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US: We Are Not A Party To The BJE Talks; Joker: Really?

August 14, 2008

Senator Joker Arroyo is not exactly mad. But he is not joking either.

The good senator wants to know why, just why American Ambassador Kristie Kenney was in Malaysia the day that MoA-AD for the Bangsamoro Juridical Entiity was to be signed by the MILF and the group of supposed Filipino negotiators presumably clothed with ‘full powers’ delegated to them by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (in turn supppsedly bearing an elected mandate).

But most abominably, that so-called peace panel, until they were stopped by the Supreme Court, was going to sign away almost a full third of the Philippines to a group composed of persons who do not consider themselves Filipinos.

Responding to Senator Joker’s query, the US Embassy spokesman simply  said the truth: that Kenney (and other members of the diplomatics corps) had been incited by the Philippine government to ‘grace’ the affair.

But then the embassy spokesman also volunteered this denial: that the United States is not a party to the Mindanao peace talks, much less the secrecy-obscured negotiations for the MoA-AD.

Well, yes and no.

The Americans have been shepherding the talks from the very start through the US Institute for Peace (, helped along by huge pledges of ‘facilitory’ aid which, as we last learned, included a sum of $30-million for the Bangsamoro Development Agency.

But of course the Americans will not be summoned, and will not go to any Senate probe.

They have diplomatic immunity.

So Senator Joker will have the joke on him.

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