Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Muddled Picture Of Peace

The government should have consulted the stakeholders before dangling the ancestral domain issue with the MILF. With the way Commander Bravo has been acting, it seems that he is his own boss. The MILF, if they are indeed sincere in their quest for peace should have taken the necessary steps in reining Bravo in. Instead it sits on its pompous ass while Bravo retreats to his mountain lair.

The government should have thought twice before negotiating with the MILF. Only two reasons come to mind with Bravo's actions. Either Bravo is against the creation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity or the MILF is trying to force the issue of the BJE. Now we are faced with the prospect of an all-outwar in Mindanao because the administration focused more on how it could insert Cha-Cha in the MOA.

Clearly, Gloria's allies thought that they could ride on the peace issue to push for GMA's term extension. Well, it backfired and now the people of Mindanao have to face uncertainty once again. It also behooves me why the GRP did not consider consulting the Moro councils and went straight to the MILF? Peace cannot be attained without going to the grassroots and asking what the ordinary Mindanaoan wants.

Malaysia also has its interests to protect that is why it decided to join the peace process. Sabah is the common denominator in their interest in the creation of the BJE. I agree that the Moro's have genuine grievances but they are a fragmented people as well. Tribal issues have to be addressed too as differences in the tribes compounded by political interests have caused conflicts in the past and continue up to now.

The unrest now is not about a frustrated rebel. It all boils down to who gets what. The MILF is held only by the creation of the BJE. What is unclear with the rebel group is how to divide the spoils of war. Malacañang is not after peace when it went into the negotiation, it was after how they could stay in power. Now the people must suffer because of interests by those who have the power and the guns.