Parsing the SAF 44, Peace and the Bangsa Moro Basic Law

It is Saturday and a review of the past few weeks we see a thread of conversation rising up because of the debacle at Mamasapano and the SAF 44. The arguments and counter-arguments have been flying more actively than drones over a rally. And amidst these are propaganda and spin from all sides. If you are on the opposing side you are biased or misinformed or tabloid. Sure there are a number who are guilty of these actions from all sides. A few things have to be remembered and not forgotten.

First, Although the Mamasapano encounter has affected the passage of the BBL it must be remembered that on its own the ill-planned, mis-coordinated and ultimately failed mission has only a three main authors – Napenas, Purisima and President Aquino. No amount of whitewash in the Senate, in the House of Representative, in media, in social media and in the public eye can change this sad reality. The BBL and Peace Process has become a victim of the Mamasapano Fiasco.

Second, In the public eye there is no doubt where the responsibility lies in the President: in President Benigno S. Aquino III. Is this an impeachable offence? No. I do not think so. Does this call for a change by force a coup or a putsch? No. Does this mean that the President is free from public censure, criticism and ostracism? No. In fact he deserves this. His Government that has been smug behind the surveys and Tuwid Na Daan spin deserves the criticism, censure and ostracism from its Citizen, specially if the Senate, the House and the Judiciary are not man enough to do it. Then the people are free to criticise, censure and ostracise this Presidency.

Third, the passing of Bangsamoro Basic Law is not a yes or no. It has to go to a legislative process that will tweak the law so that it will not end up a flawed law, leaving seeds for abuse and future conflict. I do not subscribed to the overt paranoid view of certain Senators against the MILF and neither do I believe in the stubbornness of the Peace Panel negotiators with their all or nothing attitude towards the BBL. Both are short-sighted and is the wrong time to show a backbone – the negotiators should have found their back bone while negotiating the proposed BBL.

Fourth, Just because you criticise the BBL does not mean you are for junking it. This is an old tactic of lumping together extremists, moderates and critics in one pool and winning the argument. Labelling and stereotyping rather than critical talking is a poor tactic that hopes to hide the flaw in your arguments.

Fifth, It is interesting to note that whenever media or individual goes against your opinion the default mode is to call them bias. misleading and tabloid. True there are times when they are true but also true is that there are times when they have a valid point to say. Equally amusing in a sad way is the first line of defence of someone or something is criticised is to attack the source, when sometimes in the immediate past it the defended the same cause and it was praised and pointed out to.

Sixth, Each of us has our own bias and belief. And this is mirrored in what we say, post and like. In the end you try to be open to be balance; try be open to conversation ;and try to be open to dialogue. But then how do you react to attempts to drawn the conversation and draw it away from the conversation? You have no choice but to abandon the conversation but continue with the talk to others.

Seventh, With the sheer number of information and propaganda floating around; And with the number of vested interests from all sides, What do you do? Do not forget the issues – Aquino’s guilt over Mamasapano and the need to correct the BBL; Do not be led astray and always question/text the things you encounter.

Shoot Buddha when you meet him on the road for he is not Buddha.

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