The Labyrinth-A A +A
Bahin Ning Bubay
Sunday, February 3, 2013
AT A glance, the drawing board of the Framework Agreement inked between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was welcomed by us, Mindanaoans, as if it is already the most awaited solution to our Moro brothers and sisters as well as our woes in Mindanao.
But before we jump up and down with glee and declare to one and all that at last, peace has come upon us, let us pause and examine what really is the Framework Agreement and what it means not only to our Moro brothers and sisters, but also to all of us living in this beleaguered but still beautiful island we call home in Mindanao. And then only can we truly say that indeed, Peace is still possible and can really materialize and exist after all today, in our generation.
As shown in the Roadmap drawn by authorities, we are given a sneak preview of what to expect in the next few months or maybe years in this particular endeavor of the Aquino Administration to come up with a viable agreement towards the attainment of that much coveted state of bliss, if one may call it that.
As we are conditioned to expect in this so-called Framework Agreement, the eventual end in view is the abolition of the Armm after the Bangsamoro Basic Law Bill has been passed into law and a Bangsamoro Transition Authority is created and devolved authorities are vested in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.
Although this is a very significant move by the current administration in its effort to address this centuries old Mindanao problem, there is no denying that so much are at stake especially for the rest of the Mindanao peoples, because it would seem that unless the other interest groups actively participates in the crafting of the proposed bill, more problems could crop up instead of addressing the problem at hand.
It is not as if the solution is like a pill that one swallows to drive away the malady. The way it is illustrated in the roadmap, things look simple and easy to execute, that is, if all goes well. But as it is, so many Mindanaoans have yet to be informed about the Framework Agreement and what it holds for them.
Only those in the know actually realize the consequences that this document holds, and the supposed solution to the problem of peace in our Mindanao.
But who's missing the point here? Progressive groups, peace advocates and some people among the academe point out that without that necessary ingredient of understanding among peoples there can be no true development in Mindanao. The question is was the Framework Agreement crafted to genuinely address the basic and rooted problems of the conflict in Mindanao?
Are the issues of the Indigenous Peoples and other non-Moro entities in Mindanao being addressed or considered in the Framework Agreement?
Are the interests and concerns of the Lumads also drawn and listed among top priorities in the discussion table of the major stakeholders?
These are but specks of the vast matters that need to be clearly stated in whatever agreement for peace there is. It is a must, indeed, to make these things clear, and for us all to press on, to get involved and make ourselves heard before any final agreement has been signed, because even though we do not share the same beliefs and norms and values, we still differ a lot in so many ways.
Every individual in this much-coveted island of ours has as much right to it; that is why we cannot close our eyes and pretend that we are not affected at all.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 04, 2013.