Editorial: They who thrive in conflict

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

FIRST Monday since the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) agreed to decommission their armed troops by signing the Annex on Normalization of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), soldiers were said to have fired cannons and mortars toward the general direction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) base in Sultan sa Barongis town in Maguindanao, Sunday morning.

In a report by Rappler.com quoting BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama, he said that one of the BIFF units were attacked by soldiers.

Mama, in the same report, claimed that the soldiers moved forces and equipment to Datu Piang for no apparent reason and started firing mortars and 105mm howitzer cannons. Although the bombs are landing far from where they were, Mama said, they will not hesitate to attack once the soldiers move closer.


In a separate news report from Agence France Presse, Dickson Hermoso, the regional military spokesman, said the mission is to arrest 25 leaders of the BIFF and that the attack was coordinated with the MILF.

These apparently are among those that the military refer to as spoilers to the peace process.

?Rest assured that our focused military operations will continue, to ensure that the peace process is not hampered or disrupted by spoilers and other threats," AFP spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala was quoted as saying soon after the annex was signed Saturday night.

That the bombs started flying the day after shows that indeed, peace is not yet on hand. There may be those who will vow for the peaceful way of settling the conflict, but there will always be those who will insist that in order to achieve peace, war has to be fought.

That is where the very root of the problem lies? For as long as we are not one in calling for peace through peaceful means “whether we are supporting the government or those who are fighting for the Bangsamoro” then there are a million or more guns lying around to be fired just to drive the point, or as the military would say it, anticipate the actions of the spoilers.

As a young Moro leader admitted, they expected this, but not this soon. We echo his words: We expected this, but not this soon.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 28, 2014.


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