Feature: Peace and reconciliation
by Menardo Wenceslao
General Santos City (June 25) -- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front ought to realize by now that its secessionist agenda does not appeal to the vast majority of the Moro people which they purportedly have been rebelling for. After all these years we have seen the iniquities of protracted armed struggle which has taken a heavy toll from both Muslims and Christians settlers who have nothing to do at all with the conflict.
Until recently, the unbridled factions of the MILF have engaged in violent acts of terror as means to achieve their separatist goal. In the process however they inflicted harm on the communities they ran into regardless of whether they are Lumads, Moro people or Christians. This is inevitable because we knew too well that through the years these people of varied culture and religious beliefs have actually lived and intermingled together.
These hurting and displaced communities were not asking for independence. They clamor for justice and fairness particularly on how the centrist government disproportionately allocate funds and services but secession was never in their agenda. This is the very reason why renegade MILF field commanders Umbra Kato and Bravo failed miserably in winning their sympathy. Some may have been cowed to subservience and silence because of threats and terror but none of the peoples' their compassion.
The lawless elements of the MILF are not only losing sympathy and compassion they are also losing men and territories. Again, they have resorted to terrorism like planting improvised explosives in the midst of revelers. As usual they will deny that they have anything to do with the dastardly acts. But this only incense people who now volunteer information as to where wanted MILF commanders are hiding. We have seen this happening in Sarangani. They did so because they want to live together in peace and quiet life like how it was before. We have heard the clamor and we, in pity, can only hope that both the MILF and the government will resume with their peace negotiations so that in our little way we can help in the process of reconciliation. (MW/PIA-SarGen) [top]