War, portents of war, and breakthroughs in war, are always elements of news — ask any news editor. Uncharacteristically, Malacañang not only released information but announced the Bangsamoro “framework agreement” in a highly publicized press con, on a slow news day, a full week ahead of its signing. They could not have chosen a better element of news — war ranks way up there in any editor’s book. And so, Malacañang knows, it thinks, this would outrank any news story or discussion on the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
When they were “out-of-power”, in 2008, the Liberal Party questioned the constitutionality of the initial Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the MILF, which provided for a future comprehensive peace pact, hammered out by Gloria’s government. They found enough adherents in the Supreme Court: By a narrow vote of 8 to 7, the Supreme Court struck down the peace agreement as “unconstitutional” – betraying everybody’s ignorance that negotiated political settlements are always outside the legal frameworks of the State-parties . Now that they are inpower, they forged a “framework agreement” honoring a “Basic Law” for the Bangsamoro. Good. Finally. I’m glad that potentially there will now be a negotiated political settlement of the armed conflict in Mindanao – the Liberal Party delayed it by four years on the argument that the proposed “Bangsamoro Juridical Entity” mentioned in the 2008 MOA required Charter Change. They, and everyone else of course, were not willing to grant that to Gloria (Cha-cha under Gloria – no way).
Don’t look at me, I’ve been consistently in favor of negotiated political settlements over war, regardless of who were in power (look at the history of this blog and previous blog posts). But look at them. It took a maelstrom of a social media frenzy over the Cybercrime Law, for an advanced announcement of a peace agreement to be made, and to go on headlong with this.