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No Moro in SC or Cabinet

12:21 AM April 14, 2015

President Aquino must not apologize for the Mamasapano incident. As president, he is vested with two personas—as head of state and as head of government.

As head of state, he personifies the Republic of the Philippines in the family of nations. As head of government, he is the chief executive mandated to implement laws emanating from Congress and Supreme Court decisions, including his own executive orders. As head of state, he must use the facility of “apology” sparingly as it might be misinterpreted by some nations as weakness on the part of the Republic of the Philippines. He may use only the word “regret” and the like. That’s what he correctly did after the Luneta hostage-taking. For instance, no one expects US President Barack Obama to apologize for a campus killing in the United States. He usually only expresses his sadness and regret over such incidents.

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In President Aquino’s recent Mamasapano statements, it was clear to me that he has virtually apologized in more ways than one. So let’s all move forward and focus more on the issue of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Once the BBL is rid of constitutional and legal infirmities, the Filipino people must approve it. An all-out war against our Moro brothers is not the alternative. It will only make them more bitter and it will only make Muslim Mindanao a fertile breeding ground for Islamic extremism. It will only affirm what our Muslim brothers have for centuries been saying: We discriminate against them; we do not treat them as our own.

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I cannot understand, for instance, why there is no single Moro justice in the Supreme Court since the Estrada presidency. Or a Moro Cabinet member since the Arroyo administration.

I also cannot understand why we do not give importance to the Sultanate of Sulu. Sultan Kiram and his successors are genuine royals. As genuine as the sultan of Brunei.

It’s only we Christians eating the egg pie. We don’t invite our Muslim brothers and sisters to a share of it. Even the BBL, even that, we deny them. And we are surprised that they rebel?

To my mind, the BBL being endorsed by the President is a fine work of statesmanship.

—REP. ROY V. SEÑERES,

OFW Family Party list

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TAGS: apology, Bangsamoro Basic Law, letters, Mamasapano incident, president Aquino iii
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