Arabs’ People Power may serve Mindanao peace- Gen. Almonte

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY  (MindaNews/15 May) –  Retired General Jose Almonte, former National Security Adviser, has urged Moro militants in Mindanao to study closely the People Power  movement sweeping the Arab world “in order not to be on the wrong side of history.”

The distinct character of this movement, he said is what the Syrian rebels call “Silmiyyah” which means peaceful.

“It contrasts sharply with Al Qaeda’s violent methods,” said Almonte during a lecture in a forum organized by the Centrist Democratic Movement (CDM here last Saturday.

The People Power movement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was successful in Egypt and Tunisia. Progressive young people still continue their struggle in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman and Syria.

Almonte said that other MENA nations may follow this “peaceful” upheaval in countries which for centuries have been run under autocratic systems.

The core of the People Power movement in the Arab world are young people who are 30 years old and below. They comprise about 60 percent of the population of the Arab world.

This movement, according to Almonte, does not have the vision of a boundary-less Islam world as envisioned by the Al Qaeda.

“These young citizens of the Arab nations have mobilized a people’s power movement since January this year to peacefully recover their dignity and freedom, and have control over their lives.

Almonte, who served as National Security Adviser and is considered one of the think tanks of the Ramos administration,  believes that the “overwhelming popular support of this peaceful movement has generated promises to negate Osama bin Laden’s legacy of violence if it lives after his death.”

“Perhap our militants in Mindanao must wisely consider this paradigm shift in MENA in order not to be on the wrong side of history,” he said. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)