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By Neal H. Cruz
The issue of Sabah was not discussed during the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with Malaysia as referee. This was the assurance given by members of the government panel to journalists at the Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel last Monday. The panel members at the Kapihan were chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and members Senen Bacani (a former agriculture secretary) and Yasmin Busran Lao.
Half a year after the rogue Nur Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front began what is now commonly referred to as the three-week-long “siege of Zamboanga,” the list of casualties from that crisis continues to lengthen.
By Randy David
A realistic way to understand the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that is due to be signed today amid tremendous rejoicing is to view it as a concrete plan for establishing a stable political order in Muslim Mindanao.
By Macabangkit B. Lanto
Morolandia, particularly the province of Maguindanao, is agog as March 27 nears, when the peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government will be signed, insa Allah (God willing). Following cherished tradition, there will be banging of the agong (gongs), playing of the kulintang (xylophone), and a display of resplendent multicolored flags and buntings to celebrate the historic day.
We hope that the surrender and capture of Moro National Liberation Front’s Zamboanga “raiders” will write finis to the MNLF-Misuari faction’s violent frenzies not only in Zamboanga City but everywhere. These men, who are loyal to Nur Misuari and Habier Malik, have found it in their hearts to answer for the injury and damage they caused Zamboangueños by their senseless act.
Former ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) governor Nur Misuari and his lieutenant Habier Malik have been charged with rebellion for their deadly Zamboanga “enterprise.” Rebellion charges may not be enough to compensate for the harm they caused this peaceful city of ours. Now, our city is in a shambles and it will take some time before we can recover from Misuari and company’s senseless action.
Nur Misuari has been down this road before. In November 2001, his followers exploded into a violent rampage that led to weeks of fighting and scores of civilian deaths and displacement. It wasn’t because of some lofty fight for independence or self-assertion. Misuari was simply piqued that he was about to lose his position as governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which, despite the billions of pesos poured into it by the government, had remained an economic backwater under his watch.
By Artemio V. Panganiban
“When guns speak, laws are silent,” so it has been said. This is true in wars among sovereign nations. It is also true with civil strife within states, like in France, the United States, China, Vietnam and Serbia. Or more recently, in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. Human casualties, injuries, hunger, atrocities and deprivations have been the sad consequences of these bloody conflicts.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
“Fear history,” declared Andres Bonifacio, “for it respects no secrets.” Ferdinand Marcos feared history, which explains why he left diaries to confound historians. A keen student of history, he used the lessons of the past to hold on to power longer than any Philippine president before or after him…
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Nur Misuari’s mayhem in Zamboanga City resulted in some commentary about his place in Philippine history, as well as the ups and downs of his own story. Longevity is often a liability in history especially for those who start out right and end badly like Emilio Aguinaldo. Another example is Juan Ponce Enrile who entered history as martial law administrator. He redeemed himself during the Edsa 1986 People Power revolution, but fell from favor and history during the administration of Corazon Aquino. Elected to the Senate on the catchy slogan “gusto ko happy ka!” Enrile’s last high point was presiding over the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Today he is charged with plunder. Life, according to a Filipino saying, is like a wheel—sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. The problem is that when you are down, the wheel stops spinning.
By Ramon Farolan
We join the nation in mourning the death of our soldiers, policemen and civilians in the continuing conflict in Zamboanga City. Notwithstanding official announcements of “mission accomplished,” let me say, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
By Noralyn Mustafa
The latest reports from Zamboanga City indicate that its all over.