Individuals, while they have so many in common, possess individual differences, especially in their thoughts and actions. Since organizations are run by men, then it is also natural that organizations emerge from time to time, and more seriously, they differ in their outlook and orientations. Men who grasp this well will find little problem in dealing with so many organizations in their midst. It is a matter of handling and identifying who has in their agenda the higher interest and collective aspirations of their people.
However, when organization is set up to counter an existing revolutionary organization through violent means, then it is a different matter. It will be handled differently. In fact, other revolutionary organizations, especially left-leaning, cannot tolerate the existence of a counter-revolutionary organization. Usually, their approach is radical.
However, the case of the MILF’s approach is neither soft nor radical. First, we conduct social investigation in order to understand the full range of the issue, followed by peace overture leading to a dialogue, and finally by combinations of varied approaches. We never considered internal conflicts as something to be handled antagonistically, except when as a matter of last defense.
As can be seen clearly, the MILF can live within the midst of these organizations with so much confidence. We know that whoever is on the side of truth and justice and pursues their struggle correctly will triumph in the end. This is the reason why we always seek dialogues with our brothers in the MNLF including their various factions. We always believe and work on the basis of “all guns towards the common enemy”.
The current turmoil in Maguindanao and North Cotabato in relation to the BIFM/BIFF is putting this MILF policy to real test. While we have confidence in the correctness of our approach theoretically, applying it on the ground requires honest-to-goodness evaluation. There is always a gap between theory and practice. This is the reason why so many brilliant people cannot be good and effective leaders, because leadership is not a straight-jacket business; it is a down-to-earth vocation. It is more of an art rather than just implementing all those best theories found in the writings of experts.
Let us see what lies ahead, but always reminding ourselves that the road ahead is always rough and tortuous. Complacency is never part of the equation for people who want good for their people.