MANILA, July 9, 2015—Expecting Filipino legislators will give it their best shot, a Catholic priest has expressed dismay that they seem more interested in the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite what he sees as more pressing matters in Mindanao that deserve immediate attention.
In his recent CBCP News column, Fr. Jerome R. Secillano, chief pastor of Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro in Sampaloc, blasts solons who are more concerned with the legal polemics regarding BBL’s constitutionality instead of focusing on finding more practical and concrete ways to solve the problems besetting Mindanao and its people.
“Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the BBL hurdles these constitutional issues, will it guarantee peace or bring about developments in Mindanao?,” asks the priest, lamenting that proponents of BBL continue to push for its passage after confessing the law cannot ensure peace in the island.
Not a panacea
According to him, the constitutionality of the BBL can only prove that Filipino lawmakers are “wise” enough to craft a law that is not illegal.
“Anything more than that is suspect. The BBL, especially in its present form, is not a panacea to all that is bad in Mindanao,” the priest explains.
Secillano, who also serves as executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), points out that BBL must be thoroughly studied and analyzed first before it can be approved.
“President Aquino and the supporters of the measure continue to harp on giving peace a chance as if those not in favor of the BBL are not for peace. What we are hearing from the President and his blind followers are motherhood statements for peace. Ironically, they themselves admitted that the measure does not guarantee such,” he says.
“Is it not logical to say, then, that those who are against the measure but continue to look for better alternatives are the ones genuinely for peace?” he asks. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)