Siege mentality-A A +A
I have issues
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THE Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) or Misuari led group that recently invaded Zamboanga, and took hold of innocent hostages claims to not have started violence, they have in their own words merely wanted to pursue a peaceful protest and of course make a symbolic declaration of independence for their cause.
The group has claimed that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) has not owned up to the 1996 Peace Agreement between the GRP and the MNLF, and that this recent recourse is merely a consequence of the failure of that peace talk.
But what of the 1996 agreement and what failure does the Misuari group mean when they declare this? When the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a breakaway group of MNLF, signed the historic Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) with the Aquino government in Misuari’s eyes this was a sign he took as an abandonment of the 1996 agreement. But looking closely at the 1996 framework there has been very little to point to any lack of completion from the GRP, the most visible birth of the 1996 agreement has been the Autonomous Region of Muslim in Mindanao (Armm) and ever since then has been kept in place, as well as the absorption of most of the MNLF armies into the servitude and pay of the AFP.
But if Misuari’s biggest complaint is that the FAB would trample on the pivotal position the MNLF once occupied, then perhaps there is a huge concern to be worried about. The politics of power in Mindanao, and much about the dealings with the Bangsamoro cause is riddled with fluctuating leadership, the dealing with one group as of the case of the 1996 agreement obviously did not satisfy the other group as with the case of the MILF resurgence during the Estrada administration, and some remnants of it during the Arroyo administration. But now that the FAB has allowed for the remaining MILF Forces to caution and hold ceasefire and cooperation with government forces the MNLF now turns its head against the Philippine government, why was the MNLF left out in the creation of the FAB?
Again it is very hard to sight out complete objectivity on the situation in Zamboanga, the MNLF-Misuari group has claimed that they did not fire first, and that their intention was simply to hold a peaceful protest, the retaliation has come because the city did not allow for their peaceful expression, and now the streets and the four barangays of Sta. Barbara, Sta Catalina, Rio Hondo, and Mariki are hostile zones with an estimate of around 20 hostages still in the hands of the rebel forces.
But a notable question can be raised about the integrity of this protest, without offending their cause, but why would you stage a peaceful protest and still carry guns? Why would it be sensible for any local government to allow and armed group into the city premises without compromising security? Why would a group in retaliation perhaps to a trigger happy army (not very far from reality) not just fire in return, but hold hostage the innocent civilians?
In my view, it makes very little sense, very little sense that whatever the honesty of your cause, and whatever the truthful pursuit of your plight, once you start endangering the lives of innocent people, once you spread violence and in many cases cause panic, you are inciting terror to a population, and with it the consequences. That regardless of your cause, you will lose a huge chunk of respect for it, please free Zamboanga.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 12, 2013.