In a speech during the Philippine-Qatar Business Forum, held in Doha, Qatar on April 15, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterated again his promise to address the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people, and, without saying, to set up a genuine self-governing Bangsamoro political entity, something higher and better than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In this uncertain times, self-less leaders are needed; those who think and act for the sake of the common good and higher interests of their people. They are who exhibit great wisdom and ability in the directing the affairs, say of the Bangsamoro people. They are what we must refer to as statesmen.

The rising radicalisation of peoples especially the younger generation continues to be the concern of everybody. The MILF is not an exception. 

But radicalization, per se, is not bad, because it is way to shortcut the pathway if the normal course is so circuitous, rough or bumpy. The word radical” is popularly used to designate individuals, parties, and movements that wish to alter drastically any existing practice, institution, or social system.

Even in death former dictator-strongman Ferdinand Marcos continues to torment everybody. How much more if he were alive today. But he is already dead and whatever we say he does not hear nor see.  He now belongs to the next world. The punishment for the sins he had committed cannot be physically applied to him. The children who were minor then like   Bongbong, Imee, Irene, and Aimee cannot assume the sins of the father. Surely, Imelda Marcos, the wife and partner in the so-called “Conjugal Dictatorship”, can partake of the excesses of Martial Law.

“...Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom.”

This is what God says in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-’An’am, verse 151, regarding capital punishment for certain crimes especially murder.

If available information about the ongoing GPH-NDFP peace talks is going to be the basis of projecting what is in store for this peace process, the best description we can say is that it is uneasy. For instance, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) wants all political prisoners released before any formal ceasefire is signed, while President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants a formal ceasefire agreement in place before any further release. Clearly, there is a state of head-on collision of their respective positions.

Promoting close ties and cooperation with immediate neighbors is a sound foreign policy. Its should be pursued and sustained in both its long and short term considerations. There is nothing to lose but more to gain.

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