MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/01 December) — We kept our silence in the ongoing fighting in Butig. We may share same sentiments and ideology with the group fighting there, but we differ in methodoloy and approach. To call us sympathizers and doing propaganda for them is hilarious.
Our interest is the general welfare of the Bangsamoro, in this incident — the People of Ranaw.
This is not the first time that a “False flag Operation” was staged in Moroland. Numerous. But just to mention one. Remember the 2003 Davao Bombings? In 2003, civil society leaders met with PGMA (President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) in Iligan City. I was part of that CSO delegation to discuss the ongoing fighting between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that year.
No less than PGMA along with his National Security Council adviser and other Cabinet officials present disclosed to us that the bombings were perpetrated by third party wanting to destabilize her administration and not the work of any Moro rebel group. And this was seconded (months later by) the Magdalo officers who occupied Oakwood in Makati, that they received orders from their superiors to bomb mosques and churches to ignite Christian-Muslim animosity in Davao.
President Duterte knew this. That is why we are concerned that the President should expand his listening ears and not only listen to his Generals and Peace Advisers whom we know are tradpols (traditional politicians) and have vested interests in Mindanao.
You are still our President.
Personally, you may not remember me but I was part of a delegation of Meranaws who met with you in Marco Polo Hotel sometime n February this year. You promised us many things. In your words: “Wag muna kayo manggulo, antayin nyo ako.” You were referring to the failure of the PNoy administration to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
But Mr. President, (we are) beginning to fear that instead of giving us what we Moros aspire, we are being further militarized and the peace talks are just part of another dilly-dallying judging from your different and conflicting Peace Tracks that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is pursuing.
I fear that your power is slowly changing and corrupting you, that the warnings you issued against the Maute Group may be addressed to all of us fighting for our Self-Determination, na pag hindi kami sumunod you will be “forced to do harsh action.”
Harsh? We know what harsh is, Mr. President, we’ve been a victim of countless massacres, we lost tens of thousands in this decades-old conflict. We lost most of our lands to settlers from Luzon.
But make no mistake Mr. President, your predecessors already tried that option and they all failed. And regarding a statement you uttered recently na kung gugustuhin mo eh kaya mo sunugin o bombahin lahat ng mga bahay naming Moro na para bang kaya mo kaming ubusin?
You may not mean it, but please don’t do that in public. For now, at least I can speak for my groups, we can assure you that we will not take part in any destabilization plot against you. We are still behind you. So please don’t fail us! Stop listening to your warmonger Generals and Peace Advisers. #DuterteStillOurPresident. . (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Drieza A. Lininding is the Secretary-General of the Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development (BNMPD) and co-founder of the militant youth organization, Free The Bangsamoro Movement)