Can we trust the MILF?

My take on the rage and the fears over this proposed law - By Raïssa Robles - It looks like the Philippine government is about to arrive at a momentous peace settlement and agreement with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Congress is likely to pass the the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which will put in place a new regional autonomous government with expanded revenue-making powers, a bigger purse and more say in running its own affairs. It’s a major stepping stone on the road to peace in Mindanao, which has been torn by war for decades. The BBL has met bitter opposition from some quarters. Opinion surveys show that many Filipinos are against the BBL. But what’s interesting is that recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys indicate that the opposition seems to be based on ignorant. Those respondents who knew nothing at all about the BBL are the ones most opposed to it. In fact, it seems most of the critics of the BBL have not bothered to read the BBL at all.

Read on >

I will not drop Sabah claim, President Aquino told me

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles President Benigno Aquino has categorically stated that he will not drop the Philippine claim to Sabah, contrary to what critics of his centerpiece legislation on Muslim autonomy – the Bangsamoro Basic Law – are saying. During my recent wide-ranging interview with him that lasted over two hours in Malacanang Palace, I asked President Aquino directly whether […]

Read on >

Should President Aquino resign – Catholic Bishops Conference President weighs in

RH-Archbishop-Soc-Vilegas

By Raïssa Robles - Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President Socrates Villegas issued this morning a statement following calls by two fellow bishops for President Benigno Aquino III to resign. Speaking for the CBCP, the church policy-making body consisting of all Philippine bishops, Monsignor Villegas said: "Before we have all the facts, however, the CBCP cannot morally join in the calls for his resignation, leaving this decision to his humble and prayerful discernment of his capacity to lead and the support he has not only from officials of government but from members of Philippine society."

Read on >

Journo’s website HACKED after he posted questions on police commandos’ killings

By Raïssa Robles - Hotmanila, the satirical political website of my hubby Alan has been hacked, ostensibly to deliver this message to President Benigno Aquino III: "We are watching you, Mr. President." The hacking apparently took place after Aquino was severely criticized by netizens for showing up late at the wake of the police commandos yesterday.

Read on >

The slain police commandos and the “Moro problem”

Ninoy on plane

By Raissa Robles - When I watched the coffins of the slain police commandos at the airport today, I felt very, very sad and pained that the Mindanao wars which started nearly half a century ago continues to this day. I also realized by looking at the feeds on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter that those living outside Mindanao had little grasp of the violent history that has engulfed the island of Mindanao. The shocking sight of 44 dead bodies in neat rows today was probably one of the rare times that people in Manila have witnessed the deadly consequences of the Mindanao wars.

Read on >

Prominent NGO appeals for fair probe on police commando killings; urges no revenge

An NGO which played a key role in the Philippine signing of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 15 years ago has issued a statement calling for an impartial probe on the police commando killings but urging the public not to over-react.

Read on >

“Wipe them all out” clamor should await an independent probe on Maguindanao bloodbath

Just my opinion By Raïssa Robles At least 50 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces and eight Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters, were killed in a clash that nobody wants to detail. The clash took place way before dawn on Monday January 26 (although some say Saturday) and went on for hours - some news reports say for 11 hours. Did President Benigno Aquino know of the commando operation that went horribly wrong and resulted in dozens of needless deaths? The commandos were US-trained, had night vision goggles and heavy weapons.

Read on >

Our Constitution provides genuine Muslim autonomy but Congress restricted it

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles The Constitution has long been used as a reason for not granting Muslims widespread powers. During the administration of Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, government peace negotiators told Muslim rebels that the charter would have to be amended for their wishes to be granted. And then they would add that it was next to impossible to […]

Read on >