Inaccurate and uncorroborated

JEERS TO the Philippine Daily Inquirer for an inaccurate report full of misleading information on a study of the conflict in Mindanao (“World Bank: BBL can’t ensure peace, new threat groups emerging,” April 11, front page).

The Inquirer report cited the study titled “Rebellion, Political Violence and Shadow Crimes in the Bangsamoro: The Bangsamoro Conflict Monitoring System (BCMS) 2011-2013” (August 2014).

International Alert, a peace-building organization, conducted the study and not the World Bank as stated in the Inquirer story. The World Bank did partly fund the study.

Contrary to what the Inquirer headline suggested, the conclusion that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “would not be an assurance of lasting peace in Mindanao” and that “the government has to contend with other armed groups, including new threat groups, after achieving peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)” was not the World Bank’s, but Sen. Francis Escudero’s.

There are ongoing discussions on the proposed BBL, which would create a Bangsamoro entity replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, in Congress.

As should be evident from its title alone, the International Alert study was not conducted in relation to the proposed BBL.

In another report, however, the Inquirer quoted Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte as saying that the International Alert study supports the negotiations between the Philippine government and the MILF.

Valte cited one of the conclusions of the study: “Without a doubt, ending the GPH-MILF conflict as a major source of rebellion-related violence retires a significant source of political violence with huge costs in terms of death, injury, and displacement, and will impact positively on the prospects for peace and stability across the Bangsamoro.” (“Palace stands by BBL, downplays World Bank-funded report,” April 11)

The Philippine Star also published Valte’s clarification. (“BBL aims to end poverty, conflict,” April 12)