Bangsamoro: a Prospect for Peace Essay

Last semester, I attended the class of Soc Sci 5, a course which briefly tackled this sensitive topic - Bangsamoro: a Prospect for Peace Essay introduction. The curiosity that left me hanging made me interested to sit and be part of the forum which was fortunately held at the grounds of UPV. From what I initially learned, the continuing disagreement and complaints of the Bangsamoro people is anchored on the historical issue of discrimination and inequality during the colonial and post-colonial period of the Philippines.

That time, lands cultivated and occupied by the Muslims and native people, were taken by businessmen and Christian settlers who were brought by foreign invaders from the large-scale companies and likewise the northern and central part of the Philippines. Then the Bangsamoro people sought autonomy, several provisions and agreements were signed between the parties involved. A lot of people shed blood and lost lives upon the declaration of an all-out war. This issue reached an extent where people have to be killed and homes be shattered, reached a declaration of a ceasefire and instigated probing talks.

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When can this probably stop? Of course, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines is in charge of maintaining stability and protecting its sovereignty from rebellion and insurgence. Ending this disagreement can surely be considered a major political victory. The region of Mindanao is endowed with natural resources, for this reason the Philippine government cannot risk it due to the scarcity of the country’s resources. More importantly, Mindanao has a population of 15 million tax payers and voters which is valuable to the government.

The on going dispute in Mindanao has lost the potential development in the region. I believe that the lack of understanding and communication between the government and the MILF makes it difficult to resolve the problem. I believe that the lack of information dissemination of the Bangsamoro leaders to their people is one which causes dispute and complaints. Personally, I believe an alternative solution to this crisis is that the government should enforce a short term Martial law. The MILF and MNLF should be disarmed.

The group maintained by the Arm forces and private armies empowered by local governments should be disbanded and disarmed. Likewise there should be a ban on all firearms in Mindanao accompanied by rigid sanctions for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Once the people can follow the law and respect the rights of their neighbor, the martial law can be lifted. After which, the government will allocate resources to create jobs, create more schools, build infrastructures such as roads and highways to remote areas. Such improvements will attract foreign investors, which will integrate the Muslim people economically.

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