Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:25
Clans conflict in Cotabato,family feud in Maguindanao and turf war in Basilan. Noticeably, the troublesthat beset the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao have nothing to do withseparatist agenda. As we can see, the encounters are no longer between the governmentand the secessionist fronts. In fact the protagonists in many of theseencounters are members of the same Front and in some cases of the same clan oreven among family members.
Ironically however, much ofthe solutions to these internal conflicts can be had if a stable peaceagreement can be reached between the government and the Moro Islamic LiberationFront. There lies the paradox. But let’s face it.
Whatever are the politicalinterventions will not provide panacea to the deeply rooted cause of conflictwhich is fundamentally agrarian in nature. But then again while the agrarianconflict maybe addressed this will not provide a lasting and permanent solutionto the present and future problems obtaining in the region. It will only bepalliative. As with other regions in the country, land conflict had become afocal issue.
The exploding population has come to a point of severity thatrequires a more realistic approach which should open the doors to alternativesto agrarian interest. Otherwise, the next generation will face an era ofdestituteness for lack of opportunities. We have to unlock those doors leadingto new prospects for we cannot be eternally lock horns over claims or ownershipof lands that can no longer provide viable livelihood to an unhampered growth of population.
Education is the key. Thisis less costly than the protracted conflict between the government and thefronts and yet difficult to carry out because of war and poverty that arosefrom war. That is why peace has to be secured so that we can bring the youthsback from the war arena and evacuation centers to centers of education.
We haveseen thousands of Filipino Muslim professionals in corporate and governmentinstitutions. We have seen them succeeding as entrepreneurs. An educatedFilipino can compete in any arena but he has to be freed from the shackles ofignorance and capitulation to the thought that only in toiling the land canthere be a prospect ahead of him. That idle thought has become a myth.
The youth among Muslims andChristians specifically in the unstable region where autonomy is supposed tobring and insure stability, must rise against the iniquity of war between thegovernment and the fronts, conflict between clans, the ignominy of the feudsbetween family members, terrorism and savagery because these are the veritablehindrances to their alternative opportunities and prospects. If they have to beangry, let this be centered on this iniquity.
by Menardo Wenceslao
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