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The right track to peace


There is a perceptible sociability between the Catholic Bishop of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In a rare show of support, the MILF joined CBCP in trashing the proposed divorce law. In a terse statement amidst debates in and out of congress, the MILF declared: “Let us not quarrel about positions based on our respective beliefs. Do not judge the beliefs or practices of others by your beliefs or standards”.

But there is more to what just meet the eye in this statement coming from unlikely allies. On the same day that the MILF released the statement to support the ‘no divorce stance of CBCP’ the later issued a statement that it is not really averse to amending the constitution although with an ounce of caution.

Whether or not the statements were meant to complement each other is not the primordial concern of stakeholders in and out of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The MILF badly needs support from such an influential sector like CBCP, when the need to amend the constitution arise. Given the prospect that a peace agreement between the government and the MILF maybe arrived at, the amendment of the constitution is inevitable. Here the political interdiction and other interplays will surface. CBCP had always been against amending the Cory Constitution. While the most recent statements from several members of CBCP have expressed their concerns on several issues that they fear will be trifled with by politicians to pursue their hidden agenda, they general sentiments among the bishops suggests that they are no longer against charter change or amendments.

The openness of the MILF and the CBCP augurs well for their respective interest. Moreover, this development is most welcomed in ARMM and elsewhere in Mindanao which have been setback by long and destructive conflicts which have prevented the peace-loving communities and the new generation to live a normal and fruitful life. Certainly, neither the MILF nor the CBCP will deny them that.

By Menardo Wenceslao

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