Robin Padilla: You can’t be pro-peace but anti-Bangsamoro law

Rappler.com
Robin Padilla: You can’t be pro-peace but anti-Bangsamoro law
The actor, a Muslim convert, calls on the public to raise the level of discussions on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and stop the fixation on rebel leaders' pseudonyms

MANILA, Philippines – Actor Robin Padilla on Monday, April 20, took a swipe at critics of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) who claim that they are for peace but reject the passage of the bill. 

Maraming nagsasabing ‘I am pro-peace but I am not for BBL.’ Para sa akin, hindi logical ‘yun. Kasi dalawa lang ‘yan. You accept it or not. Kasi ‘pag in-accept mo, peace ‘yun; ‘pag hindi mo in-accept, hindi magkakaroon ng peace,” Padilla said Monday, April 20, in a press conference for his show, 2 1/2 Daddies.

(There are many who say ‘I am for peace but I am not for BBL.’ For me, that’s not logical. Because there are only two options: you accept it or not. If you accept it, that’s peace; if you don’t accept it, there can be no peace.)

“Hindi pupuwedeng sabihin na gumawa tayo ng bagong BBL. Fifteen years nilang ginawa ‘yun. Hindi naman ito mga taga-‘Batibot,’ di ba, na kahapon lang sila ‘pinanganak at ngayon lang nila ginawa ‘yung peace agreement?” he added, referring to a defunct educational show for children.

(You can’t say create a new BBL. They worked on that for 15 years. It’s not like they are “Batibot,” who were born yesterday and just suddenly created the peace agreement.)

He earlier said it “pains him” to support the BBL since it would equate to the abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which he supported during its inception. In an Instagram post, Padilla also raised the unresolved issue of the Philippines’ dormant claim on Sabah.  

Padilla, however, prefers not to be labelled as pro-BBL or anti-BBL but “pro-peace.”

According to Padilla, it is important to know the context of the peace process – that it is a process of negotiation and not a a matter of surrender. 

He came to the defense of Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles, who came under heavy criticism following the Mamamasapano tragedy that killed 67 Filipinos, including 44 police commandos in the hands of Muslim armed men.

Senators critical of the BBL accused Deles – along with the government peace panel negotiating with rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – of siding with the MILF over Mamasapano. (READ: Senate report says BBL unfair to gov’t)

“Si Secretary Deles, kasama pa namin ‘yan panahon pa ni [former] President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Isipin mo, panahon pa siya ni GMA, ito na ang trabaho niya, ‘yang peace agreement na ‘yan. Kaya nung nalaman ko na ang nasa likod ng peace agreement ay si Secretary Deles, agad akong sumuporta, kasi kilala ko si Secretary Deles. Kasama na namin ‘yan noon pa. Tapos may mga bagong lalabas na parang kapapanganak lang, alam na nila kung ano ang solusyon sa Mindanao problem,” Padilla said. 

(I’ve been working with Secretary Deles since the time of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Imagine, since the GMA administration, this had been her job, this peace agreement? That’s why when I found out that the one behind the peace agreement is Secretary Deles, I supported it right away, because I know Secretary Deles. I’ve been with her since before. Then all of a sudden there are people coming out who are new to this but talk as if they know the solution to the Mindanao problem.)

Raise level of discussion

Padilla, a Muslim convert, has not minced his words about how certain lawmakers have handled BBL deliberations in the aftermath of the Mamasapano tragedy. Earlier, he figured in a word war with Senator Alan Cayetano, who not only rejected the bill but tagged the MILF as terrorists. 

The actor called on lawmakers to raise the level of discussion when it comes to the proposed law and stop the fixation on the choice of rebel leaders to use an alias even after signing a peace agreement. (READ: Nom de guerre in peace pacts not unique to PH – Deles)

“At sana, ‘wag naman tayo magkaroon ng argumentong pang-elementary. Ang argumento natin bakit daw may alyas. Eh rebelde nga eh. ‘Yun ang pinaka-nakakatawa,” Padilla said. 

(I hope we don’t have elementary-level arguments. Our arguments are focused on why [Mohagher Iqbal] was using an alias. Because he is a rebel. That’s the funniest thing.)

“Inawat ko na nga ‘yung sarili ko eh. Muntik ko nang pinost. Alam mo ba, bakit si Jose Rizal? Si Jose Rizal nga may alyas e. Di ba siya si Laong Laan? Ibig mong sabihin loko-loko si Rizal? Ewan ko, ayoko nang magsalita,” he added. 

(I already stopped myself. I almost posted it. Did you know, Jose Rizal has an alias? Isn’t he Laong Laan? Are you saying Rizal is dishonest? I don’t know. I don’t want to say anything more.)

A product of the peace deal between the government and rebel group, the BBL aims to replace the current autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao with one that has greater political and fiscal powers. 

The bill, however, faces dilution at the House of Representatives and the Senate. The political fallout resulting from the Mamasapano clash affected support for the measure. – Angela Casauay/Rappler.com

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