Posted by: luvin | August 23, 2008

Lost in the complex play of hate and aspiration.

Is Ph.D. in political science a requisite in understanding the conflict in Mindanao? Or one have to be a senior fellow in islamic studies to understand the roots of this problem? Maybe the problem is so huge and so complex that we need experts to dissect the meaning of this madness. The problem is now lost in the complex play of hate and aspiration.

People forgot that Mindanao is now a land of many cultures. It no longer belongs to the lumads, the moros or the christians alone. The aspiration of one is no longer the aspiration of others. The unitarians may disagree, but Mindanao is a pluralist society.  People have to learn to live in warring coexistence. People have to learn to respect others biases and peculiarities. And Mindanaoans have learned to respect each others religions, traditions, cultural practices; they have learned to  accept each others prejudices. That is Mindanao, where there is understanding amidst war and poverty.

The root of discontent in not beyond underdevelopment. It is under development. It is economic difficulty. It is poverty. Unfortunately, underdevelopment and poverty is prevalent only in the muslim dominated region. The other regions is now growing and progressing economically and socially. This wide disparity in economic plight adds more pain to the already pained sensibilities. And when the morale is low, it is not difficult to sell the idea of war-that offers hope for a brighter tomorrow.

So it is tempting to conclude that unless Mindanao frees itself from the chain of poverty, this conflict will never end. It is easy to say that unless the moros dream of self determination is not satisfied the war continues. Their are untold stories in the communities that paints of another picture. This is not a lost cause. There is hope somewhere beyond the promises of guns and bombs.

Many moros are now doing well economically, as shown by the maranaws who have proven their trading skills. There are moros who have integrated with the mainstream, and many have allowed intermarriages. These are the new group that opposes war. These are the new models. Even if they are sympathetic to the bangsa moro struggle, they no longer want to be part of the struggle, because they no longer want to waste the gain they are now enjoying.

Most noticeable are the educated moros. They are the ones who fully understand the insignificance of war, they are the people who understands the folly of war. And it is to them where I would pin my hope for the attainment of peace in Mindanao. The more educated a person gets, peaceful resolution is becoming prefered method.

This is a challenge to the private sector. As you are also a victim  in this. Let the social arm of the corporate world lend a helping hand to Mindanao’s poorest people. Offer them scholarship. If each of the top 1000 corporation focuses on the poorest 1000 barangays, and offer 20 scholarship to each barangay, that would would mean 20000 solution in one year. Multiply it by 5, and you dissuade 100,000 moros from engaging in an endless struggle, in five years alone.

That would be faster conflict resolution framework. Compare that with Peace Nogotiation that takes years to bear fruit. A peace negotiation framework begins with:

          1. peacetalk (it would take several years to complete)

          2. approval of the agreed agenda. Consultation, Congressional Appoval, plebicite, IRR,….

          3. Implementation (heres is the caveat, because there is no assurance of an effective or efficient use of resources as has been our experience with the ARMM). If a mere delay in signing of the MOA-AD, would cause some of the unweildy elements of the group to wreck havoc to the civilians, just imagine what they would do with a rejection or a failure of implementation.

The cycle of violence will be stopped by a diploma. That is a sure and faster formula.


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