Surest way to stop BBL’s inclusion of Palawan


            The battle to  retake Marawi from the  clutches of the ISIS-inspired Maute bothers has, unexpectedly, dragged  for so long and has taken a heavy toll on the peace loving Maranaos, disrupting  their lives and  shattering their futures. For us who are miles away from the battle zone, the war is something you simply watch on prime time news. It is a distant war, and we have our own personal battles to fight. Not until you realize that there could be Palawan soldiers in Marawi who are   fighting and risking their lives by the minute. Such was the case of Corporal JONAS PADUGA, a member of the Philippine Army Special Force. Jonas was with his Unit on a mission to prevent reinforcements for the besieged Maute fighters when sniper fire fatally hit him – a grim reminder of how fast life could be lost in the battlefield. A native of Danleg in Dumaran, Jonas had his early education in his barangay’s elementary school and in nearby Sta.Teresita for his secondary education. After completing a brief TESDA Certificate Course, Jonas joined the Army where he was assigned in Quezon province, fighting NPA rebels. Then the war erupted in Marawi and Jonas were among those called to fight the Mautes. He was 26 and had a full life ahead of him. But God decreed otherwise. It is one more life for the cause of democracy and we are mighty proud that a Palawan fought the good fight.

———000——–

The proposed Bangsa Moro Basic Law  ( BBL ) is once again being revived in the Lower House , a  timely move both by the  Palace and some Muslim legislators considering President Duterte’s  commitment to end the age old  conflict in Mindanao.   The bad news though is the inclusion of Palawan as one of the constituent territories of Bangsa Moro.  Like fire bells, the proposed inclusion puts everyone on mental alert ready to blast the proposal.  The Provincial Board was once again quick on its toes with a unanimous Resolution vehemently objecting to such a move. I recall when then Sen. Bongbong Marcos conducted a public hearing on the BBL, members of the Board attended to register Palawan’s opposition to the measure.  But it was Governor Alvarez who carried the day. Speaking before the jam packed  crowd of  mostly officials from Mindanao who were  obviously in favor of the passage of the BBL, the Governor  asserted  his  support for the aspirations of our Muslim Brothers for a basic law,  but please , he emphatically stated,  do not include Palawan. It was a well applauded statement, even by Muslim leaders in attendance. Unfortunately, it failed to convince them, for after less than a year, here we are again, back to square one. Perhaps, it will take no less than the creation of a Region of our own to finally put to a definitive end to this persistent inclusion of Palawan in Muslim Mindanao. This is the surest way. Otherwise, it will keep on creeping like the perennial grass that simply refuses to die.

 

The battle to  retake Marawi from the  clutches of the ISIS-inspired Maute bothers has, unexpectedly, dragged  for so long and has taken a heavy toll on the peace loving Maranaos, disrupting  their lives and  shattering their futures. For us who are miles away from the battle zone, the war is something you simply watch on prime time news. It is a distant war, and we have our own personal battles to fight. Not until you realize that there could be Palawan soldiers in Marawi who are   fighting and risking their lives by the minute. Such was the case of Corporal JONAS PADUGA, a member of the Philippine Army Special Force. Jonas was with his Unit on a mission to prevent reinforcements for the besieged Maute fighters when sniper fire fatally hit him – a grim reminder of how fast life could be lost in the battlefield. A native of Danleg in Dumaran, Jonas had his early education in his barangay’s elementary school and in nearby Sta.Teresita for his secondary education. After completing a brief TESDA Certificate Course, Jonas joined the Army where he was assigned in Quezon province, fighting NPA rebels. Then the war erupted in Marawi and Jonas were among those called to fight the Mautes. He was 26 and had a full life ahead of him. But God decreed otherwise. It is one more life for the cause of democracy and we are mighty proud that a Palawan fought the good fight.

———000——–

The proposed Bangsa Moro Basic Law  ( BBL ) is once again being revived in the Lower House , a  timely move both by the  Palace and some Muslim legislators considering President Duterte’s  commitment to end the age old  conflict in Mindanao.   The bad news though is the inclusion of Palawan as one of the constituent territories of Bangsa Moro.  Like fire bells, the proposed inclusion puts everyone on mental alert ready to blast the proposal.  The Provincial Board was once again quick on its toes with a unanimous Resolution vehemently objecting to such a move. I recall when then Sen. Bongbong Marcos conducted a public hearing on the BBL, members of the Board attended to register Palawan’s opposition to the measure.  But it was Governor Alvarez who carried the day. Speaking before the jam packed  crowd of  mostly officials from Mindanao who were  obviously in favor of the passage of the BBL, the Governor  asserted  his  support for the aspirations of our Muslim Brothers for a basic law,  but please , he emphatically stated,  do not include Palawan. It was a well applauded statement, even by Muslim leaders in attendance. Unfortunately, it failed to convince them, for after less than a year, here we are again, back to square one. Perhaps, it will take no less than the creation of a Region of our own to finally put to a definitive end to this persistent inclusion of Palawan in Muslim Mindanao. This is the surest way. Otherwise, it will keep on creeping like the perennial grass that simply refuses to die.

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