Federalism is a subject matter that has occupied its Philippine advocates over the last three or four decades but has only gained traction through the candidate Duterte. A lot of us are somewhat familiar with the concept, but allow me to examine Federalism thru the prism of the people of the South – particularly people from Mindanao – where the concept is much more understood.
"Federalism is novel to the Philippines and it is understandable if it may appear frightening to some, changes usually are. Let us leave this matter to the wisdom of the national leadership but let us not be curtailed nor hampered iin presenting ground opinions for consideration and due study"
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.