Some people might say that the conflict in Mindanao is already “history.” The apparent peace between the Moro revolutionaries and the Philippine government reminds us that it has been years since a violent encounter, whether verbal or in a gunfight, between the opposing sides has been the headline in newspapers.
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The Bangsamoro Transition Commission announced on Friday the completion of the new draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will be forwarded to the BTC Coordinating Committee for review and approval before its submission to the Office of the President.
“Nakakatulong ang armas sa atin sa gera noon pang Martial Law, pero ang palaging paggamit ng armas nakakasira din. (Arms helped us in the war during Martial Law. But the frequent use of arms will be destructive as well). I’ve been fighting for forty years; I see more destruction in arms.”
While saying he is not interested in the 2016 presidential race, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte makes a doublespeak when he said he could consult communists and other rebel groups.
The bishop said “instead of political negotiation which is closer to the ‘straight path’, the Aquino government intentionally took the ‘warpath’ in the Zamboanga crisis. Aquino’s war has clearly led to a bigger problem than its intended outcome.”
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Davao City Chairman Rolando Olamit called out to fellow MNLF fighters and the government to re-open the door for talks to stop the bloodshed in Zamboanga City. Olamit joined a peace rally initiated by the Philippine national Police and the Arrmed Forces of the Philippines at Rizal Park last Wednesday. (davaotoday.com photo by Ace R. Morandante)
Prof. Ali Ayub, the secretary-general of the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines in the Zambasulta Region said his group and civil society organizations offered viable options to the Crisis Management Committee to break the standoff sooner between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) followers of Chairman Nur Misuari, and state security forces in Zamboanga.
The NDF spokesperson also said the Moro struggle would not end with the recent armed conflict, pointing out that the “(t)he reactionary regime’s divide-and-rule tactic would merely delay the fruition of the true aspirations of the Moro people.” “We are most certain that, should the GPH succeed to encumber one group, others would rise in its place to continue the struggle to resolve the fundamental problems of the Moro people,” Ka Oris aid.
Aerial bombs launched by government troops against Muslim rebels and more fires in Barangay Santa Catalina Monday worried displaced residents who said relatives and neighbors were trapped there.
Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW reacted over this report. “Government forces should not be making blanket assumptions about whether individuals are rebels based on whether they have proper documents or not. Officials can check those leaving the conflict zone, but they need to ensure that civilians have safe passage and are not put at unnecessary risk.”