The question of trust PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 March 2015 14:17



The TV commercial in an international channel was an ad for a high  end watch  and used  the phrase “ The luxury of trust”.  The word luxury calls to my end such things as improbably-priced Swiss watches, the  overnight rates for  presidential suites  at some hotels, cars like the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, etc.  All of which are a million miles from where I stand.

But “The luxury of trust”? That is something new for me. I have always presumed that trust should be a common  element in human transactions although I know that it is not always so. Nevertheless to learn that  trust is considered  a luxury is to make one want to weep.

The question of trust in the GRP-MILF negotiations came up shortly after  the tragic Mamasapano incident of January 25 but this question must have been in the hearts and minds of people on both sides, considering recent historical realities.  However, the desire for peace from both sides (I hope) relegated the question to the sideline, kept it unarticulated but simmering. It took the Mamasapano tragedy for it to boil over.

Why was not the MILF informed that an operation will be undertaken in their territory ?  Why were the two terrorists given safe haven in the territory?  Were the BIFF forces  operating on their own when the SAF was attacked? Were the BIFF and the MILF acting in tandem in the attack?  Why did not the MILF contact the AFP at the start of the attack to clarify the status of the SAF incursion into MILF territory? Questions ad infinitum, all raising the big question of trust in the sincerity of the negotiations for the establishment of the  Bangsamoro Entity.

Now the BBL is in some kind of legal limbo.

Along with so many others in Mindanao I am for the establishment of a mechanism that will bring about the hope that we all have for a peaceful Mindanao. What that mechanism will be has been  the crux of the negotiations  between the GRP and the MILF and its specifics are  the provisions of the BBL.  I like to believe that the Mamasapano tragedy happened as a reminder from God that the way ahead will be a difficult one, and will be doubly  rocky unless we learn to trust each other and unless we remain TRUE to that trust.

This may sound dictatorial but only those who have stakes in Mindanao have a right to clamor for “all out war”  because of  Mamasapano. We grieve  with the families of  all those who lost their lives on January 25. All those who clamor for war should be ready to grieve with the survivors of the thousands who will surely perish should the dignified pursuit for peace in Mindanao fail. Or these war mongers  themselves can come and fight the battles until victory is achieved.