War in Mindanao is anti-women for it is anti-development.
As an advocate of woman empowerment, it is my personal opinion that wars in my home province stifle the chance of many Bangsamoro women to develop themselves personally, professionally and culturally.
To be tied with the culture of war, there is no hope for my fellow Muslim women to achieve a well-balanced life. They do not deserve to live and die for war. They have the basic rights to live in a decent, peaceful and supportive environment.
War is not an option for me. Exhausting all means for peace is the best solution to solving the conflict in Mindanao. Development will be a mere lip service if war pushes through.
The efforts of the present government to ink peace with the MILF should be a welcomed development. If met with a repressive culture of common bias against the Muslims, the peace talks will never prosper. The point is, working for peace is not the job of the Office of the President alone but the responsibility of all sectors.
Who wants the peace talks between the government and the MILF to succeed? Is it only the Office of the President? How about the other sectors in the government? These are important questions.
If you think that you have no place in this peace talks just because you are not directly affected, then you are WRONG. Everyone has a stake in this. We are all connected by history and race.
Government budget is consumed by sustaining the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Mindanao because of the unending war. It is disheartening to watch fellow Filipinos fighting each other when in fact there are foreign enemies lurking above our heads.
The government needs to ink a peace agreement with the MILF to stop the infighting, so that both sectors can move on to another high level task---to develop Mindanao.
If the government fails to ink peace agreement with the present members of the MILF core group, then they will be wasting time and previous efforts. People aged and soon nature will take its course. If the core members will not be physically capable to pursue the talks owing to their aging bodies and minds, then a NEW GENERATION OF FIGHTERS will come in.
Youth spells passion and bloody activism. Let us pray they have the peaceful inclination to continue what their predecessors have left behind.
Although I could not help it but feel impatient with the unresolved peace talks between the government and the MILF, since the time I have been covering it as a community editor and now as a blogger, it is still best to welcome the talks with optimism even if certain developments say otherwise.
God will always help all efforts for peace.
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