It's good to know that the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed to create a new political entity called the BANGSAMORO, to replace the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Many got excited to hear this news because it implies peace. But if you are going to analyze the situation, is this good news? What if this agreement is another diversionary tactic manufactured by the Philippine government?
As Pres. Noynoy Aquino said," the ARMM is a failed experiment. Many people continue to feel alienated by the system, and these who feel that there is no way out continue to articulate their grievances through the barrel of gun. We cannot change this without structural reform." ARMM has failed to solve problems such as war, poverty, election fraud, political patronage and warlodism.
This framework agreement between the two parties "will correct these problems while upholding the country's sovereignty." In this agreement, it will have a ministerial form of government and a Bangsamoro Basic Law. It will also include 6 municipalities in Lanao del Norte --- Baloi, Munai, Nunugan, Pantar, Tagoloan, Tangkal; certain areas in Cotabato --- Kabacan, Carmen, Alcosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit and Midsayap; Cotabato City and Isabela City in Basilan. The said agreement "will result in improved economic conditions in the region and will help a lot in terms of tourism and manufacturing in Mindanao." It is set to signed on October 15 in Malacañang.
This framework agreement makes me think a lot of things. I wonder what happened to the negotiation between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The provisions written in the 1996 Peace Process Agreement was not yet (fully) implemented. If you are going to compare this framework agreement and Tripoli/1996 peace agreement, you will get a similar result. How about those other secessionist groups? What about those corrupt ARMM officials? Many questions have been raise than answers to be answered.
I hope the government will have concrete plans with regards to peace agreement in Mindanao. I hope they are not playing the public with this "good news". If they are going to ignore the real issue here, then chaos will be expected.
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