Peace process ‘a farce’
The Jan. 25 massacre of Special Action Force (SAF) troops out to arrest two notorious terrorists inside a territory controlled by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao has confirmed once again the farce that the much-ballyhooed “Bangsamoro peace process” is.
As usual, “lack of coordination” was the excuse given by the MILF leadership for the latest bloody encounter. “Coordination” may have been dispensed with, according to some observers, because experience has shown that whenever there was coordination, law enforcers always came back empty-handed from such operations. It was clear as daylight that criminals and bandits within MILF-controlled areas were being tipped off to make themselves scarce whenever a police raid was forthcoming.
All current efforts to pass the “Bangsamoro Basic Law” are meaningless as long as the MILF continues providing safe haven to extremists and criminals. While supposedly denouncing the latter’s acts of barbarism and terrorism, the MILF negotiators are probably laughing deep inside. They have never been serious about bringing genuine peace to Mindanao. The so-called “peace process” is palpably a charade, a necessary step toward the MILF goal of a total takeover of Mindanao. To the multitude of Christians in those parts, true enough that will bring about peace—yes, the peace of the graveyard!
Before proceeding to the negotiating table, the government should have put to test the MILF’s sincerity by asking it to first “exterminate those termites” under its roof. But the Aquino administration, desperate to negotiate for peace despite continuing insults to its sovereignty, considerably chose to weaken its bargaining power.
Sorry to say this, but judging from its double-cross and double-talk in the past, the MILF should not be trusted and, for that matter, all Moros in rebel groups. The running joke in Mindanao goes: Yes, there will be “peace” when—not if—the military surrenders!
—RAMON N. TORREFRANCA, [email protected]
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