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Peace partners can’t stop armed groups after BBL’s passage

/ 12:14 AM March 26, 2015

BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) advocates are claiming that armed conflicts in Mindanao will end and lasting peace will prevail with the passage of their proposed measure. But the painful truth is, neither the government nor the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leadership can guarantee that hostilities will stop and illegally armed groups in Mindanao will surrender their firearms once the BBL is enacted.

It is said that Moros, if made to choose, would give up their wives rather than part with their firearms. Several armed groups, outlaws and private armies, roam free around Mindanao as law enforcers are unable to arrest, disarm and disband them perhaps because these groups are tolerated or simply untouchable. Those armed groups will continue to ignore existing laws and foment war against the government or among themselves, with or without the BBL.

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History tells us that, in general, the Moros and the Muslims around the world are warriors by tradition, who want to spread their brand of religion by whatever means. That Islam is a religion of peace is now being questioned by peace advocates because of past and recent atrocities committed by Muslim extremist organizations in many countries. The fact is, this alarming situation has been going on since time immemorial.

It is said that those who do not learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

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Some leaders in government today are so naïve they cannot see the hidden agenda of the MILF even as it participates in the much-ballyhooed peace process. Following the teaching of their prophet Mohammad, Muslims stay friendly until they are strong enough to crush their enemies.

George Washington once said, “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well-prepared to meet an enemy.” Perhaps, it is safe to say that the 44 Special Action Force commandos who were killed in Mamasapano by the combined forces of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters did not die in vain. As it is turning out, their deaths have become an eye-opener for many Filipinos with respect to the BBL’s controversial provisions. It has awakened the previously lethargic citizenry to the dire consequences the proposed measure, once enacted, might lead the whole country to.

The legislators who were ready to blindly pass the unabridged BBL as crafted by the peace panels of both the government and the MILF are now having second thoughts.

—MELCHOR AMADO JR., [email protected]

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TAGS: armed groups, Bangsamoro Basic Law, George Washington, Mamasapano, Mindanao, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moros, peace, Prophet Mohammad, Special Action Force
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