President Benigno Aquino believes that groups who oppose the peace process in Mindanao are the ones behind the twin bombings in Cagayan de Oro and North Cotabato. The Chief Executive does not believe that Jemaah Islamiyah members are behind the blasts, echoing what the Armed Forces of the Philippines already announced that JI cannot be the ones who masterminded the blasts because the terror group's movements have already been contained.
Who are those who oppose the peace process?
We have as main suspect, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF, the splinter group from the MILF. BIFF leader Ameril Umbra Kato actively opposes the peace pact, and wants to continue the legacy of Hashim Salamat, the spiritual-political leader of the MILF who believes in armed struggle.
Another group which opposes the peace pact is a shadowy cabal of Christian groups, whose members include influential people based in Mindanao. This group consists of members of the AFP themselves, both active and retired. Dislocation of Christian communities is what they fear if the peace pact eventually leads to the Bangsamoro sub-state.
The last group is reportedly, the Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF. Nur Misuari, founder of the group, wants government to honor its commitments forged in the 1979 Tripoli agreement. Until now, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has not satisfied its side of the deal. Misuari warns of an all-out war in Mindanao, if the GRP and the MILF insist on creating a Bangsamoro sub-state.
Some analysts believe that countries with interests in the Philippines are likewise using proxies to effect chaos and confusion in this country.
As what this corner already said several entries ago, war will not end with the peace pact. Violence will continue to affect Mindanao economic and political growth maturation precisely because the region is subject to the interests of several groups. These groups have the means to sow terror. They are determined. They have mass bases.
Don't get me wrong---the idea of a Bangsamoro sub-state is noble. The steps taken by government is worthy of praise. And they can't do anything to obliterate these roadblocks caused by groups with selfish personal interests. These groups are talking about ultimate control of a region rich in natural resources, meaning, a region blessed with riches beyond one's wits.