Demagogue exposes sham commitment
President Benigno Aquino III has formed a peace council in an attempt to salvage the imperiled Bangsamoro Basic Law and to put the peacemaker’s hat onto his head. Yet he is far from being the poster boy for peace. His penchant for military adventurism was exposed in the embarrassing Manila hostage crisis in August 2010, just weeks into his administration. Then followed his handling of the Sabah crisis and the Zamboanga siege in 2012, both of which revealed his aversion to diplomacy and his decided preference for the bellicose path in confronting the intricate peace issue in Muslim Mindanao.
It is also of note how he had reneged on past agreements with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and imprisoned its members, acts that have ultimately bogged down the peace talks with the longest-running communist insurgency in Asia.
It is a paradox, therefore, that this same President who is chiefly to blame for the botched Oplan Exodus in Mamasapano is pushing for the passage of the BBL.
Mr. Aquino is brimming with hypocrisy in his pursuit of peace through the BBL. Being among the masterminds of Oplan Exodus, he knowingly imperiled the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front by resorting to military adventurism in an attempt to get two international terrorists inside an MILF stronghold without the latter’s knowledge. He violated established protocols between the government and the MILF, and proved himself to be a treacherous, mistrusting “peace partner.”
The backlash in the aftermath of Oplan Exodus has turned the tide of public opinion against the MILF and the Moro people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination. We can hear bias and discrimination against the Moro people thrumming in the streets. Even members of Congress have openly come out with anti-Moro prejudices and publicly declared they are determined to “dilute,” if not reject, the BBL.
Simply put, President Aquino is nothing but a peace demagogue. His commitment to a lasting peace in Mindanao, and elsewhere in the country, is a sham.
—ANTONIO LIONGSON, spokesperson, Moro-Christian People’s Alliance, [email protected]
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