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An interim agreement for a stable peace in Mindanao


The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front shouldagree on certain terms if it is peace that they are genuinely negotiating for.The MILF however has to accept the fact that the only non-negotiable item intheir protracted talks is the Philippine sovereignty which means that not aninch of its territory will be subject to a compromise in the bargaining table.

It is obvious that what the MILF leaders want is for a self-ruleover a territory which they claim as their ancestral domain. The "selfrule" here can only be possible if the Constitution will be changed.Nevertheless granting that there will be charter change and provisions will besuch that it will grant the Bangsa Moro people the right to run its state ofaffairs, still their domain cannot be excised from the Philippine Republicwhich will still exercise its sovereignty as to be appropriately defined later.There is something rational to the proposition that only through charter changeand a federal form of government can the clamor of the MILF for self-rule berealized.

Except for the MILF secessionist agenda, the concept ofself-governance is what the rest of Visayans and Mindanawons desired: to be freefrom the so-called "imperial Manila". But then again this willnecessitate charter change.

It is apparent therefore that could possibly bring a quick andlasting solution to the conflicts in Mindanao is federalism. Ironicallymoreover, there has been a strong lobby against it even from the regions whocry against the centrist government. And this include the influential religioussector who preaches peace but doubts the politicians' motive behind charter change.

In the meantime moreover, the government and the MILF musthammer an interim agreement that can lead to a stable peace. This, they oughtto agree on in the meantime that we bid our time for the opportunity to comefor the charter change to be realized.

by: MW

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