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The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) is alarmed by the events unfolding in Zamboanga City. The violent clashes, reportedly between forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines have already killed at least two and injured several individuals, and forced hundreds to leave their homes.
We are confused. According to the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), his camp is unhappy about the current pace of the peace talks between his group and the government (“MILF unhappy with talks,” Front Page, 6/15/13). But back here in Manila, President Aquino’s spokespersons categorically claim that the President himself is satisfied with what is happening at the negotiating table.
Midway into its six-year term, the Aquino administration is now sending signals that clearly bode ill for the Filipino people’s quest for justice, peace and meaningful change.
By Rina Jimenez-David
Women are better off in settling political conflicts, believes Nuriam Asanji-Abdujarak, described as a “diligent student, successful businesswoman, devoted wife” in the booklet “Taking Peace into their Own Hands” published by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.
The year is starting well for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government. Here in Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur and other parts of Maguindanao, the MILF has started to police its own ranks. It is now after persons involved in illegal activities like gambling, robbery and holdups in these areas.
By Peter Wallace
A remarkable year 2012 was. In his time, President Fidel Ramos brought about some dramatic changes in the business environment—changes that to this day we are still benefiting from. He deregulated the key sectors—sectors that are now vibrant and competitive: telecom (there would be few cell phones today if PLDT had retained its monopoly), power (we’d still be having blackouts), oil and banking.
WITH THE advent of the holiday season and as 2012 comes to an end, the Filipino people have a lot of blessings to be thankful for this year.
By Amando Doronila
Talks resumed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last week to try to break the impasse over the establishment of an autonomous Bangsamoro homeland in Mindanao.
Peace in the conflict areas of Mindanao is within sight, but the road leading to it is fraught with so many pitfalls laid by those who cannot live in peace. While the agreement proclaiming the commitment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government to create a Bangsamoro land has been signed in the most auspicious arena and with the most audacious display of the willingness of both parties to work for stable peace, the road ahead remains extremely challenging. The consolation is that the negotiators have done away with their frivolous demands and, with their feet on the ground, have arrived at attainable and reasonable objectives.
Some statements issued by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles and government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen are misleading.
PRESIDENT AQUINO himself said that the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is a failure. He reiterated this to former ARMM Gov. Nur Misuari. The President said that the ARMM, as a failed experiment, had greatly aggravated the Mindanao problem. The ARMM failed to realize its objective of a united, progressive and peaceful autonomous region to the detriment of its people.
By Cielito F. Habito
“Recovering to original growth paths takes an average of 14 years of peace,” writes the World Bank in its 2011 World Development Report (WDR) that focused on development challenges facing conflict-affected areas.