Mixed reactions greeted the emergence of Moro National Liberation Front founding chair Nur Misuari from over three years of hiding.
Here in the Philippines, we have learned from decades of addressing ethnic conflict against the state that peace and development is a chicken and egg question.
The recent armed conflict between two groups within the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is sending the Philippine government a message: Even within the group’s hierarchy, internal conflicts could erupt anytime. The Philippine government should prepare mechanisms on how to prevent internal armed conflicts within the MILF organization before it signs a peace pact with the country’s largest militant organization.
Mindanaoans and citizens who do not belong to the affluent and vote-rich Metro Manila and Central Luzon always complain about Imperial Manila’s control over government resources and services. This has been the driver of the federalism train, particularly in Mindanao.
There are voices in the Philippine discussion about federalism who predict a disaster if ever a federalist system is established.