POSTSCRIPT / May 5, 2015 / Tuesday


Opinion Columnist

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And da winnah is da Nevada mafia!

AS the Supreme Court would have declared: It’s final and executory! Mayweather beat Pacquiao on points, outrunning him in 12 rounds while collecting some $5 million for every minute of the chase around the ring at MGM Grand last Sunday.

So, folks, let’s move on. We fans of Manny Pacquiao better swallow the bitter defeat. Even the Bible-toting congressman from his wife’s district of Sarangani is not about to mouth the standard politician’s excuse that he did not lose but was just cheated.

Yet in an unguarded moment after the fight, Pacquiao mused: “But I thought I was ahead.”

So did millions of others think after witnessing on live TV a fast and furious Pacman landing snappy blows whenever he cornered his quarry. (Next time around, Pacquiao’s lawyers should buy a TRO to restrain flight-risk Floyd from escaping.)

There was no sight more pathetic than a multi-division champion, one ear cocked to the bell, being chased around a square patch of canvas by a smaller guy. Now we know why they have strung strong ropes around the boxing ring.

To be more honest (impossible in Las Vegas) the judges’ scorecards should have been shredded, burned and flushed down the toilet — and this unvarnished verdict announced: “And da winnah is… da Nevada mafia!”

SONA item up: Usman killed

CONGRATULATIONS to the authorities for killing somebody whose face looks “similiar” (sic) to that of the terrorist-bomber Basit Usman, who had escaped in the Jan. 25 operations that got bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, in his hideout in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

But they should rush the corpse’s DNA identification before the valedictory State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino on July 27. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s forensic experts should be able to help again.

Also, if they do not mind unsolicited advice, the administration should stop stressing that (1) the Moro Islamic Liberation Front helped track down Usman and (2) there was close coordination this time between the military and the police.

Be careful not to push things from the obvious to the odious.

Noy can’t see BBL red flags?

TALKING of the SONA deadline for picking more fruits hanging from the tree, many concerned Filipinos are hoping the contentious Bangsamoro Basic Law is not one of them.

Approval of the BBL, which will serve as the Constitution of the Bangsamoro (a nascent Moro nation), will set in motion an irreversible chain of historical events that could see the dismembering of the Republic.

It is frightening that President Aquino seems bent to leave the spinning off of a separate Moro nation as his most momentous legacy.

As often suggested in this space, the President should study the substance of the working documents, including the annexes, and examine the legal implications of the terminology used.

This is no longer a purely internal matter, but has become an international issue. It is important that we, especially Malacañang, know the BBL’s implications under international law.

Leave BBL fate to next admin

EVERYBODY, except those who enjoy deluding themselves, knows the BBL as drafted is not the best formula for peace in Mindanao. Doing a rush cleansing job in the Congress will not save it.

What then is the best formula? That, we submit, should be left to the next administration(s) to determine without having to rush.

President Aquino should not be scared by the MILF threat to remove the mask hiding their true revolutionary face if the BBL is not approved or is passed without its provisions laying the basis for a separate political entity.

If the Congress kills the BBL or cleanses it of its separatists intent, or if it is thrown out by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, President Aquino can always tell his MILF and Malaysian friends, “Look, I tried.” He might add: “I’m tired.”

Ortiz shares notes on Moros

HERE are notes culled from a presentation by Dr. Alan T. Ortiz at the Finex-MAP forum on the BBL last April 29.

Ortiz, a scholar and business executive, among many other things, noted that the Bangsamoro does not exist — yet. He said: “This is an aspiration, not yet a reality, since Filipino Muslims are divided by a common religion.”

Tracing the term, he said: “Bangsamoro was first used in a March 1935 letter of 120 Lanao datus to Franklin Delano Roosevelt asking for Bangsamoro statehood instead of Filipino citizenship. Next mention was in the 1968 manifesto of the Moro National Liberation Front on Bangsamoro statehood, signaling the start of hostilities in Mindanao.

“There is no mention of Bangsamoro in the 1976 Tripoli Agreement nor in the law creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The term emerges again only in the ill-fated and unconstitutional 2008 Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain under then President Gloria Arroyo.”

US, UK acted to split sultanate

THE UNRESOLVED Philippine claim on Sabah (North Borneo) complicates the BBL question.

Ortiz said: “Sabah never belonged to the Republic of the Philippines and the only formal claim was filed by the Department of Foreign Affairs with the United Kingdom’s foreign office on June 22, 1962.

“The 1878 ‘pajak’ dating back to 1878 is a rental payment to the Sulu-based Sultanate by Overbeck/Dent, who had ceded their rights to the British North Borneo Company.

“Later the United States and the British colonial governments connived to dismantle the powerful Sultanate – with Sulu and Tawi-Tawi attached to Philippine archipelago and Sabah retained as part of North Borneo.

“The Washington Convention of 1930 formalized this division as a prelude to the launching of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935.

“The death of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II in 1936 gave Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon an opportunity to end the ‘legal and administrative existence of the Sultanate of Sulu’ under the principle that no two sovereigns can coexist in one nation-state.”

(First published in the Philippine STAR of May 5, 2015)

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