Monday, July 28, 2008

My crystal ball says…

By Erick San Juan

We should read the handwritings on the wall even before the lightning strikes.

Now, we have seen the flash of the light across the sky. In fact, we are just waiting for the thunder’s roar. We are also waiting to hear where it slammed and what it did. But certainly, elusive peace continues to loom over horizons of southern Philippines. Only the Great Architect of the Universe knows until when this volatile and potentially catastrophic scenario can last.

And for as long as the superpowers continue dipping their dirty fingers on Philippine politics and persist on looking at the geography of the Philippines on the context of world economic and defense domination, Filipinos, especially the greedy political species, will never quit donning the mask of a fierce fighter for human dignity, but in real life are tame, cowed and subjugated.

The disclosure made on July 25 by Mojaqir Iqbal, spokesman of the peace panel of the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), came with not even an iota of surprise to us. Since a month ago, our crystal ball has consistently told us that the undue manipulation by several “foreign chefs” is bound to derail the formal peace-talks scheduled on August 5, in Kuala Lumpur.

Outwardly, the MILF only says that it rejects facing President Gloria Arroyo’s minions before the negotiating table, because of the political double-talk that they have been getting from the government panel. They never made public, the truth that the interest of their sponsors in the oil-rich Arab world is to keep the brave Filipino souls Balkanized, so that they may unceasingly avail of a steady stream of intelligently fierce mujahideens.

On the other hand, aided by Australia (which is a proxy of the British empire), the United States finds the geographical position of the Philippines at a crossroad that serves not just as an important sea lane for trade between Asia and the US mainland or its allies, but also as an important line of defense against the terrorists and the military and economic might of China, which is largely regarded as the emerging Asian super-power.

For one, the Presidency of Ms. Arroyo is in a very precarious state. She could be likened to a petit, but mean lady riding on a tiger’s back. She may not like it, but she finds it best to stay. No doubt, she is struggling to cling on to power. In the event she slips, she stands a good chance of getting devoured by her own soldiers.

There appears to be so much truth in the MILF’s charge that the Philippine government has yet to show signs on its sincerity to address the various issues which have stalled the development of the great southern islands for almost a century now. Fact is: the government started on the wrong foot when, in the 1950’s, it made Mindanao a dumping ground of progressive farm hands who felt cheated by Uncle Sam after it subdued Japan in World War II, where they fought, shed blood and left holding the proverbial bag – empty!

Now, Mindanao’s majority of brave, intelligent, ambitious and industrious population of Christians would no longer allow themselves to be placed under the rule of the natives who may be fierce fighters, but whose number and culture is evidently a minority.

But, oozing with braggadocios and the quest for propaganda effects, General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., the new Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process had to resort to issuing unilateral declarations that the government’s peace panel may now consider issue on ancestral domain and the annexation of five more provinces and 712 barangays in Mindanao, which are being pursued by the separatist movement.

As a result, hundreds if not thousands of men under Vice Governor Emmanuel Pinol of North Cotabato, have begun retrieving and oiling the guns they have stashed away for sometime now, while preparing to go to war. Because of mouthful propagandists, Mindanao is starting to experience the resurgence of the “Ilaga,” the “Barracudas,” and the “Sagrado Corazon Senor,” who are better known as the “Tadtad.”

Now that the peace parley is off, all we could do is pray that the volatile ceasefire agreement between the GRP and the MILF will hold. I hope that Mindanao will not be the next Yugoslavia.

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