Moro youth to MNLF and MILF: unite!

Some 50 youth leaders were part of around 60 participants of the Youth Caravan for Peace from Mindanao to Corregidor that was organized by  the Mindanao Peoples Caucus from March 13 to 18.

In front of the respective representatives of the central committees of the MNLF and the MILF, who were invited to the commemoration to also deliver their own messages, the youth representatives shouted at the top of their voice their demand for unity by both political fronts.

Madhie Amelia, secretary-general of the United Youth for Peace and Development said they were aware that the MNLF and the MILF have been talking about possible unification, "but we want you to exert more efforts on it and hasten its processes."

Occasionally interrupted by Arabic chants of "Allah is great" that echoed in the old hospital building that was used as headquarters of the massacred Moro youths on March 18, 1968, Amelia said that "it is high time that the MNLF and the MILF consider this serious call from us—you should unite for our future."

This developed after the MNLF confirmed that a unity talks between them and the MILF has been going on for quite a time already.

MNLF Vice Chair Jimmy Labawan, who represents the MNLF in the "unity talks" with the MILF, said he was "optimistic we will achieve something concrete and laudable soon."

Labawan, who has been running the affairs of the MNLF since Chairman Nur Misuari's incarceration seven years ago, said that in their last meeting on March 15, the MNLF and the MILF already agreed to submit their respective "unity agenda."

"From our respective unity agenda, we will pick on what are worth commonly pursued," he said.

While Labawan was not keen on an organizational unification of both Fronts, he said that "an issue or agenda-based unity" was "very possible" between the MNLF and the MILF.

While he was confident on an "issue-based unity," Labawan said that "a unity or a merger of the two Fronts may not be possible though.

The youth leaders who came to unveil a marker for the Jabidah massacre victims were also joined by Jibin Arula, the lone survivor of that tragic event on March of 1968.

Arula, 67, also shared the call of the youths.

He said that he was no longer expecting the MNLF and the MILF to reunite in the near future but stressed in an interview that the "unification would be very advantageous for the people of Mindanao.'

Arula, who narrated to the youths how he survived the massacre, said that while it was then President Ferdinand Marcos who was responsible for the massacre, he is "still holding the government accountable" for that killing 40 years back.

"Until now, the justice that I wanted to be accorded by slain brothers is nwhere in sight," Arula said in the dialect.

"I also call on this government to once and for all consider and prioritize Mindanao after several years of decade," the massacre survivor said.

Arula was part of the celebration as he was also honored both by the Moro elders and the youth. (Mindanao Peoples Caucus)

Comments

comments