There's peace, then there's… ?

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By Nef Luczon


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

HISTORIC in its own right, the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was never an ordinary path to take and never was it easy from its beginning until the end.

The souls of both the Moro warriors and the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who died in the battlefields of Mindanao can now be healed after decades of struggles, but most of all the plight of the displaced families may now find themselves not living in fear or worry when to flee because of the threat of possible crossfire.

Yet CAB only has begun, the signatures blotted on its papers between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government has yet to translate to a very wide range of tangible and intangible developments that would benefit the people more than those who will serve the new Bangsamoro jurisdiction in the future.


It is good that we have achieved the first step toward peace, but peace must be sustained and everyone should take part of – because it's our responsibility. But of course, it is not always a smooth sailing.

As early as peace agreement was finished, we already have heard reports of renegade groups and other factions trying not to make CAB in effect. We also have heard stories that not all are in favor that their town will be included in the new Bangsamoro jurisdiction due to the misinformed public's perceptions that once they will be under it, they will lose their lands.

You might call them "un-peace" people, who seem to not want to end the violence in Mindanao, but they are not. These people are simply having other agenda in their mind that did not fall under the frameworks of CAB.

Another one is that not all, especially those in the grassroots and far-flung places, understood what CAB is all about and why it is important. More surprisingly, some college students and perhaps some young professionals don't even care to know CAB's ulterior purpose since they're more preoccupied to other things.

Information and communication will always be crucial. Now that there is CAB, we need to watch it grow, of course, except those people mentioned earlier, we are hopeful that it will work. But most of all, we wish that the future leaders of the new Bangsamoro entity will lead with example and integrity and not succumb to the usual norms of lies and deceit, because if that happens, everything we have worked hard for will just end up wasted.

Truly, we have witnessed how some good leaders in our country that later became blinded and tempted to the power bestowed upon them, it was ugly and distasteful. These were just the few obstacles to be resolved yet peacefully for CAB to progress.

At the end of day, I hope that in the days of our great grandchildren, we will not anymore hear gunfire and see bloodshed, although it's too good to be true. I hope Mindanao will be a better place for them and everyone will have equal co-existence and rights.

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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 02, 2014.


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