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As the peace talk progresses, we hope for the best


There is a couple of developments that had so far emerged from the peace negotiations. Noticeably among these is the recent re-entry of Indonesian contingent in the International Monitoring Teams. The other significant item is the reiteration of the declaration of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which drop their secessionist agenda and the more realistic demand for a special Bangsamoro state where only about seven towns which have a large population of Filipino Muslims.

The presence of Indonesian contingent in the IMTs sort of balances the equation. Indonesia is perceived to be more sympathetic to the Philippines while a number of concerns had been raised on the impartiality of Kuala Lumpur in acting as mediator between the MILF and the Philippine government. While the conflict has become internationalized it augurs well for the talks since we now have foreign observers to monitor what is obtaining in the ground.

The political development in the Middle East where the Islamic countries are undergoing some serious upheaval may have helped in the radical shift that the MILF had taken.  Members of the OIC are suddenly beset with problems where the otherwise docile majority have revolted and demanded for democratic reforms.

We firmly believe that the recent posture of the MILF will fast track the peace negotiation. We however recognize the fact that the breakaway group of Ameril Umbra Kato is giving the Front a nagging pain in the neck.  While the MILF claims that the renegade forces of Kato are still part of their struggle, it cannot be denied that they have become more of a burden with the conscription of the savage private army of the Ampatuans and Kato’s own friendly alliance with the terrorist band of Jemaah Islamiyah.

The MILF however is saying that they are confident they still can invite Umbra Kato in the mainstream of the MILF. Whether Kato is brave enough to shake off the questionable elements around him is another predicament. Meanwhile we continue to hope for the best.

By Menardo Wenceslao

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