The Pact

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang buhay

Saturday, March 29, 2014


WHILE many are elated at the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), and while we do not want to sound like we do not want peace when it felt like it is already within our reach, we still would like to keep our fingers crossed. It is what happens after the signing, it is when reality sinks in, when the full import of what was inked as agreement is absorbed and digested...these are what we are going to watch out for.

What is needed now is for all of us Filipinos and not only the Moro people to be more vigilant in guarding the sanctity of that accord, so that it may not be used by the unscrupulous for their selfish ends. Even if we are not fully convinced that such an agreement would eventually bring peace in Mindanao, we are all one in the hope that a window to understanding each other is now open, and that it will now depend upon our vigilance to make it work.

Indeed, we can say that the work for genuine peace has only just began, because while the agreements with the Bangsamoro is being fast-tracked and opening doors of possibilities, another window seems to be closing, and I meant the Peace Talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). That is because the national leadership could not seem to put its act together, and seemingly, some sectors see this as an "insincere act" on the part of the Aquino administration.

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Why can't the so-called government authorities respect what prior administration has started in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig), which should have been a "confidence-building" measures that was supposed to show its true intent to pursue peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines? This agreement is not only signed between the GPH and the revolutionaries, but an accord that includes us, civilians, who have a lot at stake in it.

If the national leadership is determined to make its peace efforts work, then it should give respect where respect is due. It should not engage in double talk, not slacken its hold on the faith of the Filipino people who have always been directly affected by the in-fighting, the ones who are made accountable.

If this government is FOR, BY and OF the people, then we should remember that we are the masters of those in the helm of power. And yet, in many instances, the so-called CIVILIAN AUTHORITY is over-ruled by lesser authority, the servants who have turned into monsters because of the "powers vested upon them" by the people's votes.

When these crooked leadership act on legitimate civilian dissent, it is done almost contemptuously, almost like belittling the concerns of the citizens, not taking into consideration the fact that it is their duty to act on these concerns, to acknowledge the fact that they are duty-bound to do so.

So what's up now regarding the peace talks with the CPP/NPA? Why is the government panel seemingly not feeling the urgency to address this very vital issue of peace with our sisters and brothers on the "other side" of the fence? Why the seeming double-standards in addressing dissent from this group?

We do not want to speculate, yet, oftentimes the proverbial "devil" plays tricks on the mind.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 29, 2014.

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