Moros are not disunited

Contrary to perceptions or accusations of some people or groups, the Moros are not disunited.  We are not fighting each other, Maranao versus Maguindanao, Maguindanao versus Tausog, Tausog versus Maranao, etc. The problems that plagued our communities are virtually similar to those happening in other areas.  Maybe a little frequent but not in volume is true due to the proliferation of weapons in the hands of so many people. Say, for instance, kidnapping. Those taking place in Mindanao, done or suspected be pulled by “Moros”, are too small in number compared to the ones done in Metropolitan Manila alone.

A similar situation is true with the Moro liberations organizations like the MNLF and all its various factions, MILF, etc. We may differ in our orientations, but largely there are no organizational fighting. Our lines of communication are open 24 hours a day.

The so-called rido or clan war is not part of Moro tradition. This in-fighting is more of an exception rather than the rule. To the MILF, rido is the consequence of the failure of justice system, lack of effective governance, and un-Islamic value system. Islam never condones bloodshed. In fact, it has prescribed that two Muslims who have an altercation must reconcile within three days or they will land in hell altogether.

In the effort to ensure inclusivity in the crafting of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), so much gains have been underway. The MILF, MNLF under Chair Muslimin Sema, and other sectors have all accepted the need for common efforts. After all, their objectives are all geared towards the common good of our people.

Maybe a little hard to comprehend is the direction of the MNLF led by Chair Nur Misuari. We are greatly perplexed why there is still “negotiation” between the government and the group when they have already signed the GRP-MNLF Final Agreement (FPA) of 1996. Take note of the word final. Similarly, the tripartite review (in Jeddah, Jakarta, and Manila) involving the MNLF, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Philippine government to look at what parts of the agreement that are not implemented was terminated in January 2016; and the parties have identified only three or four namely, strategic minerals, provisional government, economic intervention, and the conduct of plebiscite in 25 provinces and nine or so cities in Mindanao (originally 13 provinces and five cities in the Tripoli Agreement of 1976). Except the last, which seems very problematic given the two plebiscites already conducted, one during President Corazon Aquino and another during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the three others were already settled during the reviews. Earlier on, the government passed R.A. 9054 which translated into law FPA, a political document. On top of this, Chair Nur Misuari and Dr. Parok Hussin both accepted governors of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

However, we are not saying here that the Duterte administration should not find ways to handle the situation. In fact, we are convinced of the master’s stroke being displayed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the stamp of statesmanship that is clearly evident. We can never say the move is wrong or faulty.

Our only wish is that this inclusivity thing should not derail from its avowed objective to bring everybody on board the peace process leading to crafting a good basic law that finally addresses the Bangsamoro Question.  We never doubt the pure intention of the President to solve this problem but there are people who could manipulate the negative side of inclusivity which is to delay, muddle, and defeat the crafting a good law. A sure way to kill an idea is to throw it to a committee – and a little manipulation would spark a controversy.