Legacies to the next generations

At least three major legacies earned during the almost five decades of hard struggle including 17 years of harsh and protracted negotiations can be passed on or bequeathed to the next Moro generations. If they value, nurture, and grow them, theirs is a good tomorrow. More importantly, if they continue the flame of assertions, what we failed to secure now can be possible in the future.

The legacies we are referring here are the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), and the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). The FAB and CAB can be likened to titles of lands which vested us rights to them which can be asserted. They were signed by the parties with third party facilitation. Similarly, the BOL, although not yet a perfect law, is a very important piece of legislation that can allow our people to improve their lives. With good and capable leadership, it can transform the Bangsamoro region equal or even better than other regions in the country.

But how can this success be possible? It is not that the situation now and almost 50 years back are much more different and complex? Is it not true that two situations call for new approaches or methodologies?

Surely, we agree to those observations. But there are basic requisites, factors, or principles that stand the challenge of time and situation. What can be good or useful or indispensable before can also be true today. We are referring to dedication, perseverance, transparency, honesty, camaraderie, and creativity. These are qualities or principles that guided the relationships of members of the MILF and in their conduct of the struggle from day one to today that enabled them to reach this far. For instance, the most effective accountability is when one is more fearful of the Great Unseen God Who always sees you than mortal men whom one can hide from.

What we are saying here is that these qualities, which are time-honoured or tested, must be brought in governance when the MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) is in place. What remains to be done is to strive to be equipped with the necessary know in actual governance, which members of the MILF, in general, are not well grounded. They were trained to fight in war and not in nation-building.

But what is good in MILF leaders is that they do not have pretensions to know what they do not know. They are willing to learn, especially on how the bureaucracy is going to be run. In this regard, the national government can be of great help.