By: Bai Cabaybay D. Abubakar
The 33rd round of the peace talk between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 12-17, 2012 was a success to both parties, according to the Malaysian facilitator Datuk Tengku Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed.
A salute and high admiration is due to the members of the MILF Peace Panel headed by the Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, for their intellectual capacity and strong political determination in pursuing peace and development in the Bangsamoro homeland through negotiation. A special mention is due to Sir Iqbal for his patience and skills in dealing with the GPH Peace Panel headed by the newly appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, lawyer and former Dean of the School of Law of the University of the Philippines (UP), Marvic Leonen, who brought with him a delegation composed of 42 experts from the different line agencies of the Philippine Government.
Likewise, the members of the MILF Technical Working Groups (TWGS) on Power Sharing, Wealth Sharing and Normalization deserve high commendation and appreciation for their candidness in sharing their knowledge and expertise in restoring peace and prosperity in Mindanao and in this nation. Their contribution in the peace process is worth remembering and be made as part of the Bangsamoro history.
The signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro on October 15, 2012 in Malacañang Palace, Manila between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is a great challenge to the Bangsamoro people individually and collectively. Its implementation is not only a responsibility of the MILF and the GPH but also of the people in the Bangsamoro homeland in general.
Mending the image of the Bangsamoro people and how to restore its position of high respect and prestige is a responsibility of the Moro themselves, before it becomes a responsibility of others, which is most unlikely. They must remember that Allah (SWT) has ordained Muslim men and women to strive very hard to establish a wholesome community with Islamic governance so that they can comply willingly with their obligation as “Khalifatullah”. They can be able to start reform and development with the remembrance of Allah (SWT), which is not just by saying “Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar and all other words of praises”. The remembrance of Allah reaches every aspect of the Moros’ life. Their day should start with the dawn prayer because remembering Allah begins there.
The task is how to rebuild the Bangsamoro communities destroyed by the decades of unrest and wars in Mindanao. The fulfillment of the task is heavy and thorny, but it must be done. It must be realized that while the National Government is helping the Bangsamoro, it is necessary that every able Moro should step forward and help in any possible manner for the success of the Bangsamoro government.
The leaders should realize now that the most practical and logical way to mend the image of the Bangsamoro as a nation and people is going back to Islam, along with the implementation of the Framework Agreement. The work is gigantic and it requires joint forces skills, time, money, intellect, etc. The government assistance as specified in the annexes of the Framework Agreement may not be enough. Besides the problems facing President Aquino and his government is tremendous and he has other priorities. The mandate now is in the hands of the Bangsamoro leadership headed by Haji Murad Ebrahim, the compassionate, distinguished and very dynamic chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
As a concerned individual, I humbly call on the Bangsamoro people regardless of ethnic denomination, to work as a team in support of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Philippine Government as a whole in order to end the very difficult life in the Moro homeland.
Every able Moro should strive very hard to qualify himself/herself to become a contributor in achieving real peace and development. One must work hard to apply values in his/her daily life. He/she must be (have);
1. Knowledgeable and Skillful – who continuously seek both revealed and acquired knowledge and practice them. He sharpens his skills by sharing it to others. He/she considers seeking knowledge and developing skills as moral and religious obligations.
2. Sincere – who always seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) alone in discharging his duties and responsibilities. He always struggles in making his thoughts, words and action (Ibadat). He/she does not expect so much on material reward from people he serves and deals with. He/she has pure intention which may bear love, determination, commitment and dedication in all undertakings.
3. Patience – who always perseveres in following the teaching of Islam. He/she endures hardships and trials, avoid committing sins, forgive those who wronged him/her and ask pardon. He is compassionate and does not get angry easily.
4. Honest – who discharges trusts, speaks the truth, keeps his/her promises and avoid cheating. He/she exerts efforts to eradicate graft and corruption.
5. Responsible – who considers himself as a trustee who is held responsible and accountable for whatever is entrusted to him/her.
6. Industrious – who considers time as like itself and therefore should not be wasted. Her/she is highly motivated and very resourceful for the success of his/her work not only as a teacher but also as a good individual.
7. Other values that can maintain good reputation and respect.
Application of good values in life is important in improving the image of the Bangsamoro. That is why everyone should internalize, practice and advocate Islamic values to be able to achieve a holistic and successful life. This way the problems on ignorance, graft and corruption, lawlessness, poverty, environmental degradation, disunity and all those factors that hinders peace and prosperity in the Moro homeland and this nation will be stopped.
The advent of the Framework Agreement and its basic laws could be a great opportunity for the Bangsamoro people to forge their identity. Surely together they can-- sky is the limit, Insha ALLAH.