MANILA, August 13, 2011— A Catholic bishop based in Basilan province has expressed apprehension over the proposed establishment of a Bangsamoro sub-state in Mindanao
Bishop Martin Jumoad said he is wary upon learning that the proposal is within the context of the memorandum on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) which Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional in 2008.
“If the provisions and components of the ‘sub-state’ are that of the MOA-AD, then, there are reasons to be apprehensive on this issue,” said Jumoad.
On Thursday, former North Cotabato Gov. Emmanuel Piñol questioned the Aquino administration’s act of negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front regarding the creation of a “sub-state”.
This was after MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal admitted that the establishment of a Bangsamoro sub-state was a “re-frame” of the MOA-AD.
Piñol said it is unacceptable how a controversial agreement is now being used to pave the way for a new peace pact with the MILF.
Jumoad, then, called on the Aquino government and the MILF to avoid a repeat of the problems that surrounded the MOA-AD.
The public and all the stakeholders, he said, should not be left in the dark on the would-be negotiations between the two parties.
“This issue must be discussed and brought to the village-level. Consultations must be exhaustive. It should not be done in a hurry as a small mistake may result in a life-long regret,” said Jumoad. [CBCPNews]