Ive been browsing the net for world events when I stumbled on these. I decided to snatch and reprint the articles than simply link to them, instead. I think they are quite intriguing:
MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino has called on lawmakers to pass a bill endorsing a pact aimed at ending a decades-long Muslim separatist rebellion, warning them they would otherwise start counting “body bags.”
Aquino had wanted the bill, which would give autonomy to the majority Catholic nation’s Muslim minority in the south, passed this month.
But Congress suspended debates on the proposed law in the face of public outrage over the killings of 44 police commandoes by guerrillas in a botched anti-terror raid in January.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed a peace deal a year ago Friday, had said its members fired in self-defense at the commandoes, who passed through a rebel camp while going after militants.
“This is the crossroads we face: we take pains to forge peace today, or we count body bags tomorrow,” Aquino said in a nationwide television address.
“Perhaps it is easy for you to push for all-out war,” he said, hitting out at critics who have condemned the peace deal with the MILF.
“But if the conflict grows, the number of Filipinos shooting at other Filipinos will grow, and it would not be out of the question that a friend or loved one be one of the people who will end up inside a body bag.”
The rebellion for a separate state or self-rule has claimed nearly 120,000 lives and cost billions of dollars in economic losses, according to government estimates.
Under a peace deal signed with the MILF, the 10,000-member group pledged to disarm while the Philippine government vowed to pass an autonomy law in Muslim areas of the south.
“The Bangsamoro basic law is one of the most important proposed bills of our administration. It answers the two most pressing problems of our countrymen: poverty and violence,” Aquino said.
He warned it would be difficult to restart peace talks if the current process failed and the MILF leadership lost its influence among its members to more radical elements.
Aquino is required by the constitution to stand down in mid-2016 after serving a single six-year term.
The January police raid sought to capture or kill two men on the US government’s list of “most wanted terrorists” who were living among Muslim rebels in southern Philippine farming communities.
One of the men, Malaysian national Zulkifli bin Hir who had a $5-million bounty on his head, was reported killed.
But the other, Filipino Abdul Basit Usman, escaped as rebels surrounded and killed the police commandoes.
No, Mr. President, “total war” is too big a phrase to use. Let’s forget the big joke called Bangsamoro Basic Law and let law and order, no one above the law, take their course for all Filipinos irregardless of ethnic and religious affiliations.
No, Mr President, it is not autonomy the MILF, co-author of Bangsamoro Basic Law, is demanding for Muslim Filipinos. We already have the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao [ARMM] long established in there since 1989. The Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front sees itself as different from Filipinos.They hope to cut away southern Philippines – territory and its people.
Also, poverty and rebellion are common, national problems of Filipinos. They will need blanket solutions for patch-up.
Yes, Mr. President, nothing is free. Whichever way people choose to take they will have to pay no less.
Except for one comment seen bellow, Arab News decided to close for comments on the article. I think, what we see there is just a sample, the tip, of Filipinos who are sick and tired of double talks and treachery.
Filipinos demand no more than their rights and they are prepared to pay.
This comment from PNoy shows his understanding of the situation is not sufficient to resolve the Mindanao muslim dilemna. He wants to capitulate to the demands of the Bangsamoro, or else our side suffers? That is a perspective from a position of weakness. He means to tell us that it is a certainty that we would be counting body-bags? Who will be in those body bags? Our personnel? This is the mentality of an over-cautious, vision-less and pessimistic coward and sloth. The first thing we need to do is assess the situation, and what the consequences of our actions will be. We also have to consider our position, or what our rightful place is. We are the sovereign Filipino people, and our antagonists are the MILF, its comrades the BIFF, JIM, and other muslim bandit groups, and the NDF. We are the superior, and they are the inferior. So, we do not treat them as if they are equal to us. We don’t even need to negotiate with them, but it is they who need to negotiate with us. We should always keep in mind that we do not accede to their unreasonable demands, specially if they threaten us with unprovoked retaliation if they don’t get their way. No one is above the law, most specially those who have demonstrated their defiance of the law. So, the best way to do this is to end this conflict once and for all, and that is to direct our Armed Forces to exterminate these criminals, rebels, secessionists and terrorists. /// [This is a cut version from its original, cut by rltjs.wordpress.com ]