‘War is not an option’

  • Written by  Editorial Desk

(June 8-15)

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has never issued any official statement that it will go to war over the non-passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is under intense deliberations in both Houses of Congress. On the contrary, the MILF consistently maintains that no matter what happens to the BBL the pursuit of peace would remain the menu in settling the armed conflict in Mindanao. War is not an option to the MILF.

Over the weekend, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate local government committee, reportedly appealed yesterday to the MILF to refrain from issuing threats or hints of war if the BBL would be diluted or not passed by Congress. He reminded the MILF that violence only begets violence and peace can only be achieved through peaceful means.
 
Mr. Senator, thank you for the reminder and discernment! Rest assured that we are on the same plane in the abhorrence of war. This is the reason that we agreed to talk peace since 1997 because, more than anybody else, we --- and those soldiers who served in the battlefields in Mindanao --- know exactly what war really is. People who are outside of the war zone can only imagine the horrors and devastations of war, but can never feel them.  WE DID AND DO.
 
Mr. Senator, your assertion that we have come this close to realizing the aspiration of our Muslim and Christian brothers and we should not let this opportunity slip our hands is also very much welcomed. The truth is that this can only come from the lips of a real leader of men or statesman.
 
It is on this basis that we appeal to you, Mr. Senator, to fast-track your process and come out with your committee report. You may have all the best intentions, because you want a good BBL, but time is running out. The BBL has been in Congress for nine months already and, therefore, it is not true to say that the BBL is being rushed up. The flipside is truer: The passage of the BBL is getting snagged. This is the popular impression thus far created.
 
By the way, virtually all those who were invited to your recent senate hearings, Mr. Senator, were reached out or consulted by the MILF and government peace panels, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) or the civil society organizations (CSOs) who push for peace in Mindanao and the BBL in Congress. In many special ways, the MILF had also consulted these groups. Similarly, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is not remiss in this regard. More prominently, the Lower House’s Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL, in its more than 40 hearings, had also invited and consulted the various sultans, MNLF factions, and politicians especially those from Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi.  None of them can justly assert that they were not consulted. But thanks that many of them are now supporting the passage of the BBL.
 
This early we should realize that not everybody is happy with the change of status quo in Mindanao. Those in Luzon and the Visayas are not exempted. The reasons are diverse. Many are using the BBL for grandstanding purposes and for popularity of names. Some are resorting to weird approaches like the filing of sedition charges against those who push for peace and signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).  Still others try to hijack the BBL in order to get even or settle old score with long-time nemesis.
 

Read 766 times
Rate this item
(7 votes)
Published in Editorial

Get connected with Us

Photos

Style Setting

Fonts

Layouts

Direction

Template Widths

px  %

px  %