Peace Process in Mindanao
Posted In: General Discussion
There will be accountability. Regardless if the goal of the operation was right or not, something went wrong that took the lives of just too many. Somebody must be made accountable. Mananagot ang dapat managot. At kung sino-sino yan ay ating aalamin sa darating na panahon na naaayon sa karamptang proseso.
There are those at fault and must be made accountable. Who they are – that we still do not know. What will be their punishment – that we have yet to determine. We will be committed to this because we grieve now and that collective grieving will demand justice.
But one thing is sure that we know of: the peace process is not the one to blame. The peace process should not be the one to pay the price. The Filipinos, especially those in Mindanao, who have been enduring wars and hence would like to give peace a chance, are not the ones at fault.
Let’s not make innocent Filipinos, especially those in Mindanao, who are for peace and are working for peace, bear the brunt of this tragedy. They have been at the receiving end of the mistakes and squabbles of those in power here in Manila for ages. This is a continuing injustice that wound our nation.
We will be continuing this injustice if we hostage the peace process because of this tragedy. We will further perpetuate impunity if we can’t surpass our petty particularistic interests to deal with this maturely with trust and faith in our collective commitment to justice. We will all be accomplices in wasting the lives of those who died if we give up the quest for peace now.
Now, more than ever, we are called to be one as a nation, as one Philippines, standing up and committing ourselves to peace.
Public already knows that the government panel headed no less by the president himself has made squabble in the way he handled sending off his force to the area. The public pronouncements of MILF Chair Iqbal on the other end of Bangsamoro deal clearly showed he in fact blamed the government for trying to hold an operation without their knowledge as if national forces, in times of utmost confidence and crucial operation, may do and of brutally killing those police force who were already unarmed shows that they show no adherence to rule.
Now in this instance, do these two have the credibility to pursue peace at this moment. I hope they will have to pause because sometimes it pays to keep the status quo than to press hard on a deal which at the onset show bad faith on the other end. Peace process must continue, but not with this kind of people. They have to each hold accountability first. And they must not seek peace, a noble value to justify evil agenda. It is clearer to me now, once the Bangsamoro is done approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and of the President, then their territories will become a haven of international terrorists. We have seen it now. It is so clear. They don’t want to surrender to international group searching for terrorists the terrorists they keep safe in their territory. Peace, we are having it Mindanao, except when these Islam fundamentalists bomb any city they want.
Malacañan Palace must stop thinking it can solve this problem by just thinking of the legacy they can have when they leave their posts. Fake peace, shady deal, which does not grow from the roots. We cry justice for now.
I totally disagree with this kind of stance.
Who are accountable are matters of fact that must be determined through due process. There are just too much conflicting information and if we do not agree on how we will arrive at the truth, if we leave it in our own hands, if we leave it public opinion and media, we weaken our country further, leaving it an easier prey to those who only think of their vested selfish interests.
The peace process is not owned by the government, the MILF, not PNoy, not Iqbal or whoever leaders we see on TV. They are owned by the people who suffer from war on a daily basis and just want to hold on to any chance for peace – the peace agreement being one. They are owned by so many tireless people who have been working day and night to settle that peace agreement for decades now, to deepen the understanding among peoples in order for them to overcome the deep-seated divide created by long-standing anger and grief that will allow them to forgive or at least desire to forgive and find the grace to agree and the strength to keep those agreements. It is owned by people here in mainland Philippines who are struggling to fight all forms of injustices, including those committed by the Manila-centric government and politics that we have now.
We own the peace process and those tirelessly desiring and working for peace have nothing to do with whatever mistakes that led to the deaths of our policemen. We grieve with their families – yes. We support them – yes. But they risked their lives for the same reason we opt to stay the course of the peace process: lasting peace. We cannot waiver. Not now.
My sincerest condolences to the families, friends, comrades of the fallen and to each Filipino mourning the loss of the brave who answered the call of duty without fear, and hesitation.
Seeing those 42 caskets in VAB today made me weep, ask questions with no answers, think, cry some more, and pray. I cannot understand why we, as a nation, have to go through this horrible loss, indescribable pain, and a grief so raw. I find myself asking why. Why a God who says He is “Emmanuel- God With Us” will allow our men, our brothers, to fall into the hands of those ruthless, coldblooded thugs. I think about the families and how their lives will never be the same again. I wonder how they will make it after they bury their dead and relatives and friends are no longer around. I cry for the lives cut short, the shattered dreams, the broken hearts too impossible to mend. Lastly, I pray for justice, healing, grace to move on and the courage to rest in the knowledge that beyond our understanding in this side of heaven, nothing is out of God’s absolute control.
May the God of all comfort be with us in this very painful time of our country’s history.
Peace processes take time, especially when the problems are deep-rooted and age-old. There will be setbacks; there will be relapses into old habits. Fighting is easy. Pick a gun, aim at your enemy and shoot. Looking for solutions to problems which span legal, social and political boundaries, now that’s the challenge.
I find it sad to think that some of the smartest people I know are advocating to end the peace process in Mindanao and go full-time loco against the insurrectionists.
First, the rights that these men and women fight for are not baseless; they are not mere delusions of racial supremacy nor conquests for expansion. They seek only what they feel is theirs by birthright. The actions of a few of their number should not be equated to the actions of all.
If you call out for an all-out war, destroy not only the men and women you are fighting, but also their children and their children’s children. Otherwise, they will come back to haunt you, to seek vengeance for the unfulfilled legacy they are to uphold.
War has never solved anything except until the other side is totally wiped out. Will you then massacre thousands of innocent women and children for the sake of the fallen 44?
Justice is NOT war.
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