Thursday, 08 December 2011 12:09
The peace talks between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resumes in Malaysia heavy with recent events that had threatened the negotiations. In particular, the deaths of 19 soldiers in Basilan last month had almost scuttled the talks as various sectors and personalities called on the Aquino government to do what his two predecessors had done: mount an all-out war against the MILF and settle the conflict once and for all with the use of guns. Those calling for war, of course, obviously did not know just what such an assault would entail in terms of loss of lives not just of soldiers and rebels but, more importantly, of civilians who inevitably get caught in the crossfire. And that is not to mention the destruction on properties and natural resources that would set back Mindanao still further behind the rest of the country.
But it was good that President Aquino stood firm on his decision not to engage the MILF in war but, in his own words, in “all-out justice”, ordering the authorities to run after specific members of the rebel group and not targeting the entire organization. Also, it had come to light that the troops themselves had committed lapses in their operations, leading to the skirmish that also resulted in the loss of lives of a number of rebels. What was needed was not the knee-jerk response of launching a massive offensive but studying what had gone wrong and addressing these issues.
It may be said that the resumption of the talks today is an affirmation of the government’s commitment to peace in spite of the opinion of some quarters – which include influential people in government and the private sector. This gives the people of Mindanao hope because we see that even our voices, which have been largely ignored by previous administrations, are now being heard and taken into serious consideration.
The call of the silent majority is peace, and we rejoice that it is still being pursued.
By Menardo Wenceslao
- 10/12/2011 00:00 - Be alert for Satan’s Snares (Part two of three)
- 10/12/2011 00:00 - Peace talks need not be complicated
- 09/12/2011 11:11 - Peace and order must be Jalosjos' top priority
- 09/12/2011 11:10 - P-Noy strikes at the Supreme Court
- 09/12/2011 11:10 - Be alert for Satan's Snares (Part One)
- 08/12/2011 12:09 - Has Christmas Failed?
- 08/12/2011 12:08 - Jalosjos promises no pre-condition to supporters
- 08/12/2011 12:06 - President Aquino’s speech at the 1st National Criminal Justice Summit, December 5, 2011 (English)
- 07/12/2011 11:16 - The loneliest woman in Asia?
- 07/12/2011 11:15 - Seeking justice, end to impunity