Thirty three known luminaries and highly respected names were listed in an advertisement opposing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Those names--from De Villa to Yano to Senga-- are highly respected military officers who, in one way or another, has been an influence in the lives of middle and senior-level officers now occupying posts in the PNP and the military.
This is practically the first time that such persons lent their own name to a cause or issue that also finds resonance with the broad masses. What is so sad is that the issue concerns a segment of the population that is being persecuted as we speak, because of its minority character. They have been struggling for decades and this is the only chance in a span of at least three decades that both government and insurgents share the same view.
What is critical is that this is also a point of transition, when the old warriors on both camps are fading away and being replaced by a younger, more aggressive set of leaders who believes in their own causes and who will probably fight off dissent. Expect a hardening of positions the minute this peace pact crumbles.
And if indeed this happens, a resumption of hostilities will benefit neither, as the insurgents were given more than enough guns and monies to conduct a prolonged engagement, and the soldiers are emotionally ready to effect a tougher resistance. When two equally strong forces collide, normally those at their peripheries suffer the brunt of the force.
Malacanang is advised to handle this issue not with kid's gloves but with evident care, since these names, when invoked, can give rise to a monumental surge that eventually leads to a major confrontation. Such a confrontation may give rise to the necessity of a totalitarian regime.