The New Year of 2024 was a tragic event for a political family in the province of Maguindanao del Norte. A shooting incident occurred at the residence of former congressman Datu Roonie Sinsuat, resulting in the unfortunate demise of the PNP Personnel Zahraman Diocolano. Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of PSSG Diocolano during this difficult time.
We have to remember that the autonomy granted to the Bangsamoro regional government should not lead to a cycle of violence and impunity among the political elite members of society in Pikit, Maguindanao del Norte, Cotabato City, and other provinces of Barmm.
To ensure a successful peace process, it is crucial to establish the principles of Rule of Law, accountability, and transparency within the governance structure.
As part of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission that drafted the organic law, the Bangsamoro regional government’s autonomy is a significant development towards achieving lasting peace and addressing historical injustices in Mindanao and the region.
However, this autonomy should not be perceived as a license for anyone to perpetuate violence or evade accountability for their actions.
What happened last January 2, described the quote, “When two giants clash, it is often the ants who bear the brunt of the battle.”
Policeman Diocolano was one of the many casualties of the rido within the Sinsuat family.
For the peace process to be truly successful, it is imperative to establish a solid commitment to the Rule of Law. This means that laws and regulations must be applied consistently and impartially, regardless of an individual’s social or economic status. By upholding the Rule of Law, the government can ensure that no individual or group is above the law and that justice is served for all.
Accountability is another crucial aspect that must be emphasized in the governance of the Bangsamoro region.
It is essential to create mechanisms that hold individuals accountable for their actions, especially when they commit crimes or engage in corrupt practices. This accountability should not be selective or biased towards certain groups but should apply equally to all members of society.
Transparency is also vital for the success of the peace process. The government should ensure its actions, decisions, and policies are transparent and accessible to the public. By promoting transparency, the Bangsamoro regional government can build trust among its constituents and foster a sense of inclusion and participation.
However, with the realities on the ground, despite the need for these principles, there seems to be a lack of response or acknowledgment from the Transition Authority and the Bangsamoro parliament in addressing the presence of lawlessness. To uphold human rights and democratic principles, it is imperative for these bodies to actively manage any instances of violence or impunity, ensuring that justice prevails.
Hence, the autonomy granted to the Bangsamoro regional government should not facilitate a cycle of violence or allow the political elite to engage in illegal activities without consequences. This will help ensure a genuine commitment to human rights and democratic principles accompanies the transition towards autonomy.