We, the officers and members of the Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC), together with the undersigned kindred peace networks and civil society organizations operating within the length and width of Mindanao including the Province of Sulu, are deeply concerned and outraged to take note of the father and son Abdusakur Tan’s grand conspiracy to put the final nail on the coffin of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). Upon orders of the father, the Governor son obliges by lumping together – without their free and informed consent – all the provincial officials and the people of Sulu in one attack column to torpedo the BOL which is a legacy project of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in fulfillment of his campaign promise to correct the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people.
Father and Son Governor Tan’s Petition to declare the BOL as unconstitutional is not only an open defiance against President Duterte but also a big slap against his own brother who is incidentally the Chairman of the GPH-MILF Implementing Panel. It is a big insult against Undersecretary Nabil Tan who appears to be powerless and inutile in the hands of his power-hungry brother and nephew, he cannot even win the peace right at his own homefront. With all due respect and without casting aspersion against Usec Nabil Tan, we believe that the honorable thing for him to do is to resign as Chairman of the Government’s Implementing Panel as the biggest stumbling block to peace in the Bangsamoro appears to be no other than his own brother. His avowed job description to implement the peace agreement has already become tenuous and untenable.
And like a clever hawk who conceals his claws, father and son Governor Tan place the entire government peace machinery in the defensive by hailing them to the Supreme Court instead of the government prosecuting the TANs to the hilt for their pending cases of illegal rice smuggling, plunder, unexplained wealth, and connivance with the Abu Sayyaf Group.
While it is every citizen’s right to petition before the Supreme Court, it is basic principle of law that he who comes to court must come with clean hands. In the instant case, the one who is accusing President Duterte through his alter-egos comes with very dirty and bloody hands. As a matter of fact, Gov. Tan was previously held guilty of culpable violation of the constitution when in 2009, he placed the entire Province of Sulu under a state of emergency – a presidential power which, the Supreme Court declared, Tan arrogated unto himself as a governor.
We call on President Duterte to direct the NBI, DOJ and the Office of the Ombudsman to immediately resolve the pending cases of rice smuggling and economic sabotage, perjury, plunder, unexplained wealth, murder and connivance with the Abu Sayyaf Group and prosecute the Tan’s without fear or favor. Tan is the biggest enemy to achieve Tunay na Pagbabago in the Province of Sulu.
Hence, the current petition to void the BOL must be seen in the light of a classic Moro-Moro play screened and scripted by Datu Sabandar Tan as no more than his own political sour-graping using the Province and People of Sulu as pawns in his attempt to perpetuate his stay in power and resume his decades of pushing Sulu into the crevasse of perpetual stagnation and grinding poverty.
It is, therefore, very clear that in filing the petition against the BOL, Governor Tan does not have the welfare of the Tausugs in mind but their own clan’s selfish political greed and economic interests. He is, indeed, very afraid that the electoral and political reforms that will be brought by the BOL, will end the era of their clan’s unbridled political control and unlimited plunder of public funds in the Province of Sulu.
Thus, we call upon the people of Sulu and in the whole Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to unite and collectively oppose this last attempt by the Tans to preserve and protect their political and economic empire at the expense of the people of the Province of Sulu and of the entire Bangsamoro.
Our forefathers who offered their blood to the cause of peace and freedom must be honored and revered. Let us not allow Governor Abdusakur A. Tan, II. and family to sabotage the peace process so they could continue their dreadful grip of the people of Sulu.
Mindanao Peoples Caucus