Peace in Mindanao-A A +A
Friday, March 28, 2014
PEACE may have finally dawned in Mindanao with the signing in Malacanang Thursday of a historic peace agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels after 17 years of negotiations carving a new, autonomous Bangsamoro region in Mindanao.
Combatants on both sides probably realized that they can never fight for peace.
See, a wag once said fighting for peace is like making love for virginity.
Newspaper headlines are beaming with exuberance after the signing of the peace agreement. “No More War,” says one. “A new dawn has come,” says another.
President Noynoy Aquino himself was exuberant over the the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which he said, “shall form a perimeter of vigilance against the spread of extremism.”
They should rather be sure to get rid of the guns and the bullets.
PNoy said that if the momentum for peace is sustained, by 2016, the MILF will have shed its identity as a military force, and transformed itself into a political entity.
The MILF would be vying for seats in the Bangsamoro elections, gaining power through the ballot and not by the bullets.
PNoy also said he would jealously guard the historic peace agreement. “I will not let peace be snatched away from my people,” he said.
In the real world, he knows peace is easier said than done.
It took 17 years of negotiations to conclude a peace agreement with the MILF. The historic peace agreement still needs ratification before the first elections in 2016.
“Today, the Bangsamoro rises with Mindanao, the nation, the region and the world,” Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles said.
“No more war,” she said.
Are the drums of war finally muffled?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 29, 2014.