Former President Joseph Estrada today said that entertaining the idea of a Bangsamoro sub-state, if not handled with caution, may borderline on treason. “Peace must be attained but not at the cost of our territorial integrity,” Estrada said.
Estrada clarified that he never gave the Aquino Administration advise. He stressed that he is not in the habit of giving unsolicited advice but was only answering questions from the media regarding his stand on this issue as a former president who achieved peace in Mindanao by wiping out the MILF.
Reports describe the substate as one that will exercise powers over its political and economic affairs and enforce security within the Bangsamoro territory. While it will remain under the Republic of the Philippines, it would have “asymmetrical relations’’ with the national government, similar to Hong Kong’s relations with China and have the unique position of having its own “responsibility in governing Bangsamoro lands”.
“We must exert all efforts towards peace but we cannot afford to give them something that is tantamount to giving them their own government and against the Constitution,” Estrada said. “Whether you call it a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity or a Bangsamoro substate, by whatever name you call it, the MILF are essentially asking for the creation of their own government, which is a non-negotiable. The territorial integrity of our country is a non-negotiable.”
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
for Former President Joseph E. Estrada