The Zamboanga Crisis Part 4: Autonomy and peace in diversity

Former MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu pointed out that the MNLF indeed was left out in the Aquino government’s negotiations. He proposed a peace plan that would create two autonomous regions for Muslims: One in central Mindanao that is dominated by the Maguindanaons and the other to consist of Sulu and Basilan, the Tausug’s territory. After all, he pointed out, in the pre-Hispanic period (and even today in its ghostly form though), there was a Sultanate of Maguindanao and a Sultanate of Sulu, which reflects the existence and separation of two Muslim nations.

– Either all-out war or Marshall Plan for Mindanao, Roberto D. Tiglao, Manila Times

On the other hand

The MNLF, MILF, BIFF, and all the other lesser known factions in the region should try chanting the word ‘peace’ over and over in their heads until they feel it penetrating into their whole being, their very souls.

P.E.A.C.E. What indeed is peace?

They should reflect on the horror of Hitler’s propaganda: he was bent on eliminating those he deemed as ‘others’ in order to propagate a pure and superior race who he planned to install as rulers of the earth. This is what is essentially the stand of each warring side: my tribe or everyone else dies.

Until both sides meet half way (e.g. experiment to lead the region together such as being Co-Chairs of an autonomous government), it’s Hitler all over again right here in our own yard.

If they must let go of their rage, there’s the ring. Why not call each other out, slug it out, face to face, until one of them falls? There, they’ll have the satisfaction of physically connecting with the other’s flesh and bone, pound the other with the full strength of their rage, teeth be damned. This is the honorable way as opposed to expending rage the roundabout way, on people who didn’t do you any wrong in order to call out the persons who make your blood boil. This is the folly of war: a leader sends out an army to fight the enemy when in fact it’s only two people – the leaders – who don’t see eye to eye. Another tale as old as time.


Meanwhile, in Luzon, at least that’s where the center of another struggle is playing out, the pork barrel scam case is beginning to look like another case of frogs jumping out of the pail to god-knows-where because the lid has been left opened and people who are supposed to put it back on are nowhere near.

In another side of the town, life is a party.


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