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United States President Barack Obama shakes hands with President Benigno Aquino III at Malacañang during the former's state visit to the Philippines in April 2014. (From the Noynoy Aquino [P-Noy] Facebook page)

The Bangsamoro basic lie

THE NEXT PAGEGiven that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which our government would have us swallow hook, line and sinker without as much as an apostrophe edited on even its most unconstitutional provisions for fear of displeasing Benigno Aquino III’s newfound KKK (kaklase, kabarilan and kaibigan), shooting buddies and BFF (best friends forever) in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a basic lie seems to have attained treasonous proportions.

Indeed, from the alphabet soup of the BBL, which would have the force of, not simply a law, but more important, the tumult and tempest of a de facto constitutional amendment that truncates our republic, to the smallest detail of the sell-out, it does not take a legal eagle to realize what 30 pieces of silver can buy.

It is against such betrayal that we compare with concern global, albeit similarly ominous developments, in the deal being ironed out with Iran regarding its nuclear development and the prospects of either improved peace in the Middle East or, quite the opposite, an unheralded escalation of deadly tensions.

Simply trusting in the rhetoric of US President Barack Obama who has gone way out of his way to sell the deal to his American constituents, from the perspective of a Filipino light years away from the Middle East conflict, everything should either be hunky-dory or, as is typical of such events, seemingly totally irrelevant to our situation.

After all, the framework agreement’s objectives are praiseworthy. The agreement prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. We were comfortable with that.

Unfortunately above the cacophony of praises, we heard Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s dire warnings. From those, we discerned the immense global repercussions of the cataclysmic consequences that he fears the framework agreement might spawn.

Our eventual discomfort forced us to analyze Aquino’s BBL rhetoric and the dog-and-pony show employed to sell it.

Note points of comparison. President Obama was selling the agreement to the public without the latter having read its details. Those who did simply did not buy the deal claiming that the rhetoric did not match specific open-ended provisions.

Note differences between Obama’s rhetoric and those of the Iranians viewing exactly the same document. Obama said inspectors can audit “the entire nuclear chain” and a “procurement committee” to be established are allowed to inspect all ports of entry, including all Iranian imports, to ensure all importations are only for peaceful uses. Iran debunks this. It claims that the pact does not require inspections of military bases. A port within a military base is, therefore, exempt from inspection.

It is this kind of detail that officials can leave out when selling snake oil and other magical cure-all potions. The same applies to the BBL where Aquino’s rhetoric does not match the substance. Aquino is forcing us to agree to an invalid contract that is essentially incomplete in one sense, and where the document is complete, its substance not only violates our territorial sovereignty, it also violates the Constitution. It dilutes national and constitutionally mandated powers and opens us up to further territorial dismemberment.

In this latter sense, however, Aquino has done Obama one over. The American president is not selling his constituencies down the river. The Iran agreement does not directly weaken the United States. It does not violate the US Constitution. It is not patently illegal much less criminal.

The deficiencies of the Iran pact lie a million miles from the eastern seaboard of the United States, deep within the Middle East where Israel stands alone, surrounded by entities wishing it ill-will. The accord threatens Israel’s security more than it does the United States as it allows the indirect development of nuclear weaponry in “black” sites.

The deficiencies of Aquino’s BBL lie right in our neighborhood. Read the document. It is not difficult to realize that the BBL rhetoric is a lie.

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