As things stand, it would take a miracle to salvage the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
This early, the hawks in both houses of Congress appear to be holding the upper hand. Riding high on the crest of people’s emotions over the Mamasapano debacle, they are fanning the flames of anger to serve their ends.
It does not take much to do that.
The death of 44 Special Action Force commandoes at the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters dealt a massive blow to the nation’s psyche.
Add to that the scandalous involvement of then suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima and you have the prescription for unrest that wants no less than the head of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
As if that is not enough, the subsequent attempts to at least delay if not distort the congressional hearings to shield top administration officials from liability have raised tempers to boiling temperatures.
Indeed, it would take nothing short of a miracle to save the BBL.
Having said that, however, the question that should be asked is this: what happens next? That is one question that may well define subsequent events if not the very future of the country.
For one, hawks and war-mongers fail to realize the damaging effects of the BBL’s demise on Mindanao and its people. They do not appreciate the fact that the BBL is viewed as the last, best hope for peace in the country’s second biggest island.
This is not to say that the BBL is the best thing that can happen to Mindanao. Far from that. It has enough flaws to sink a ship. But its flaws notwithstanding, at least it offers a glimmer of hope.
Now, here comes this development.
With some of its hesitant supporters now its virtual critics, the BBL is nothing much more than a dying gasp. For all intents and purposes, it is about to receive its last rites.
What happens next is anybody’s guess. Those who want the BBL buried quickly do not even have an idea on what to do. Perhaps, they assume that after its brief existence, closure is the natural consequence.
Far from it.
What makes it sad is that, to use the words of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, no one is minding the store. Like the Mamasapano assault, there is no plan B that can thwart impending disaster.
It’s virtually jumping from the frying pan to the fire.
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