The Zamboanga siege
|Photo by Erik de Castro|
The recent commotion in Zamboanga City is no longer surprising for me. The history of armed conflict in Mindanao proves that peace is elusive if genuine negotiation is not in practice. It is somewhat a sad tale for Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) (or in general, the people in Mindanao) because the struggle still continues. I do not mean to be a melodramatic-pessimist here, but the reality is slapping on our faces. It seems history repeats itself.
“What is happening now in Zamboanga City only shows that the political leaders in Sulu have no effective control over their constituents. No amount of PAMANA and token reforms can appease the growing desperation of the Tausug people who have been continually victimized by corrupt traditional politicians. Oppression, corruption, human rights violations, collapse of the rule of law, warlordism, and total absence of governance in Sulu brought by irresponsible leaders who are subservient to the dictates of Manila – these are the conditions pushing the Tausug people to the brink of desperation and fatalism.”(1)