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Why should we stand in support of the Bangsamoro Basic Law?

More than 40 troops of the government under the Special Action Force (SAF) are brutally killed and massacred in a butcher encounter at Masasapano, Maguindanao, January 25.  Reports said that they were pursuing a Malaysian terrorist in a highly covert operation.  During the operation, it is also said that they had an encounter with the forces of both the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).  Due to this recent developments outcry of foul and disgust flooded the media from the mainstream up to social networks.

As a result of this uncalled for event some are saying that peace can never be achieved in Mindanao and the sad thing is that some of our lawmakers are withdrawing their support for the Bangsamoro Basic Law including Sen. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. JV Ejercito in the premise that people who did this are not worthy of being talked to nor are they worthy of the peace process.

I would agree that what happened in Mamasapano is uncalled for and is unjust.  The MILF should issue an explanation about this since this is a violation of the ceasefire and the road to peace.  Some of the questions here are:

  1. Has the GPH (government) coordinated with its MILF counterpart about the operation and possibly conducted a joint operation?
  2. Why are two non-aligned groups working together during the encounter?  We all know that BIFF and MILF differ in principle and in fact the BIFF had been disowned by the MILF.
  3. Where are the resources coming from?  Are these sources of information from those who oppose the peace process or not?  I have seen one report quoting an MNLF field commander as the source of who the enemy of the SAF where, thus we should take note that the MNFL is against the peace pact between the MILF and the GPH.
These questions will determine a scenario on what had really happened.  Let us all note and remember that both the MILF and the government wanted to accomplish what was agreed upon in the peace process.  Meanwhile groups like the MNLF, Abu Sayyaf, the BIFF and some local politicians does not want this to happen because of their own selfish motives.

You might see posts saying that these people in Mindanao particularly armed groups are terrorists and does not deserve peace.  I had been working before as part of Peacetech and during my tenure there I have learned a lot about the story of Mindanao.  In an article I write before "Bangsamoro: A Nation in Endless Tyranny." I introduced a book which narrates some hidden and unknown story about what happened in Mindanao and why there is a struggle there.

This book will open our mind on what happened in Mindanao and how thousands and thousands of Moros and indigenous people were displaced from their homes due to mass land grabbing supported by the government.  They had also been denied of political representation and in fact majority of the poorest places and provinces are also in Mindanao contrary to the fact that they produce some huge contribution to the country.

How would you feel if your home and land is taking forcibly from you, your people were massacred and put in mass graves?  Surely you would feel disgust like how we feel right now as we witness these soldiers massacred.  However, these historical incidents should not be a basis to justify what happened for no amount of violence can serve as a cure for injustice.

Photo during the signing of the Peace Agreement between GPH and MILF
In a Filipino article entitled, "Bangsamoro: "Daan Tungo sa Kapayapaan," I stated that the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the process being undertaken is a legitimate way to peace.  It is the very reason why elements against it both from the government and the opposite side will do anything for it to be derailed.

Was means business for those who sells guns.  War means power for those who are continuously using the poverty situation in Mindanao for their own political motives.  

Would we stop walking the road to peace through the Bangsamoro Basic Law just because some people succeeded in putting up a show which would make peace as an unreachable goal?  Should we not walk the other way around that instead of stopping we push harder and ensure that peace will finally be realized?

Do we want a war to continue?  An endless war that deprives the future generation of a better country and place we all want to  live in?

The future of peace is in the hands of people who will give peace a genuine chance.  The Bangsamoro Basic Law needs to be passed.

These my dear friends is a challenge to all of us?  I call upon all of us to support the Bangsamoro Basic Law and together ensure that peace is achieved.

Comments and feedback about this view and article is welcome.

Video References of the event (Warning some graphic content):

Reference articles: