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A stable peace in Mindanao


For as long as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front andthe government are exchanging words not bullets, whatever resentment and ragewill always be defused. In Mindanao, exchanging words is always a better optionthan firefights. So many lives, not only among combatants but civilians hadbeen wasted. So many opportunities to redeem the people from the plight ofpoverty and the iniquities of futile secessionist struggles are lost. Progressand development are impeded because the very few who had arms have beenfighting a war that the overwhelming majority does not want to have any part init.

Even as the talks and the saber rattling are seemingly endless, those in the conflictareas have no other choice but accept it. But then this is not the kind of solutionthe need in their embattled communities. This is palliative and nothing canmove on towards stable peace if the MILF and the government reach an agreementthat the people of Mindanao had been asking for and not the kind that leavesquarters for extremist to again sow terror in the land that had long been terrorized.

For as long as al Qaeda and its fierce andvicious hydra dwell comfortably in the territories held by the MILF, the threatto peace will always be there. That is why Indonesia could be a more seriousarbiter in the peace negotiation between the MILF and the government becauseIndonesia have experienced the wickedness of the terrorists and therefore wouldunderstand, more than the Malaysian do,  the anguish of the people that hadsuffered from the savagery of Al Qaeda operatives. 

The MILF should not feel threatened by what they charge as “hawkish” statement of somemilitary officials. They ought to be threatened instead by the vestiges ofterrorist elements which, according to the international intelligence communities, are still enjoying asylum in the territories held by the MILF.

Pres. Noynoy Aquino wants a quick albeit lasting solution to the troubles that hadbeen hounding Mindanao. If they are true to their words that they too want animmediate end to this protracted conflict in Mindanao, then they might as well believe in President Aquino for if not our Muslim Filipino brothers, Christiansand Lumads who had been displaced by war might suffer yet another long years ofdesperation.
We hope that these talks will end with a handshake and stable peace in our beloved Mindanao.

by Menardo Wenceslao

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