No sitting on laurels

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Sunday, January 26, 2014


IT IS time for focused attention, now that the last annex on normalization has been signed. Was there some kind of “magic in the air” in Kuala Lumpur that made both panels of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) readily decide to ink it once and for all? Is it safe to conjecture that all “ticklish” points earlier raised by the Bangsamoro have been tackled and decided on sans side comments from the ground?

Some people might call meticulous observers and watchdogs of the talks “killjoy” as they start raising questions over the agreement. And I would say these questions need to be addressed if we really genuinely and quite sincerely want peace in its truest sense to rule over our land. But who wouldn’t.

If peace means we need not be afraid for our safety wherever we go, or that it means our children are free to go about and visit places they need to explore, or that it means we can sleep soundly at night and never be worried about having unconsciously wronged someone because of biases that we carry, then indeed, we should indeed imbibe it in our daily lives.

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However, we know full well that in our current situation nowadays, achieving this kind of peaceful existence is next to “impossible”. Some of my friends in development work would readily disagree with me with this kind of thought. Because as they say, nothing is impossible if it is done “pakonti-konti” on a daily basis, meaning, if we make the work for peace a way of life 'one day at a time', then, we need not think of grand designs to achieve it.

I think so too. The truth about the little drops of water that broke the hardest of stone, or the saying that pictures the “last straw that broke the camel’s back,” and so on and so forth simply paints the real colors of what is true. Thus, while it seems an amazing feat for both panels to resolve such a contentious issue on Normalization, we continue to pray that this will lead to more positive moves from all, meaning, from the Bangsamoro, the Filipino people in general, the government and all stakeholders working for peace and development in Mindanao.

We likewise hope that this euphoria that is brought about by the gesture of agreement being freshly made today may be sustained so that it will carry us through the heavier task of actually tackling the real score on the ground, such as the reason why all of these agreements should be inked and be agreed upon.

We believe that unless the root causes of the problems are addressed sincerely and genuinely, no amount of hullaballoo can drown the aspiration of the Mindanaoans for true and lasting peace to reign over us.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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