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One Small Voice
Friday, February 7, 2014
LET there be peace sounds really good. But, at this time, it still sounds more like a fervent prayer than an answered prayer. This is because of all the bullets still being fired and all the bombs still being exploded.
A peace agreement may have already been signed between the government and the MILF. But, of course, this excludes the MNLF and the BIFF that have now become a band of brothers or a band of bandits depending on who asks the questions and who answers the questions. And, of course, this means that there is still no peace.
Peace cannot be in pieces. Peace can only be whole and full, complete and total, inclusive and without exceptions.
Peace, however, can be in steps. This is where we are. We are on the right track. We are on the right path. And while we may be in the right direction now, we still have a long way to go from here.
The government must also try to find a way to bring back the MNLF and bring in the BIFF. This would be an even more desperate prayer, but this is still worth praying for.
Any attempts at peace with development, dignity and determination will be hampered, or reduced, or destroyed, if and when there are still guns that can be fired at any time and improvised explosive devices that can be detonated at any time.
The homeless in their homeland will continue to be displaced, misplaced and replaced. Nobody can go back home. Nobody can build up a home.
There will never be any home sweet home. Not really. Not ever. Not if there is no peace by all, for all and with all.
But, if the government despite giving up some and despite giving in some still cannot find a way to bring back the MNLF and bring in the BIFF, then the government must do everything in its power to crush them once and for all. Crush means end, not temporarily, not substantially, not significantly. End means stop, without any more chances at revival, survival or resurrection.
In other aspects of governance, though we may have plenty of misgivings, we have seen the government succeed in getting what it wants if it is just bullish enough about it. It has removed a powerful Chief Justice.
It has removed a powerful Ombudsman. It has removed a powerful Queen, or otherwise terminate the reign of the ruler of the pork. It has even terminated pork itself, or so it claims.
Surely, the government can also remove, or otherwise terminate, what little is left of the MNLF and what little the BIFF has or will ever have. The MNLF and the BIFF no longer has, or never even had, the strength of the MILF. Even the MILF in its present state is not that strong anymore, although admittedly war with them creates more problems than peace with them.
Let there be peace, with an exclamation point, not with a question mark.
We should make this an answered prayer. We should not fool ourselves that there will already be peace because an agreement with the MILF has already been reached. We should not make ourselves believe that the MNLF and the BIFF will not in any way haunt the peace process. We should hunt the haunters.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 07, 2014.