"If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things."
THOSE who defend MILF spokesman Mohagher Iqbal's use of a false name are right: it's a side thing, not the main issue in the controversy over Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
It's not inconsequential though. They can't dismiss it with Shakespeare's line about a rose being sweet by any other name (or, inversely, horse shit being foul however it's called).
They can't cite, as Sen. Franklin Drilon did, screen names of Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada who hide their birth-registered identities. They can't argue, as Iqbal did before the Senate, that his name is a "nom de guerre."
The law allows pseudonym "SOLELY" for "literary, cinema, television, radio or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events where the use is normally accepted practice."
Where in Commonwealth Act #142 and Republic Act #6085 is use of pseudonyms (as "normal practice among revolutionaries") listed as exception to the ban? On what law did justice chief Leila de Lima rely in defending Iqbal?
OK, disregard if they must the "anti-alias law" and similar legislation: the anti-money laundering, tax reform and immigration laws, penal and civil codes, and the presidential decree, all of which ban or restrict use of pseudonyms.
But the BBL would entrust MILF with territory, power and resources and the fate of millions of Filipinos in Mindanao. And the face of MILF that wants Bangsamoro is that of a masked man who wouldn't even tell the nation who he really is.
If Iqbal were only entertaining us in a show or performing in a sport event, we wouldn't bother about his bogus name.