U.P. DILIMAN, Quezon City: The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) has paid tribute to the 7th Anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), we making it as historic agreement possible.
In a statement sent to the Philippine Muslim Today, Amina Rasul, president of PCID said as we celebrate, we at the PCID are concerned the support for the effective implementation of the CAB that has been sidelined by the pressing need to respond to COVID19 and other national priorities.
“Yet while we battle the pandemic, we still have to grapple with the horrors of violent extremism. It becomes imperative for us – especially national government – to bolster the foundation of peace in the south,” Rasul said.
“Those who seek to destroy the emerging peace do not rest even with COVID19 running rampant. As the country suffers from the pandemic, the Muslim South is further burdened with suicide bombings. People in conflict areas are going hungry, with promised jobs unrealized and income opportunities lost,” she added.
Rasul also said under such dire circumstances, the fires of extremism are easily stoked. The nation and state can ill afford another conflagration in the south.
Meanwhile, the PCID president also said that looking back, the success of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) unduly suffered from the unanticipated burdens of implementation, unequally shared by the regional and national government.
Rasul lamented that the new Autonomous Region in Muslim MIndanao (ARMM) administration, led by former warriors with little background in administration of a bureaucracy, appeared to have been left to fend for themselves.
She emphasized the clamor was for autonomy- therefore let the region run itself, without interference. National policy makers seem to think this was the logical consequence of establishing an autonomous region. However, in hindsight, “we see the failures that resulted were as much a fault of the ARMM as it was of the national government,” Rasul also said.
Rasul also emphasized one of the mistakes committed was setting a short transition period for the new leadership to acquire the necessary administrative and managerial skills.
She pointed out that a barangay captain probably would have more skills in administration than combatants, whose expertise was blowing up buildings, certainly not building or maintaining structures.
“Let us learn from the ARMM experience and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. The consequences may be far more costly, living as we are in even more perilous times,” Rasul explained.