The fears and concerns of ordinary people PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 May 2014 11:01



People on the ground, living their ordinary lives with little influence on the decision-making process that affect their  lives —  people like you and me — do not understand much such weighty matters like national  security, wealth sharing, and similar topics. We are more concerned about such matters as

* Will I and my family be safe in our home or when we move about in the city streets?

* Will I be able to find employment or run a business?

* Will we be free to keep and/or acquire property?

* Will we be free to worship as we are used to do?

* Will we be able to pursue our legitimate aspirations as citizens of this country?

These and similar  items  are the concerns of ordinary citizens  as we stand on the verge of the historic Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamaoro (CAB).

Part of the  problem is that we went through our experience of hope and anxiety for the 1996 agreement that led to the formation of the ARMM, only to see that little of the hope was realized and more of the anxieties came to be. It is only natural then that people, both of the Bangsamoro and those who are not, are not exactly leaping for joy and jubilation at the prospects of the CAB and the autonomous  governance of the BE.

I have a friend who is Zamboanga City-born. Some years into her marriage, when her children were grown, she and her husband moved to Cebu. I remember the day when she remarked how much freer she felt in Cebu. When she and her husband felt like stopping for something to eat after a late movie, there was no hesitation related to physical safety. When she and her friends felt like going to a resort a couple of hours drive away there was no hesitation to do so.  Her experience in Zamboanga was not like that at all. Her unease in Zamboanga was made worse when a dear family friend was taken from his home and kept by his kidnappers for some time, he with his health condition and need for maintenance medicines. Will our sense of physical security be better whether ZC becomes part, or not, of the BE? Questions like this cannot be pooh-poohed away.

When the brouhaha over the Dacon property in Recodo broke out I could not help wondering if one day someone, some group,  will come forward and claim to be the rightful owner of the subdivision in which my family has lived in our own house for the last 45 years.  What will we do then?  I have no  position on the controversy between Dacon and the claimants . But if Dacon with its corporate muscle can be subjected to this situation, what can  ordinary property owners like me look forward to if a claimant of the subdivision pops up? This is not a “making monsters in the sky” attitude in light of the pronouncements of some Bangsamoro groups that the whole of Mindanao is to be claimed as rightfully theirs.

There are many people like me who are ready to live in an inclusive society where people are free to live their own lives so long as the rights  of all are respected, protected  and assured. Who can give us this assurance?