Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mindanao conflict claims 19 soldier's lives

Condemnable. Stupid. Humiliation. Crap.

Scores of soldiers went on a suicide mission, attacking an outpost of the MILF. There are conflicting reports on what really happened. Some say, the soldiers were fired first. Others say, it was the soldiers that first fired their weapons.

The result: nineteen soldiers killed, many others wounded.

The AFP says the MILF violated the peace agreement. The MILF responded by saying that it was the AFP which first moved against their forces. Whoever did what, it is clear that someone should be held responsible for this killing.

Mindanao is a tinderbox ready for the burning. And pro-war hawks dance like crazy Baccalian girls, believing that the scent of war is in the offing. 

Basilan's peace and order situation is worsening, due to the continued perpetuation of warlordism and the absence of government. There is no solution in sight because, until now, this government refuses to provide a concrete and long-lasting solution to the Bangsamoro Question.

There will forever be clashes between Filipinos in those areas. Foreign funds will forever pour into that violent region due to the continued struggle of the Bangsamoro  for recognition of their lands.

The solution lies in the revival of the autonomous region concept. If government really intend to solve this problem, the solution is simple: prove to the Bangsamoro people that autonomy works and that it intends to solve their problem thru honest governance and not politics.

The very prospect of Mujiv Hataman's appointment as OIC Governor proves once more that politics, and not lasting peace, is the true motivation of government in asking for the postponement of the ARMM elections. By appointing a political ally, how then, can government claim that they seek true reforms when they know that Hataman is now perceived as a very dangerous enemy of the Akbar warrior clan in his very own province, Basilan.

How then can the ARMM be successful in its mission of development? Surely, the peoples of Basilan will militate against Hataman because first, he stands accused of masterminding the death of former Congressman Wahab Akbar and second, his stature has been diminished in the eyes of the MILF, the main militant and rebel group in the area.

Surely, by appointing Hataman, government intends to secure the ARMM as a solid LP or Liberal Party territory, something which every administration did. Everyone knows that ARMM is a big game changer in every election, despite its relative poverty. 

President Aquino should sacrifice politics over peace, something very hard to do for someone who refuses to listen to the people and only listen to his close advisers who have their own political and economic interests in mind. 

If Aquino wants to leave a legacy, solve the Bangsamoro Question. There is still ample time to do it. 

Appoint someone who knows the problems and is known throughout the ARMM as a pious Muslim and a respectable person? Look at the list and you'll find out that most are politicians. There is only one there that looks promising---Atty. Eid Kabalu. Kabalu deserves the post because his heart is in the right place.