Chaos to ComeAugust 3, 2008
I predict chaos should the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels ensues on August 5. They are planning to create a Muslim state claiming this contains “ancestral domain” inside the country, in effect giving up sovereignty on Philippine soil. I believe they are also opening old wounds.
It should be remembered that during the 1970s Muslim and Christian fought each other for control of Mindanao land. I wasn’t eve born during those times, but I’ve heard stories about them. Muslims died in Christian hands. Christians died in Muslim lands. Mass migrations emptied villages of Christian or Muslim minorities. The Christian population of Marawi City dwindled in a few years. Muslims from the lowlands quickly took shelter in Marawi.
Work spanning decades for the peace process between Christian and Muslim would be wiped out with an exchange of signatures. I fear that if the deal pushes through, the government would not be dealing with just a Muslim rebellion. It would also face a Christian rebellion against the enforced Muslim statehood upon them. It should also be noted that the MILF doesn’t represent the opinion of the Muslim people. Notable Muslim personages such as the Sultan of Sulu, who has the most legitimate claim for “ancestral domain” along with other leaders have also spoken against this deal.
Furthermore, we don’t know exactly what the deals between the government and the rebels really contain. The meetings are held in secret. They would only be revealed after the signing. Yet the rebels really don’t seem to care for peace, as much as ownership of the land. They have been attacking villages and burning houses even during the “peace” negotiations, and yet the government still listens to them.
So I appeal to those who are outside Mindanao to include us in your prayers.
Pray for real peace in this land, not the peace of surrender, nor the peace of enforced silence, but true peace that comes only from the Prince of Peace. Pray that this heavily politicized deal will not push through. Also pray for our safety.