Is cooperation with terrorists the path to peace and the dream of the #Bangsamoro?

Development has something to do with the mentality of the population and its leadership. In fact, mentality is the starting point, and when you have a nonchalant — pathetic, if we are to be brutal — populace, there is good sense in some times using hyperbolic tones if only to slap the face of the thinking class of the population — which may have to be done repeatedly in the hope that in some days, or one day, it could wake up for or against an issue with the same passion.

"In real life, democracy is built on two practical pillars: cooperation and conflict. It requires BOTH. Cooperation, because people have a natural hunger for solidarity that makes all community possible. Conflict, because people have competing visions of what's right and true. The more deeply they hold their convictions, the more naturally people seek to have those convictions shape society." — Chaput

The major shift today with P-Noy is the emphasis on cooperation, glossing over conflicts. Marcos and Erap emphasized conflict. That cost us a lot of lives. That cost us a lot of money we can't afford. So, we can forget that option; the lessons are clear in the over-emphasis of just one notion.

It is being proclaimed that BBL is just advancing, or improving, what Ramos tried and where Gloria failed. That is totally inaccurate.

Ramos negotiated, but was ever ready to go to war — the reason why that peace deal is looked at as a deal with parity. It looks like it failed today. But that is not because of the deal per se. MNLF's Misuari lost his vision with the attractiveness of power, and money that comes with it. Misuari, a Tausog, was thus seen as discriminating against Maguindanaos as now represented by MILF. But, a lesson has not been learned. We are again negotiating with a group that does not represent all Muslims, not to mention the Lumads and other non-Muslims in ARMM, if not Mindanao.

Gloria can be said to have negotiated, but was never ready to go to war. Because of the Garci Tapes and her consequential paranoia towards coup d'etats, she turned a blind eye, and even encouraged, the corruption of certain generals in the Armed Forces and the Police. That may be true, but she created an alternate political pwer in the ARMM regions in the form of the Ampatuans that could always disturbed whatever the MILF might have been planning. We can, of course, say now that that was a horrible approach for the Amputuans eventually abused their power. But that is not the point. The point is Gloria didn't go to the negotiating table with empty hands, or she went with empty hands but with a manipulative brain.

P-Noy is over-emphasizing cooperation. That is not learning from past mistakes. That is starting from a totally different philosophy. It is exhibited by the more than expected capitulation towards MILF by people in the Peace Panel by the likes of Deles and Ferrer, that a few senators in the on-going Senate Hearing on the Fallen44 had to ask whether these two important persons in the Panel are still on the side of the government, or on the side of rebels. It is exhibited by the heartfelt tears of PNP Espina, SAF Napeñas and AFP Catapang, who all just want to be true professionals in their uniforms, but are now being asked by powers that be in politics, who don't even know they have shifted philosophy, to cover-up the emerging flaws of the philosophy.

How is it possible that Mar Roxas, Volt Gazmin, Gen Guerrero, etc., who literally were rubbing shoulders with P-Noy in Zamboanga, all of a sudden had a mass amnesia on when exactly P-Noy was told of the gravity of the Mamasapano incident? Was that not an example of the cover-up going on live in nationwide TV, if we are really thinking? They could not tell P-Noy because he was in a foul mood? He was in a foul mood because he could no longer take his scheduled 6-hour drive to Cotabato City where he was supposed to be receiving the trophy of a successful fight against terrorism, the slain body, or a cut finger at the very least, of Marwan???

The new philosophy is likewise exhibited by the hesitancy of P-Noy to condemn the barbaric act on the Fallen 44. The hesitancy of course comes from the fact that MILF combatants are the primary suspects, even if eventually it may be proven that BIFF were the ones who massacred the 44.

Maybe, it is a good philosophy. But if it is that good, why go through all this expensive motions of having Hearings and Investigations that are just focused on what is being made to appear as lack of proper coordination between PNP and AFP? — if this is not the master ploy to cover-up something bigger, what is? If we have found a philosophy that is that good because it emphasizes cooperation with the enemy at all cost to arrive at peace then why bother if PNP coordinated well with AFP? — this is after all an operational requirement that should be improved daily. I just don't see how grandstanding legislators could improve in the glare of TV.

Maybe, it is good because it is a philosophy of pursuing peace at all costs whether that means bringing down the dignity of the Presidency of the republic as an equal to the leader of a belligerent group. So, why was the meeting of P-Noy and Murad in Tokyo at first kept a secret? It is a philosophy of accomodation of turning the other cheek when one cheek is slapped. So, why the hesitancy of Deles and Ferrer to might as well admit fully that they are on the aide of MILF, who are ones that have been oppressed for a long time and thus, have now the right to slap us in any way they want? We are not belittling the neglect of Mindanao, but how can BBL convince us that it is something close to panacea that it is being trumpeted it to be.

Maybe, it is good philosophy because it gave us the illusion that there was already peace. So, even if in the planning of P-Noy, Purisma and Napeñas classified MILF under the category of enemies on paper, this didn't translate into the actual precautionary measures, Why? Because there was supposed to be a peace being negotiated? An illusion that generated a mentality? A mentality that generated carelessness? Deles and Ferrer should be tried for treason if they are the ones responsible for this illusion.

But, if it is a good philosophy, it should stand on its own. There is no need to threaten the whole nation that if BBL is not passed by Congress, the only alternative is war. But, I thought the problems of Mindanao are complex. If it is a good philosophy, there is no need to rush its passage by ramming it down the throat of the nation as if this was another Corona impeachment process.

Or, do they know that they have introduced a new philosophy? A philosophy that has never been tested and tried. It is way in the opposite side of which the above article talks about. What has been tried and tested is that you don't negotiate peace if you are not ready to go to war. Let us first go back to that basic before we bet on BBL as we also urge everybody to remove the mentality that Lotto could make us rich.

Again, the two practical pillars: cooperation and conflict.. we have no choice but to accept both for that is reality…. We don't need illusions for as proven by the Fallen 44, this can be fatal.

I wiill end with another quote from Chaput;

"..democracy is not an end in itself. Majority opinion doesn't determine what's good and true. Like every other form of power, democracy can become a means of repression, a slavery in disguise. Democracy—for all its strengths—also carries the seeds of its own kind of social tyranny. The reason is simple. Democracy advances the forces of mass culture. Those same forces tend to narrow the aims of life from beauty, heroic virtue, and transcendent meaning to the pursuits of work, material consumption and entertainment. Human life settles into 'a one-dimensional materialism and [a diminished moral] existence' that undermine human dignity and eventually tend to a withering of the spirit.

"To put it another way: The right to pursue happiness does not include a right to excuse or ignore evil in ourselves or anyone else. When we divorce our politics from a grounding in virtue and truth, we transform our country from a living moral organism into a kind of golem of legal machinery without a soul.

"This is why working for good laws is so important. This is why getting involved politically is so urgent. This is why every one of our votes matters. We need to elect the best public leaders, who then create the best policies and appoint the best judges. This has a huge impact on the kind of nation we become. Democracies depend for their survival on people of conviction fighting for what they believe in the public square—legally and peacefully, but zealously and without apologies. That includes all of us."

Kierkegaard once wrote that "the introspection of silence is the condition of all educated intercourse," and that a culture of constant chattering "is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.

Now, in the silence of introspection let us be on guard of false coup d'etat. There are powers today that will try to retain that power, and these powers are masters in manipulation, illusion, slogan, one-liners, and propaganda. I would like to think our political system presumes a good foundation, a thinking that has worked, and that pre-exists this state.

If you are confused, go back to something basic and fundamental.

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