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Ex RP Envoy Defends US Role In BJE Deal; Damage Control?

September 11, 2008

Our former ambassador to the US, Albert Del Rosario has come out in defense of the American involvement in the activities leading up to the botched Bangsamoro Juridical Entity deal of Malacanang with the MILF.

In a ‘commentary piece’ appearing in today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Ambassador Del Rosario narrates the sequence of events in the US Congress where, according to him, he led a lobby effort to get “supplemental” Federal funding assistance for the MILF in the peace efforts in Mindanao, starting with a request first relayed to Secretary of State Condoleeza ice.

For the first time, Mr. Del Rosario discloses that it was Manila which panhandled for the funding, amounting to some $30-M “for the GRP-MILF peace process” which was inserted into the supplemental budget for the US invasion of Iraq.

We assume the good diplomat is telling the truth.

But among those he does not explain is why the MNLF was excluded from the process even as that group, (though seemingly smaller now) still holds observer status in the Organizarion of Islamic Conference.

He also fails to shed light on just how indeed the money given to the MILF was spent, given the findings of military and defense authorities that fund for irrigation canals appeared to have been diverted to construct “reinforced trenches” used by the Moro rebels in the current fighting in Mindanao.

We wonder about the timing of Del Rosario’s somewhat belated apparent ‘damage control’ admissions in the face of  accusations of US meddling in the Mindanao peace process.

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