Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Can the PH gov't convince MILF to give up its arms for peace?

MILF fighters on foot patrol in Mindanao.
Despite the call of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to re-think its position concerning the inking of peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Philippine government is hell bent on pursuing the peace plan  with the MILF early next month. Already the third framework on power-sharing had been signed in Malaysia this week.

MNLF vice chair Hashim Habib told media that the proposed peace pact is a violation of  the Tripoli Agreement which created theAutonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after then President Fidel V. Ramos and MNLF chairman Nur Misuari agreed to ink the peace deal.

As this developed, MILF vice-chair Ghadzali Jaafar has expressed elation over the trust that the government put on the MILF, which in effect, could once and for all, establish a Bangsamoro sub-state in Mindanao.
Once approved, the MILF can pursue political and economic developments which could trickle down for the benefits of the Bangsamoro people.

But even before the formal peace agreement could be signed next month, a group of Muslim rebels identified with the MILF had attacked the police station in Marawi City to free one of its members inside the city jail. What's strange is that the armed men also took with them the Marawi City chief of police hostage as
they fled.

Political analysts are saying that this type of behavior was uncalled for owing to the manner by which the MILF men orchestrated their modus operandi. Whether or not the MILF hierarchy had approved the attack on the said police station was unclear.

At this point in time, the public is already  feeling the negative impacts that the peace agreement would bring once the frameworks of the peace pact are finally inked.

This early, some people have expressed frustrations over the sad incident, saying that what happened in Marawi City could be a bad precedent once the peace agreement is fully implemented thus giving the MILF a complete hand in managing its own affairs.

While the peace agreement remains unsigned by the parties involved, there are doubts that it could be derailed once the MILF and the GRP panel do not come to terms in so far as the surrender of arms and weapons is concerned. Earlier, the MILF has included a provision in the frameworks that would maintain
its own armed forces.

In the previous statements, the Aquino Administration had declared that the Philippines will only keep one Philippine National Police and one Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Whether this is acceptable to the MILF or not, it is something that needs to be ironed out by the parties concerned.

Taking for granted that the Aquino Administration will not agree to this proposal, what will the MILF do? Will the peace agreement be stalled forever? Or will the MILF resort to violence? Nobody knows at this point in time.

What the public should do at the moment is to keep tabs on the latest developments concerning
the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF. Any fissure on the peace process will certainly allow for the resumption of hostilities between military forces and the Muslim rebels.

No comments: