internal/external threats must be reviewed.
                but who am I to tell them ? voice in the wilderness….
                we are spending 18 billion for warplanes that are actually training planes, another 18 billions for ships.. so big and so expensive , so instead of protecting us, we will end up protecting those ships, we could have spent on helicopters, drones,etc.”

                Very good thinking in terms of priorities instead of just trying to look big and strong.

                Buying transport airplanes from Spain was a good thing though, you need them to move troops. But I have no vested interest, even if the company that produces it is one of my customers via an IT contractor. Just as I have no vested interest in oil deals, even if one of the two Romanian oil firms was my customer via an IT contractor. That was the sense of my ironic remark further upstairs, but often Americans don’t get European irony. 🙂

      • josephivo says:

        Ask Cayetano what he thinks about it. May be it was prepared in an echo chamber… the same people convincing each other at the expense of common sense.

        • Steve says:

          Or maybe the legislators didn’t care until they saw an opportunity to gain some political points by exploiting the strong anti-Muslim prejudice that exists among the Christian majority.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I think Cayetano’s anti-Muslim prejudice is visceral and real.

            Mine is too and deeply rooted, so not very easy to overcome. Working on it.

        • karl garcia says:

          I remember saying that he (Cayetano)treated Deles,et al like shiat, my sentiments remain. Those people have been working hard for years, credentials and experience thrown out the trash bin.I am not subscribing to that kind of behavior….and he is not yet done.
          who do they want in the peace panel, who thinks who can do any better?

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, exactly. Cayetano’s run for the presidency is becoming rather unseemly, arrogant and offensive. He’s become a tabloid candidate, with little regard for fact or harm done to others or the nation.

            • edgar lores says:

              Pretty soon, there will be no Indians left standing… or running.

              • Joe America says:

                Although I did like Cayetano’s work on the Makati/Binay/Boy Scouts hearing today.Not so strident and very purposeful. I think he wants to put the Boy Scouts into receivership of the government to get some people involved in leadership who are interested in the Scouts rather than their personal pleasures. The Alphaland/Boy Scout deal has been so one-sided, it is a gross violation of fiduciary responsibility by Scouting leadership. The subcommittee has BIR, COA, SEC and ALMC all onto the alphaland deal. The top people from all four agencies were at the hearing. Henares re. stock transaction within the Alphaland organization: “That’s evasion of taxes”.

                It was a beautiful thing to watch . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Not so strident and very purposeful.” Now that is what I meant with Cayetano will be an excellent leader if he learns to CHANNEL and control his energy.

                In the Muslim issue he still has to overcome his inherent national patriotic bias. The risks he sees are real, but he has to find a more constructive way of dealing with them.

                “be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” is the right way to peace.

      • edgar lores says:

        And the problem has been there for several centuries I believe.

      • Bert says:

        And we will be spending billions and billions of pesos to maintain the same problems that has been there for centuries.

        • Steve says:

          Those billions are already being spent. Why not at least try looking for a solution?

          • edgar lores says:

            That was Bert’s point?

            • Bert says:

              Yes, Edgar, thanks. Steve, are you sure this BBL is the solution to the Bangsamoro problem? Senseless question, but maybe we can talk again about it after 3 or 4 years then we can see what happened to the billions and billions we spent, is that fair enough?

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      What is needed IMHO is proper risk management. One of the major risks is that some people make a killing at the expense of others and the area remains poor -> new rebellion.

      Can be anyone – in practice there need to be measures to ensure local and national use of those resources for common benefit while of course giving sufficient profit to those investors and companies that help develop the area. A difficult balance but possible.

      Other risks – rearmament, terrorist/criminal/smuggling haven, black money etc.

  12. josephivo says:

    A book I could recommend for Cayetano:

  13. karl garcia says:

    On the military industrial complex: I think the afp modernization law has the verbiage locally manufactured,though I am not very sure .
    As far as the navy goes. We are in need of naval architects, maybe they should have anticipated that the guys that they have been relying on will soon retire, now that all of them retired, who is left?

    maybe they are doing something about it, maybe not.
    for 20 to 30 year old patrol boats , I think they are maintaining it in Cavite, for how long that continues I don’t know, without architects, combat system experts, we will continue to be like Sysyphus.

    For the arsenal in Bataan, there has been legislation to modernize that, but no results as of yet.
    I also want us to build our own planes, helicopters,etc.

    Maybe they took Ike Eisenhower seriously when he said; Beware The Military Industrial Complex.

    • Joe America says:

      Ike was joking. Hahaha, he built a fine one, after all. Everything here seems so frustratingly reactive, rather than proactive. Words, laws, paperwork, no on in charge. Or maybe they are just good at keeping secrets, and there are swarms of boats and missiles hidden on our 7,000 islands, just waiting for China to get pushy.

      • karl garcia says:

        Perhaps Joe, who knows? It is a well kept secret, maybe one of these days our handy dandy tabloid will unveil all of them…when push comes to shove.

      • josephivo says:

        “Everything here seems so frustratingly reactive, rather than proactive”
        That’s why I posted a link to reconciliation, BBL can only be a start. Learning to live together and even to like each other is the difficult next step. Be proactive!! Plan with the end in mind, liking each other.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “Everything here seems so frustratingly reactive, rather than proactive.”

        Yep. Filipino with foresight seems to be an oxymoron. Now reconciliation is good, but realistic risk management is also needed because we don’t live in an ideal world.

        Manage the risks posed by potential carpetbaggers, new warlords, Muslim Binays and others while building a new future – without falling into the trap of believing there is an ideal world like in John Lennon’s Imagine.

        Good Risk Management:
        – Mar’s handling of the Pope visit without any major problems
        – Albay disaster preparedness (ancient Bikol resilience + modern organization) -> Salceda

        Bad Risk Management:
        – Mamasapano
        – Yolanda

        • PinoyInEurope says:


          First: Identify Risks – determine likelihood and consequences

          Second: Focus on risks by priority

          – First priority: highly likely with major consequences (example: Mayon erupting in Albay)

          – Second priority: medium likely with major consequences (terrorist attacks, China)

          Third: identify possible measures against risk:

          – risk avoidance (not possible for Albay when it comes to Mayon, for example)

          – hazard prevention (or at least mitigation – like the forbidden zones near Mayon)

          – risk reduction (province-wide evacuation plans enforced by PNP and military in Albay)

          – risk sharing (evacuation centers in Albay are in areas out of reach of the volcano)

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            as for evac, Albay practices it with a mixture of coercion and persuasion: where stubborn villagers refuse to go on military trucks to evac centers, Salceda himself goes to talk to them and calm their REAL fears that livestock and crops will be stolen by bandits. And delivers on that promise, because otherwise the villagers would not believe him the next time, in a compact province like Albay things go around by word of mouth.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Probably the sense of community that Albay has – the strong culture of solidarity modernized by local patriotic technocrat Salceda – is due to the ever-present common friend (fertile soil and natural beauty) and enemy (eruptions, earthquakes) Mayon.

          In ancient Ibalon beliefs, god himself inhabited Mayon, but god’s frustrated, jealous and vain brother was the devil himself. In Sicily they have similar ancient beliefs.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Highly likely risks with major consequences in New Moroland after BBL:

          – covert rearmament

          – carpetbaggers + poverty

          – Muslim fundamentalism

          Measures against these risks:

          1. Covert rearmament
          a. Identify former rebel commanders as well as potential warlords
          b. Disarm and monitor them closely for at least ten year
          c. Put their drive for power to constructive use in business and politics

          2. Carpetbaggers + poverty
          a. Put their greed to constructive use by having a development plan
          b. Let them have their piece of their action but tax them properly
          c. Use their taxes to subsidize development of small/medium business

          3. Muslim fundamentalism – Josephivo has said it all in his above blog.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      The Indonesians had their who built up a lot of industries there after studying in Germany. A powerful technocrat.

      And the Pancasila ideology to unite the nation under one god regardless of faith: – Suharto did not throw it away when he deposed Sukarno who was the promulgator of the idea.

      Indonesian bought its Embassies in Europe decades ago and has paid them off, the Philippines rents them because “no budget can be allocated for buying”. They are Malays like us, but much more forward-looking and persevering.

  14. jameboy says:

    I think the BBL is the expanded and improved version of ARMM. One thing though, it’s being negotiated by a group (MILF) that is not the group (MNLF) that negotiated the ARMM. I’m all for improvement and updating of anything that will grant rights and privilege to people who aspires for it. I would just like to make sure that the exercise will not be for naught eventually because we failed to fully comprehend the consequence of what we did and why we did it.

    Bottom line, we need more time to further evaluate the BBL and untangle all the legal questions and doubts surrounding it. Also, the MILF must demonstrate, be it on political, military, civilian or whatever capacity that it is the party that we can rely on when the need arises. That it is the party that value highly any agreement it entered into. That it is the party that is willing to subordinate itself for temporary reason just to facilitate whatever the government desired to accomplish so long as it does not expose the group’s security at risk.

    Meaning to say, it should strive harder to show its genuine intent to be a true and trustworthy partner of the government.

    Right now, we are not there yet.

  15. PinoyInEurope says:

    What is needed to win the peace after BBL is implemented with amendments is a mature, well-thought of Risk Management Plan in two stages:

    A. Identify risks, focus on those most likely with the most consequences:

    B. Develop a plan to deal with those risks maturely:


    Governor Salceda’s way of dealing with the unavoidable risk posed by Mayon in Albay is expoundedy on by me in the second linked subthread and given as an example of professional risk management.

    Mar Roxas and the way he dealt with security on the Pope’s visit is also an example. Haiyan was part of HIS learning curve.


    Cayetano has dealt with the Boy Scout hearings well, when it comes to Muslims he still has a learning curve. He identifies the risks well but does not deal with them maturely because his gut feeling about Muslims causes him to react too emotionally.

    Gut feelings often have a reason. A project coach I once had told me: good you have a gut feeling about something, now sit down, calm down and try to identify why it is there.

    Thanks to Salceda – and volcanologist Dr. Mahar Lagmay – no more panic about Mayon.

    Learn to deal with Muslims, dear Alan, from those who know how to deal with volcanoes.

    Neither of the two can be avoided, volcanoes I never feared, Muslims I fear no longer. Master Yoda said: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you”. Dear Alan, think about this.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Compañero Alan, kapwa kong patriota, matuto ka sana kay Rody Duterte. He knows Muslims well, lives with them day to day in Davao like we Bicolanos live with Mayon.

      This picture shows the right attitude in dealing with those guys: respect them, listen to them but take no bullshit from them:

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Alan, I was a patriotic coño like you at the outset, that is why I understand you well. Forgive the bluntness, but I am blunt like you and also had to learn how to take it.

        Go to Mindanao, try talking to people on the ground at all levels. Take Rody with you to moderate things – and pull you out if you go to far – and learn how these people are. Go the path I went through in order to become the Society of Honor’s CHIEF OF WILDLIFE.

        • Joe America says:

          Cayetano is honorary “Chief of Lip”. It is a lower level designation which, going upward, passes through “Articulation” to eventually reach “Elegant Expression”.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I COULD have become like him if I had stayed back home. On the other hand, too much of the bandit in me. My old man and Cayetano’s were fraternity brothers, both patriots, but Rene Cayetano was alway more burgis, my father coming more from the provincial political tradition of patriot-bandits who sent their son to study. My old man is a highly gentrified and intellectual version of Duterte, so to speak. With all due respect.

            So being Chief of Wildlife is more natural to me, everybody says I have more of my grandfather, who looked and acted like former Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson. If I had to handle the Muslim question, I would go down there with Duterte to SEE things myself. Actually I always liked being close to action, not just words in my youthful leftist stage. Battling Metrocom (OK I feel for the poor guys I hit now), talking with union leaders like Beltran and real factory workers to understand them, talking to slum kids while in jail.

        • PinoyInEurope says:


          I remember now the lessons taught to me about different types of people by a former Hamburg roughneck turned business coach after having been a German Navy officer.


          There are three basic types of people and everyone is a combination of these:

          RED: Ambitious, see the big picture very well. Much energy, dominant. Leaders.

          YELLOW: Good at details. Very rational. Know how to handle money and projects.

          BLUE: Compassionate and sensitive. Know how to deal with people. Instinctive.


          Now you have typical crossover combinations of these types:

          RED-YELLOW. Typical for successful managers. Without any BLUE they are sociopaths.

          YELLOW-BLUE. Typical for good employees. Work well and get along well with colleagues.

          RED-BLUE: Typical for successful populists. Leaders who know how to harness feelings.


          Mixed generic types:

          The balanced RED-YELLOW-BLUE types are usually the best consultants.

          True leaders (locally Duterte) are mainly RED but:
          – with enough YELLOW to work well
          – and enough BLUE to motivate people.

          Good administrators (Mar) are mainly YELLOW but:
          – with enough RED to handle exceptional situations
          – and enough BLUE to motivate people


          Now you, Alan, are RED (ambition, energy) with YELLOW (professionalism) but your BLUE side still has much potential. You have your gut feelings about Muslims, you are appealing to the gut feelings Catholics have about Muslims, but you must balance things more. Find more compassion for the ALL Filipinos, not just the Catholic cum patriotic background we both come from. Do not turn the fear of our Catholic kapwa into hate against Muslims. Your work so far shows you can have compassion in your own community, so try to learn.

          I am RED (energetic, dominant) and BLUE (instinctive) but often not YELLOW enough – this is what the above coach found out in a test he had us take – that test is patented of course.

          In the Muslim question I had to find compassion and understanding for them as well, even if they are not our original community, but we are on the same Filipino boat with them, the same barangay in the original sense. Had to find access to see and feel from their side.

          And had to harness my YELLOW potential – I have to continue working on that like my coach once said – to realize setting our boat on fire is stupid, throwing them out not possible.

          Identify risks and be prepared for them. But also treat our Muslim brothers as OUR folks.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Now Alan, I am talking to you like a kuya, even if you are a Senator and I am a consultant.

          Our fathers were frat brothers, you are as old as my political PR consultant kid brother.

          And anyway, you are blunt and disrespectful, so learn to take it from me this time.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Hi, everyone (josephivo, JoeAm, et al). Would just want to express my thanks for a nice read — the varied views on the topic and associated items.

    • Joe America says:

      Ha, we are crossing in the internet ether. I just dropped off a couple of remarks in response to yours at Raissa’s blog. I laughed at the term “Barnacle” for Mayor Junjun Binay. Such a very accurate description. A creature who couldn’t live except by clinging to the bottom if his Dad’s sinking boat. We have a whole family of barnacles going down, come to think of it.

      • Joe America says:

        josephivo is the best at challenging our conceptual foundations, I agree.

      • nherrera01 says:

        Ah, so far my internet ether consists of this one and Raissa. BTW, we hope Cayetano drops bye and read your and PiE notes on him. We want the intelligent, articulate Sen Cayetano to succeed, but it may pay if he listens. He is young. We believe he has great potential.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Modern risk management with examples of how Joey Salceda applies it to the already highly antifragile, not only resilient people of Albay with regards to Mayon:

          and how it could apply to the Muslim question:

          with this blog article as a top example of how to manage the risk of Islamic fundamentalism – win the hearts and minds of our Muslim brothers.

          Risk management for the risks of covert rearmament as well as carpetbaggers and continued poverty also mentioned.

          These two risks and how to manage them are worth their own blog articles as well.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          The time has come for me to have a better look at Raissa’s blog. It was too YELLOW, too detailed for me until now, me being RED-BLUE by nature with YELLOW potential. GRP is too RED-BLUE (aggressive and from the gut) even for me, this blog is YELLOW-BLUE (rational and compassionate) but Joe has enough calm cojones to take out the gavel at times can call my RED side to order, a presiding judge who does not need a British wig.

          More on the YELLOW-RED-BLUE personality model here:

          It makes clear in what terms I am talking, a unified field theory of human driving forces.

          • Joe America says:

            It can be detailed and tends to yellow, but not entirely. What it lacks for me is consistency of topic, as Raissa publishes sporadically, so the blank space is filled in by readers branching out all over the place. Yet, there is a wealth of insight there, and some good factual info. It is actually a running news site, with CPMers being the people scanning the internet for topical resources. It is also a well read site, and influential for that. My commitment is to support the blogging community with the idea that it can be an important part of the social dialogue if it can avoid becoming a bunch of GRP Houses of Insult. When it is that, it contributes to the ill health of the Philippines.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              I mean yellow in the sense of being very detailed and precise, as per my coach’s model.

              As for GRP – I am a warrior on the way to becoming a healer and leader – the ancient way of Filipino datus if they were smart and compassionate in addition to being strong.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              So I hereby swear solemnly that I shall continue to identify the sicknesses like GRP does, but only to help in finding cures for them. Identify the risks, but to manage them. Let us work together in HEALING the Philippines.

              • Joe America says:

                That is fair. But, if the patient is a little under the weather, we ought to love her and respect her nonetheless. I actually find the Philippines to be a very rich and fulfilling place, requiring no apology for the condition of the condition, or the history. Like anyplace, you take the good with the bad. And there is a hell of a lot of good here.

                Education is what we all ought to be doing, I think, a little teaching, a lot of learning. With a lot less judgment and a lot more respect than is the case anywhere that people of weak esteem or poor interpersonal manner collect to share ideas.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “But, if the patient is a little under the weather, we ought to love her and respect her nonetheless.” Yes, definitely. Which is why I am here and not with ign0-rant ben.

                “I actually find the Philippines to be a very rich and fulfilling place” Bikol I love, and from my love for my native Ibalon, I am finding love for the entire country.

                “Education is what we all ought to be doing, I think, a little teaching, a lot of learning.” I think I am doing a lot of teaching, but also learning. Synthesizing and Summarizing.

  17. PinoyInEurope says:

    We need modern risk management to deal with building a good community after BBL:

    It must deal with all aspects of a community:

    – RED (passion, ambition)

    – YELLOW (money, prosperity)

    – BLUE (hearts and minds)

    More on the red-yellow-blue model here:

    The major risks in Moroland after BBL are:

    RED: covert rearmament by ambitious leaders. Risk management measures:

    – Monitoring and intelligence

    – Channel ambition to constructive use in business and politics

    YELLOW: carpetbaggers and continued poverty. Risk management measures:

    – Subsidize and coach those who want to start small and medium-scale businesses

    – Harness the energy of businessmen to tap natural resources, but tax them and check them

    BLUE: Islamic fundamentalism and renewed unrest: Risk management measures:

    * Josephivo has said it all in his above blog article * Kudos!

  18. mcgll says:

    A bit off topic but it would be interesting for someone to draw an analogy between negotiations of Phil Govt with MILF and negotiations of US admin with Iran, in light of Alan Cayetano’s withdrawal of his endorsement of the BBL and Tom Cottons’ letter to Iran. Both actions are flying above my head.

  19. karl garcia says:

    Steve can do a better write up than Stanford:

    Another reason not to look very far.(tagabundok never returned)

  20. PinoyInEurope says:

    ” If the Bangsamoro is to be created as the price for peace in Mindanao, it must be by the will of the Filipino people as a whole, not solely by the will of the Bangsamoro people living in the Bangsamoro Territory; and it must be by constitutional amendment, not by an act of Congress. It is noteworthy that in the Framework Agreement between the peace panel of the Philippine Government and that of the MILF, a Transition Commission was provided for, the task of which was to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law and “to work on proposals to amend the Philippine Constitution for the purpose of accommodating and entrenching in the [C]onstitution the agreements of the Parties whenever necessary without derogating from any prior peace agreement.”
    Only the Draft Bill on the Bangsamoro Basic Law was submitted by the Transition Commission. Why no proposals for constitutional amendments were also prepared has not been explained. But implicit in the second task of the Transition Commission is an acknowledgment by the parties to the various agreements forming integral parts of the CAB that the essential provisions of the agreements, which were to be embodied in the Bangsamoro Basic Law, were incompatible with the provisions of the Constitution. Hence the need for constitutional amendments.”

    • Joe America says:

      We can go round and round on this until the matter gets dealt with by the Supreme Court. Here’s a different view, seems pretty authoritative to me:

      or this elaboration on a couple of points:

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Both sides seem to have their point. But considering the politics happening now, it may go up to the Supreme Court. Would be good though, because a decision would be clear and would end all further discussion.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      This aspect of the analysis, in conjunction with the natural resources in Bangsamoro -> is very important:

      “Consider, for example, the following provisions of the Bill on mining. Article XIII provides:

      Sec. 13.

      Mines and Mineral Resources
      . – The Bangsamoro Government shall have authority and jurisdiction over the exploration, development, and utilization of mines and minerals in its territory. Permits and licenses and the granting of contracts for this purpose shall be within the powers of the Bangsamoro Government.

      Sec. 14.
      Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements
      . – The applications for financial and technical assistance agreements (FTAAs) covering mineral resources within the Bangsamoro shall be commenced at and recommended by the Bangsamoro Government to the President. The manner by which the Bangsamoro Government shall make the recommendation shall be in accordance with the mining policy that shall be adopted by the Bangsamoro Parliament. * * * Sec. 17. –
      Bangsamoro Mining Policy
      . – Policies on mining and other extractive industries shall be drawn up by the Bangsamoro Parliament in accordance with its Comprehensive Sustainable Development Plan, as well as its over-all medium-term and long-term Bangsamoro Development Plan.
      Section 13 of the Bill, as quoted above, is contrary to Article XII, Section 2 of the Constitution, which provides that the exploration, development, and utilization of the natural resources shall be under the “full control and supervision” of the National Government which may either undertake these activities itself or enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens or corporations 60 percent of the capital of which is owned by Filipino citizens. Further, in violation of the constitutional provision that the grant of legislative powers to regional governments “shall be subject to the provisions of […] national laws,”

      the Bill gives the Bangsamoro Government the power to amend the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (Rep. Act No. 7942), among other national laws.

      Nor can Congress give the Bangsamoro Government the power to “adopt” or “draw up” a policy regarding mining. The mining policy is set forth in the Constitution and, as such, cannot be changed except by constitutional amendment. The Constitution provides that the natural resources belong to the State; that with the exception of agricultural lands, natural resources cannot be alienated; that the exploration, development, and utilization of the natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State; that although the State may make agreements for others to undertake these activities, the party it contracts with must be Filipino citizens or corporations or associations 60 percent of the capital of which is owned by Filipino citizens; that even though the President of the Philippines may make agreements with foreign-owned corporations for technical or financial assistance for the large-scale exploration and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils, the agreement he makes must be “based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country […] [since] the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.” This constitutional policy applies to mining in the entire country.

      The Bangsamoro Government cannot be given the power to determine the mining policy in the region without allowing it the power to amend the Constitution. Obviously, this cannot be done.”

      In that respect, I see Retired Justice Mendoza’s arguments as very good. And important to national interests because the present BBL gives potentially corrupt local magnates the possibility to uncontrollably make sweet deals with certain people.

  21. josephivo says:

    From an unknown Philippine poet:

    Talk us about reconciliation
    Only if you first experience
    The anger of our dying.

    Talk us about reconciliation
    If your living is not the cause
    Of our dying.

    Talk us about reconciliation
    Only if your words are not the product of your devious scheme
    To silence our struggle for freedom.

    Talk us about reconciliation
    Only if you cease to appropriate all the symbols
    And meanings of our struggle.

  22. payutenyo d agimas says:

    for me, it is better to give them independence.

    the remaining Philippines will be more cohesive and more prosperous plus the fact that the resources spent on fighting these secessionists will be channeled to nation building.

    why insist on trying to appease them when they don’t really want to be part of Christian Phillippines?

    it is not as if there is oil or gas revenue that the rest of the Philippines depend into. in fact, ARMM is bleeding the treasury.

    give them independence now. if they want to join Malaysia, let them.

    • Joe America says:

      I think you have a good point, if one can define the region logically. Mindanao is vitally important to an expanding, industrializing Philippines. I’d think a great share would need to be retained. Also, one would have to defend the borders because you might have one poverty intense region of Muslim fanatics on one side, and a growing, richer mixed region on the other. With undercover Muslim fanatics . ..

      On second thought . . . I’m not so hot on the idea . . .

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] case for the MILF being the only game in town. This was followed by josephivo’s BBL article (“BBL? Yes, but peace in Mindanao will be won or lost in the mosques”) also in support of the spirit of the BBL, but urging us to keep a closer eye on the mosques in the […]

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