Pols rushing Bangsamoro ‘self-serving’—bishop

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BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Nov. 13, 2014—A Catholic prelate expresses his disapproval of speeding up the passage of the Bangsamoro Law, charging its proponents guilty of “vainglory.”

In his recent pastoral exhortation, Bishop Ramón B. Villena of the Bayombong diocese in Nueva Vizcaya, notes that for advocates to seek the speedy passage of the organic act to claim the honor of bringing lasting peace in Mindanao is nothing more than the pursuit of vainglory.

Bayombong Bishop Ramón B. Villena (File photo)

“Peace is not real unless it is principled, and when so much that is fundamental to the life of the nation—such as territorial and political integrity—is sacrificed, the nation really wins no victory at all,” he shares.

The prelate feels bothered Bangsamoro proponents have called on Congress to pass the law expeditiously and, if possible, not to “water down” its provisions.

“We cannot support this call, because it is tantamount to the request that Congress desist from performing its duty. The enactment of an organic act for an autonomous region is a legislative act,” he declares.

The prelate points out that congressmen and senators, as elected representatives of the Filipino people, must “debate the matter with thoroughness, candor and studiousness, and amend, alter, and, where necessary, re-write it, according to the demands of their duty as legislators”.

Villena laments some individuals sitting at the negotiating table claim to represent Mindanao’s indigenous cultural communities when they have no right to do so.

“Even now, other political factions in Mindanao are not mincing their words of reproof of what they consider a cheap deal!” he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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