Civil wars


    Our country now faces serious issues that are about to bring long-term war amongst its constituents. The ongoing gunfight in Mindanao has slowly crippled the bureaucratic operations as well as the flow of business in the Muslim region. After the national government failed to seal the memorandum of agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the latter retaliated with 44 killings in Lanao.
    This is highly revolting but rather anticipated. In the first place, how come the government decided to sit down with the MILF and sign a MOA that is believed to be unconstitutional (although the Supreme Court has yet to decide on this) and unilateral in favor of the Muslim insurgents. The national government was about to give MILF the authority to rule over several villages, towns and provinces in the Muslim region while they are also allowed to draft their own policies, air space and even army?
    Whoever encouraged the Arroyo government to sit down and sign this proposed MOA might have a deeper agenda than how it looks like. Almost all radio anchors of DZMM are hitting the government hard saying that the Mindanao war is a “self-inflicted” problem. The national government can no longer honor the MOA now that many were already killed while a supposed peace talks is on the table. Meanwhile, the MILF seems to be determined in bombing and killing even innocent civilians just to call for the completion of the deal.
    However, some sectors see a different light on the Mindanao chaos. The alleged mistake of the Arroyo administration might not be a mistake at all. Who knows, it might be a strategy to have an alibi to enforce a full attack on the MILF. The previous scenarios were repetitions of the past peace talks. While the government honors ceasefire during peace negotiations, several MILF alleged splinter groups kill members of the army or ambush them. There is no fair game for the Philippine soldiers.
    The Arroyo government has no other choice but to come up with a strategy and an alibi to crush down the insurgents. But again, many would ask why now? During Estrada’s time, the government already took over the MILF lairs but President Arroyo returned these areas to the insurgents as soon as she assumed office. So why sacrifice lives now just to get an alibi to totally wreck the MILF?
    Good point. Another speculation from inquiring minds – is it possible that the national government could have used the Mindanao issue so the President can get sympathy and support from the people. She has been very unpopular lately and the war in Mindanao, should she orders total war against MILF, would be her saving grace. Many Filipinos are in favor of the move to eradicate the MILF once and for all from the Muslim lands.
    While we are contemplating on these, the MILF financiers and supporters abroad might be seeing this war in a very different light. There are talks around that even if the MOA was signed, the MILF are set to battle against the national government. Should this be true, then the theory of terrorism funded by Muslin extremists in Malaysia might be true as well. And then we have the Americans showing support to the Arroyo administration and who knows? They might be supplying more ammunition and weapons in this side nowadays. Those in the weaponry industry are jubilating right now. Thanks to Uncle Sam.
    But no matter what the reason maybe, the fact remains that the civil wars has already begun. Officials of Lanao recently announced over national radio that they already organized civilian groups to protect their own people. This is alarming. The government must not lose its control over its constituents. The civilian vigilante groups are a welcome note in case of emergencies but if this war continues in the next months or years, then private armies will gain strength and soon, these will cause another problem for the government.
    The people of Mindanao are now suffering. Their families are not safe. Their businesses were affected. Their governments are not running efficiently. Everything is in chaos. What can we do?
    The Arroyo administration can do two things immediately. Set an emergency multi-sectoral peace council to work on the social collaterals and assess the impact of the ongoing war in Mindanao. The other is to defeat the MILF armed groups and subdue all their headquarters or lairs if only to be true in its commitment to end this war.


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