(Statement of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance on the Cotabato City bombing)
The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) condemns the IED Explosion in Cotabato City killing two and wounding 30 on the eve of the New Year.
This dastardly act kills innocent bystanders and destroys the trust and spirit of free and democratic discussion on the inclusion or exclusion of Cotabato City in the scheduled Plebiscite on the RA 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao comes January 21, 2019.
IAG is saddened by the deterioration of the free discussion on the subject with people finger pointing on who are responsible for the bombing with NO concrete evidences.
With this disconcerting development in the City, IAG makes the following calls:
- a CALL for sobriety and calmness in the City and avoid, at all times, finger-pointing on persons/groups with NO evidences;
- a CALL for the Security Forces to conduct a thorough investigation on the bombing and not simply resort to blaming the usual bogey people – the “terrorists”; and
- a CALL for ALL COTABATENOS NOT TO ALLOW FEW EVIL MEN, by words and deeds, destroy the trust and friendship built through the years.
Let us all face the challenges of the forthcoming Plebiscite with complete confidence in our belief and full respect for the differences in positions vis-à-vis BOL and the inclusion or exclusion of the City.
IAG believes that, in the end, the good and the true shall prevail, perhaps not in the immediate but in the fullness of time. It is for this reason that IAG is full of optimism for the RA 11054 whatever the results of the Plebiscites on January 21 and February 6, 2019.
In conclusion, whether we are for or against inclusion, we do NOT forget that we are all united and stakeholders to peace and development of Mindanao, in particular, and the Philippines, as a whole.