Representatives from the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) today. This was a historic and remarkable event for Moros, for Lumads, for Filipinos, for Mindanao and for the Philippines.
The armed struggle of our Muslim brothers in Mindanao started on 1969 when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) demanded for independence from the Philippines. When the GRP and MNLF signed a Peace Agreement on 1996, some members of MNLF broke away from their central command and called themselves MILF. The 1996 Peace Agreement’s aims were not achieved and so, the armed conflict continued. These war brought poverty, suffering and death to the people of Southern Mindanao. Southern Mindanao was drowned in blood and tears and it is now that hope is slowly cleansing the people’s sufferings away. With the signing of the CAB, gunshots will be replaced by cheers; death will be eaten by hope; poverty will be replaced by a better life; and, suffering will be no more as peace will hug the region.
The fate of the CAB will now be on the hands of the Philippine Senate and Congress. If the two Houses approved CAB, and I hope they do, the new Bangsamoro Government (BG) should be better than the GRP. The Philippine Government is very open to corruption, abuse and nepotism. The BG should not imitate those horrendous acts. It’s their chance to say to the GRP that they can manage themselves… BETTER. I hope the BG should not be another failed democracy in the making.
Their government should be for the masses, not for the elite; for the farmers, not for the businessmen; for the weak, not for the strong; for the poor, not for the rich; for the Philippines, not for the foreigners; and, for the marginalized but still for all. Their laws should be fair, equal and just. If they can improve governance, they can improve the people’s lives and Mindanao’s status. The Bangsamoro Government should take advantage of this chance and prove to the world that all the lives that were claimed by the war will serve as the roots for Mindanao’s better future.
I hope the Bangsamoro Government would be an ideal and model government of peace, sustainability, justice and prosperity.