Earlier a petition filed before the Supreme Court halted the signing of the MOA-AD in Malaysia. Last Friday the highest court held oral arguments on the various petitions after a closed-door, “in chamber session” with the Office of the Solicitor General and lawyers of the various petitioners. The court scheduled another hearing on the oral arguments on August 22. The media also circulated the opinion of some magistrates regarding the unconstitutionality of the MOA-AD. They (the justices) instead suggested for the renegotiation of said agreement as the Constitution does not allow a State within a State. Another point stressed was the danger of failing to set up parameters to what extent the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity could negotiate. But the more important reason to negotiate are the Lumads (who are the real natives of the area) and the Christians who are deprived of their rights to also make a decision.
As expected, trouble ensued as a consequence of the aborted signing of the MOA-AD. MILF attacked several villages in North Cotabato and held their positions on captured territories only to be flushed out later by the relentless bombing of the Army. Not for long when things appear to normalize in most part of Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels raided again several towns in Lanao del Norte province, looting businesses, burning homes and randomly attacking mostly Christian villagers. At least some 31 people had been killed before the rebels had withdrawn to the hinterlands of Lanao del Norte.
The President did not take the tragic incident lightly, she was outraged and called the rebel attacks as ‘sneaky and treacherous’ and in clear violation of peace negotiations. Having had enough, she said she ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police “to defend every inch of territory against the MILF force.” She warned the rebels that she “will not tolerate and will crush any attempt to disturb peace and development in Mindanao.”
Not to be outdone her cabinet men also expressed similar sentiments as that of the president. Puno said that the government will now be more cautious in dealing with and trusting the MILF or even in talking peace.“They have to accept the fact that their inability to control [their men] changes everything,” he said. He also wants the perpetuators of the attack to be criminally held liable.
President Arroyo’s critics, on the other hand also used the incident to find fault instead of sympathizing with her. Senator Benigno Aquino lll accused her of possibly using the brewing conflict in Mindanao to declare martial law or state of emergency that could extend her term after 2010.
Likewise there is a growing opposition on the MOA-AD. The influential Makati Business Club is against the MOA-AD.
MBC statement said: “We oppose the GRP-MILF Peace Panel Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain because it is flawed in the process just as it is flawed in its provisions. What was lost in the process was any appreciation for legitimacy in a democracy that stems from winning consensus, including the consent of the governed. Many, if not all, of its provisions violate the Constitution, which strangely enough the Memorandum never mentions by name.”
Dimaporo also expressed the disappointment of the residents of Lanao del Norte on the alleged failure of the ARMM to govern the region and are no longer interested be part of the expanded Bangsamoro territory.
Ano Ba Talaga Kuya.
Masama talaga ang loob ng MILF dahil sa naudlot na lagdahan sa MOA-AD kaya nanggugulo daw sila at naghahasik ng karahasan sa Mindanao bilang ganti. Marahil ika nga ay napahiya sila, kaya gumagamit ngayon ng karahasan para puwersahin ang gobierno na ipatupad ang ano mang napagkasunduan nila. Bagamat sa ngayon ay nagpahiwatig na ang gobierno Arroyo na hindi na ito interesado pa sa paglagda ng MOA-AD. Ngunit ito lang ang tanging paraan para matigil ang mga karahasan ayon naman sa mga sumusuporta sa pagsulong ng usapang pangkapayapaan, ang paglagda ng MOA-AD.
Ngunit ayon naman kas House Speaker Nograles, paano naman maisusulong ang usapang pangkapayapaan kung ang pamunuan ng MILF mismo ay hindi niya kayang kontrolin ang kanyang mga field commanders? Ang tanong naman ng mga iba, bakit wala nga bang kinalaman sa mga pagatakeng ito ang pamunoan ng MILF? Bilang namumuno ay sumusunod lang sa kanila ang kanilang mga tauhan.
Sa isang banda, kung tutuosin, tanging si Pangulong Arroyo lang din naman daw ang dapat sisihin sa mga nangyayaring ito ayon sa pananaw ng kanyang mga kritiko. Bakit nga daw hindi, e di naman lang kinusulta ng kanyang mga peace negotiators ang mga opisyales na local at tao na apektado sa pagbibigay sa Bangsamoro ng kanilang teriroryo.
May mga nagsasabi na lalawak pa ang kaguluhang ito dahil sa pagkaudlot ng paglagda sa naturang kasunduan. Mahihirapan na muli ang pamahalaan na himukin ang mga rebeldeng Muslim upang muling makipag-usap sa pamahalaan para sa kapayapaan. Dahil ditto mas matinding kaguluhan pa raw ang aasahan dahil wala na tawila pa ang mga rebelde sa isinusulong ng kapayapaan ng pamahalaan. Tanong naman ng mga nakakarami na ayaw sa MOA-AD, wala na bang iba pang daan tungo sa kapayapaan?