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PIA Press Release
2008/11/03

Commentary: Why DDR must be enforced

by By Rina de Jesus

ICC General Santos City (3 November) -- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rejected outright the internationally accepted norm in peace negotiation among which are disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR) which are embodied in the government agenda for resumption of peace talks with the MILF.

This is rather unfortunate for history as well as current events bear witness to the fact that the only stable peace pacts that lasted for decades are those which involved disarmament among others. This is even more compelling in the case between the MILF and the government because we have seen the magnitude of the arm arsenals of their combatants.

Given the propensity of such commanders as Bravo, Kato and Pangalian who would to pull the trigger at their whims on even innocent civilians, DDR has become imperative if serious talks for peace with the MILF should take place at all.

The dislocation of not a few families in the areas of conflict in Mindanao could not possibly happen if the government is dealing only with simple police matters. But the situation had demanded a full military action given the propensity of the rogue commanders to murder and pillage communities of innocent civilians. Bravo, Kato and Pangalian have very well fall under the category of international terrorists.

Commander Bravo for one is consumed with his personal agenda of "ubusan ng lahi". His murderous and insane plot is nothing different from that of Hitler who detested the Jews he ordered them gassed to death and because the bullets of the gun is more precious than human lives just starved millions of his victims to death. For certain, even the clan of Commander Bravo must have already distanced themselves from him and his misguided combatants. His battle cry is scorned in civilized human society and that should include his own clan. For certain too, the other Muslim clans and tribes will not subscribe to Bravo's agenda.

There had been innumerable instances of clans' war in Maguindanao and Lanao among the Moro people precisely because there had been clashes of values and radical agendas. Bravo's stand is one of the extreme and his "ubusan ng lahi" challenge will not end with the many innocent civilians he and his troops had slain. If he will be allowed to do more manslaughter it is not farfetched that he will turn his anger and the muzzles of his guns to his own clansmen who do not subscribe to his diabolic agenda.

Even the hierarchy of the MILF has categorically said that what Commander Bravo is not sanctioned by the Front. The problem here is that the MILF failed to contain the murderous ways of Bravo, Kato and Pangalian. It is most unfortunate that families are displaced in the course of military campaign against the three. It is a consequence that has to be endured. Once the three rogue commanders shall have been accounted for the conditions in the areas of conflict shall be more peaceful and life can go back to normal.

The government shall thereafter continue dialoguing directly with the communities and usher in package of rehabilitation projects. (MW/PIA Sargen) [top]

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