MANIFESTO OF THE
MINDANAO ALLIANCE FOR PEACE
The Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP), a broad alliance of civil society organizations, people’s organization and individual peace advocates in Mindanao, strongly believes that a negotiated political settlement is still the best way of resolving the age-old conflict in Mindanao .
The alliance believes that prolonging the impasse in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will inevitably lead to war between the two protagonists. It could also tempt and invite anti-peace groups and peace spoilers to take advantage of the precarious situation.
The alliance is fully aware that when war breaks out between the GRP and the MILF, it will adversely affect not only the Bangsamoro people but the Filipino people as well. In like manner, the dividends of peace, will ultimately redound to the best interest not only of the Bangsamoro but also of the Filipino people.
Let everyone be reminded that engaging in war is always costly and catastrophic that it could deplete further the meager resources of the government that are better used instead on productive efforts.
To cast a little glance on how much the government spends on war campaign, the article, “ Mindanao : Land Raped and Plundered” gives us the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Accordingly, during President Estrada’s all-out war in 2000, “PhP 6 billion was spent on war or a billion peso higher than what the government spent on building schools nationwide.”
The paper also claimed that the “cost of one 105mm howitzer fired to Buliok Complex is P730,000 or an equivalent to 1,123 bags of certified rice seeds at PhP650 per bag”. And the government did not spend on howitzer and mortar shell alone.
With this premises, the alliance issues the following manifesto:
We call the GRP and the MILF to immediately resume the peace negotiations between them and for them to honor the consensus points on ancestral domain that they already agreed upon. We see the immediate resumption of the peace talks as the only way to obviate the possibility of war that may break out in our midst once again.
We also call on the Philippine government to postponed the election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) set on August 11, 2008. This undoubtedly poses as a hindrance in the peace talks. For even if a comprehensive peace agreement may be signed soon, the implementation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) will take effect until the terms of the elected ARMM official shall have been finished. Clearly, holding the ARMM election is a sign that the government is not sincere in its peace negotiations with the MILF.
And, as we will all be victims when war erupts in ourt midst, we call on every Bangsamoro people and on every peace-loving individual, for that matter, to unite with us in letting our voices be heard that we want PEACE now for we have been suffering the brunt od war for so long.
Finally, we support, respect and uphold the legitimate struggle of the Bangsamoro People for freedom and right to self-determination.