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Time to bury the hatchets


The euphoria over the just concluded Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro has not reached its crescendo but already there are forces that wanted to strike it down. This is to be expected especially when there will be a major political overhaul which could sideline some people and sector of influence as a result of change.

In the past, proposals emerging from negotiations, were vehemently opposed by political figures who questioned the scheme that involves the sphere of the Bangsamoro autonomous land.  These days however the opposition is coming from within and the most vocal among these are the leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front.  Nur Misuari had assembled his followers in Davao City but it is evident now that the number of his disciples had evidently decreased while the sympathy for his cause has perceptibly diminished. It is also obvious that like the combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front  Misuari’s  own people had gone weary over conflicts that have led them to nowhere. Even the belligerent Commander Bravo who staged a violent protest over the rejection of the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain has expressed satisfaction of the targets spelled out Framework.

The forces of Umbra Kato is effectively isolated. Given the fact that Kato is now physically debilitated the better option of his forces is to return to the MILF mainstream. There are better possibilities for them and their families if they do so considering the prospects that will redound to the Bangsamoro land that are spelled out in the Framework Agreement.

We expect the clans war to end and for the protagonists to bury their hatchets for good. The expectations of the stakeholders in Mindanao and the capitalists who have seen the potentials of the region is for the clones of Al Qaeda, among them Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf, which are still embedded in some MILF camps to be altogether neutralized. This will bear a significant meaning to this agreement. The decommissioning of firearms and the dismantling of private armies to include civilian volunteer forces will come later. While this is a difficult process, it has to come to a fruition for it is the guarantee for a stable peace to prevail in Bangsamoro land and in the entire region of Mindanao.

By Menardo Wenceslao

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