GMAs “Extrajudicial Partition of Property”

If City Mayor Dan Neri Lim pushes through with his plan to stop the 500 million to 1 billion loan with DBP, then we can say goodbye to a lot of infrastructure works already in the pipeline.

No more waste water facility in Taloto. And no more integrated solid waste management facility either.

Which means the regular flooding of city streets during rainy days will continue.

Residents along DBP, Coca Cola and Penaflor will have to endure wet feet and wet floor every time the water from the sky will pour down.

Thanks a lot to political grandstanding, says the mayor.

* * *

Even before the start up, there were already attempts to torpedo the planned projects, including the planned loan application.

There were allegations hurled left and right. Initially, the mayor withstood the hits. But the sustained firing took its toll. The city mayor developed cold feet and he’s not proceeding any further.

The mayor used to have a thick hide.

He’s proved for a long time now that he’s capable of sustained attacks. But this time around, he does not want to continue being the target.

Of course, this could spell trouble to a lot of city residents.

Kon mangluod gani ang mayor, daghan gyod ang maapektohan!

* * *

Makati Mayor Jojo Binay wants Mayor Dan Lim to emulate what he did in Makati.

He gave DNL a briefing on Politics 101 - how to touch base with the constituents.

And he appeared very proud of his accomplishments.

How did Binay do it?

By attending to every burial of every Makati resident. And sometimes, by joining the chorus of cries of despair.

By his estimate, Binay has attended to no less than 60,000 burials (no figures on the frequency of his fake cries). If there are a total of 50 relatives per person buried, the difference would be mind boggling already.

Of course, for the political naïve, that figure is indeed mind boggling.

But for political realists, especially in Bohol, that figure does not mean anything.

After all, there’s no guaranty that the number of people who saw you during burials, even if you cry a river, would translate into actual votes cast during elections.

In Bohol, politicians know that money remains the surest way of getting votes.

The Binay Formula might be good in Makati. But applied in Bohol, and even in Tagbilaran, the formula would turn out a dud.

* * *

I don’t know what they were discussing but perhaps Binay can also learn from the Lim Formula.

Instead of going to burials, Binay can try sending his constituents birthday cakes during their birthdays.

He can also try with his own version of the Botika sa Barangay. Of course, he has to look for somebody like Mario Uy who will agree to be designated as “deputy mayor.”

Or the Blue Card program.

Or even the free movies for senior citizens.

Of course, Binay does not need those. He’s on his last term now.

But Binay can brief his kagawad-son about the Lim Formula.

That formula made it impossible for former mayor Joe Torralba from ever sitting as mayor of Tagbilaran again.

* * *

Meanwhile trouble is brewing in Mindanao.

The government under GMA wants to execute an Extrajudicial Partition of Property.

And the “property” to be partitioned is no less than the republic of the Philippines.

For some unknown reasons, the government is willing to part with a big chunk of Mindanao and give it to a group that called itself Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). Actually, BJE is just a comic alias of the MILF, a breakaway faction of the infamous MNLF.

But the signing of the MOA or the Extrajudicial Partition of Property was scuttled.

Claiming lack of public consultation, several LGUs notably Zamboanga City under Mayor Celso Lobregat and North Cotabato under Vice Governor Manny Pinol filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a stop to the signing of the MOA last Monday.

The Supreme Court issued a TRO effectively stopping the signing of the MOA.

The interest of Lobregat on the issue is both official and personal.

Eight barangays in Zamboanga City will be added to the expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

These villages include Busay, Landang Laum, Landang Gua, Manalipa, Pasilmanta, Tigtabon, and Zones 3 and 4.

But there’s a big problem.

The City Hall of Zamboanga City and a part of its commercial district are situated in Zone 4 while the ancestral home of the Lobregat family is located in Zone 3.

Lobregat must object by all means.

* * *

What are the salient features of the MOA or the Extrajudicial Partition of Property?

Under the proposal, the Philippine government agrees to the following:

1. Recognize the Bangsamoro people as "distinct from the rest of the national communities";

2. Grant the Bangsamoro people their own "distinct territory";

3. Grant the Bangsamoro pople their own "government"; and,

4. Concede international recognition to the Bangsamoro people.

Who are the Bangsamoro people?

Under the proposed MOA, the Bangsamoro people refer to "those who are natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization and their descendants whether mixed or full native blood."

Spouses and descendants, including the Lumads are also classified as Bangsamoro "unless they choose otherwise."

They are the ‘First Nation’ with defined territory and with a system of government having entered into treaties of amity and commerce with foreign nations.

Congressman Mitra of Palawan is protesting the inclusion of some parts of Palawan to the formation of BJE.

Understandable of course.

If you look at the map, Palawan is very far from Mindanao. So why should they include Palawan in the moro-moro?

* * *

What is the effect of granting the Bangsamoro people their own distinct territory?

Very unique, of course.

The Bangsamoro homeland does not form part of the public domain. Meaning, it is not within the jurisdiction of the Philippine government.

As in, they are already separate from the Philippines.

Wow, beat that?

Which means, they just gain their freedom from GMA.

Wow, and another wow for that.

* * *

How about the issue of government?

The Bangsamoro territory will be governed by the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), naturally.

Now, now, how are we going to characterize the governments of the BJE and that of the Philippine government?

Accordingly, the relationship between the Philippine government and the BJE shall be associative, characterized by shared authority and responsibility with a structure of governance based on executive, legislative, judicial and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions.

* * *

On the issue of territory - the core of the new Moro homeland will be the following:

The ARMM composed of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan, Sulu; Tawi-Tawi; and the city of Marawi;

Six municipalities in Lanao del Norte--Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, Tangkol—that voted for inclusion in the ARMM in the 2001 plebiscite;

And 721 villages adjacent to the ARMM, subject to a majority ‘yes’ vote in a plebiscite that will be held a year after last Tuesday’s signing.

When it comes to resources, the MOA-AD grants the BJE authority “on the use and development of resources found within BJE jurisdiction.”

In the final draft of the MOA, the BJE and central government (Philippine government) will have a 75:25 sharing of profits, with 75% going to the BJE.

* * *

Many people have questions.

What is the status of the MILF? What gave it the authority to represent the so-called Bangsamoro people?

Why is the government in a hurry to partition Mindanao knowing that this is prohibited in the constitution?

Anyway, there are already some renewed skirmishes between the MILF and government forces. And which could escalate anytime.

It is very problematic for the civilians.

Anytime, they will be caught in the crossfire.

Unfortunately for them, while the gun ban is strictly implemented against them, there is no gun ban against the MILF. So the MILF members are free to carry their firearms but not the civilians.

And anytime too, some MILF members will decide to oust or eject them from their lands on the pretext that the MILF now owns that land and other lands that form part of the territorial domain of the BJE.

Either they will peacefully surrender their possessions or settle everything by their guns and bullets.

And that’s because the Philippine government has “super-brilliant” peace advisers (kuno) like Hermogenes Esperon and Gen. Rodulfo Garcia.

Bears watching how things will develop in the coming days. Comments, suggestions, write to


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