Tuesday, July 30, 2013

War beckons in Mindanao

Analysts say the recent bombing in Cagayan de Oro is just one of several bombings planned by enemies of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF, as we know, had entered into a peace agreement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. President Aquino is expected to push for the enactment of a law creating the Bangsamoro sub-state. Obviously, forces and special interest groups in Mindanao who felt either betrayal or of being de-prioritized, will seek other means of expressing their outrage.

Who are these groups?

You have the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who seeks for the implementation of the 1979 Tripoli agreement. You have a splinter group of radicals from the BIAF or the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces who separated from the MILF to continue the armed struggle initially created by Imam Salamat Hashim. Islamists from the Al Harakatul Al Islamiyah, a branch of the Jemaah Islamiyah in the Philippines will likewise consider heightening tensions there and of course, Christian armed forces.

Without the participation of some non-radical yet Bangsamoro forces, this plan will definitely fail. The government did not initiate its full effort of involving other stakeholders in the process. Due to this faux pas, these groups will definitely undermine the peace process.

It will take quite a long time before peace is achieved in this region.