BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is hoping the Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL) will sail to approval without a hitch, warning of new hostilities in Mindanao if the historic measure meets doom in Congress or the Supreme Court.
There will be a bloody war if the BBL becomes a “failed dream” of the Bangsamoro people, said Duterte in the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN on Sunday, December 7.
The bloody scenario ahead if BBL crashes is one of the reasons why he is pushing a shift in form of governance from unitary to federal, Duterte said.
The BBL is the legal framework of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that would create a new autonomous government for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The historic pact is seen as the answer to the search for lasting peace in Mindanao wracked for decades by the Moro insurgency.
The draft of the BBL is now being fine-combed by Congress. After its approval and holding of a plebiscite, officials of the new autonomous government would be elected in 2016.
If the BBL is not approved by Congress (or dumped by the Supreme Court if its constitutionality is questioned, as also earlier warned by Duterte), the Bangsamoro people would have no face in governance.
This is where trouble would start, according to Duterte.
The MILF or the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) could go to the United Nations (UN) to claim parts of Mindanao, he said.
In the program,, Duterte hinted that the battle over sovereignty would revive the conflict between the MILF and the MNLF, which had an earlier separate peace pact with the government before the BBL or fire off a new conflict between Muslims and Christians.