How long has the Philippines been at war with communist insurgents and Islamic terrorists? Since at least 1970. That's 37 years. And what of the cost?
The Mindanao war has cost the Philippine government a staggering P2.013 trillion during the 31-year period from 1970 to 2001, an amount nearly equivalent to the P2.606 trillion 2015 national budget.
The years of fighting had killed nearly 120,000 people, excluding the tens of thousands of wounded from both sides and civilians caught in the crossfire. It was a bloody conventional warfare as the MNLF forces directly attacked military camps and installations.
2,000,000,000,000 pesos!!! That's only from 1970 - 2001. How much more has been spent in the past 16 years? And why has this war been allowed to continue for nearly 40 years now? Could the leadership of the AFP be that incompetent that they can't get a few terrorists under control within 40 years? And how about the government who is deluded enough to think peace talks will solve anything.
The war ended when the Philippine government and MNLF signed the historic peace agreement on Sept. 2, 1996 during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos.
But the 1996 peace accord was disrupted when the breakaway group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) protested the signing and continued its war with the government.
A ceasefire was signed in 1997 but this did not last long when a new administration under President Joseph Estrada declared an all-out war against the MILF in the summer of 2000 after the rebels launched several attacks on military and civilian population.
It was only during the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that peace talks between the government and the MILF resumed sometime in 2004.
However, fighting erupted anew in 2008 when the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) about to be signed was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
It was only in 2009 that the peace process reopened during the remaining six months of the Arroyo government and was pursued by a new administration under President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd in 2010 that resulted in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and MILF on March 27, 2014.
Its a rollercoaster ride of war, ceasefire and peace talks, war, ceasefire and peace talks, etc, etc, ad nauseam.
Who cares if the MNLF is committed to the peace process. Of course this group wants peace rather than annihilation. Why would the government, after spending trillions and after losing the lives of thousands, seek peace with these murderous terrorists? Why would they give them a piece of Mindanao as their own autonomous region? Why would the Philippine government sanction a terrorist state in their midst? After all the time, money, and lives wasted in the war against Islamic terrorists why would the government surrender?
The MNLF is not committed to peace. If they were they would surrender unconditionally. They MNLF is committed to watching the Philippine government capitulate to their demands and hand over to them their very own state! And the government is stupid enough grant their wish.
Duterte said he and the MILF leaders would meet on Monday to hold “frank” discussions on the provisions of the BBL.
“The BBL has been completed. And the MI (MILF) will give it to me, I will sign it during the Eid’l Fitr,” the president told reporters in Cagayan de Oro City last Wednesday.
He was referring to the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to be celebrated on Monday.
“We made a promise to the (MILF) that it would be on time. And we’ll meet in Malacañan on Eid’l Fitr,” Duterte said.
“It would be better to be frank. It’s time to be candid and to be brutally frank. What is this? (Will this) document (be) the floodgate of peace in the land of Mindanao?” he added.
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), a panel with representatives from the government, the MILF and local stakeholders, has completed the draft BBL earlier this month. The measure aims to form a new Bangsamoro political entity with enhanced political and economic powers
The blood of thousands of innocent Filipinos cries out from the ground!