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Questions on wealth sharing

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LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing, but there is only terror…” (Jeremiah 8:15, the Holy Bible).

QUESTIONS FOR MILF & GOV’T ON WEALTH SHARING: There is something that baffles me in the wealth sharing scheme signed by the Aquino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF): is it true, as a report of a major Manila newspaper is saying, that 75% of the incomes that will be earned by the Bangsamoro government that will be put up in Mindanao in 2015 will solely go to the MILF?

Here is a portion of that report: “…A 75 percent share in taxes and earnings from natural resources and metallic minerals in the proposed Bangsamoro entity, and 50 percent from energy and other mineral resources.

“These are the terms won by the MILF in the wealth-sharing deal it signed with the government late Saturday night in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said the peace panels finally completed the wealth-sharing annex, with the lion’s share of earnings in the Bangsamoro going to the MILF.”

MORE WARS, INSTEAD OF PEACE? Now, the question here is this: how about the other groups in Mindanao? What share will they have in the earnings of the Bangsamoro entity? And if the MILF will get 75% of all the incomes of the Bangsamoro entity, would that mean that only 25% of those incomes will be used in running the affairs of government in the region? Will 25% of those incomes be enough to run the region and provide basic services to our countrymen there?

These have to be explained right away because of their implications in the country’s long-running search for peace and development in the whole of Mindanao. I mean, if the MILF will get the lion’s share in the earnings of Bangsamoro, would that not enrage other armed groups, like the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), to demand a similar treatment and privilege?

And if the government can not grant the same treatment and privilege to MNLF and the other armed groups in Mindanao, will not armed skirmishes erupt anew and therefore waylay the supposed peace accord with the MILF? Will not the proposed peace accord with the MILF bring more war instead in Southern Philippines?

“PORK BARREL A PURE SCAM”: Here is a reaction on our column on pork barrel irregularities coming from Mar Patalinjug, a Filipino now based in New York, USA: “The present system where annually each Senator gets P200 million and each representative gets P70 million in `pork barrel’ funds, to spend pretty much at their discretion, is pure SCAM.

“Time and time again, I decried this system as easily vulnerable to corruption; it is quite easy, because these Senators and Representatives are self-servingly not required to render a true timely and accurate accounting of these funds, for a good part of these to get diverted to their private bank accounts.

“You are right. Stop this corrupt system, and go back to the previous one where the Department of Public Works and Highways and other agencies which have responsibility for Infrastructure of any kind gets these Funds— but with much better and stricter transparency and accounting, plus close and timely OVERSIGHT.”

REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com, mmauriciojr111@gmail.com. -30-

By Atty. Batas Mauricio




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