Chiz: Gov't should not negotiate with Abu Sayyaf, terrorists
MANILA, Philippines – No negotiations with terrorists.
That’s what vice presidential bet Francis Escudero said on Sunday, April 10, when candidates were asked how they would solve breakdown of peace and order in parts of Mindanao.
Escudero said there should be no dealings with terrorists, as they should be exterminated by the government.
Escudero maintained that poverty is the main problem that gives rise to rebellion, crimes, and terrorism even in other parts of the country.
"Walang usapang negosasyon dapat sa teroristang Abu Sayyaf. Dapat hanapin, pulbusin, at ubusin sila ng gobyerno. Kung pag-uusapan naman rebelyon at peace and order problem sa Mindanao, at para sa akin, kahirapan ang ugat ng rebelyon; kahirapan ang ugat ng krimen. Hanggat hindi natin tinutugunan ang problema ng kahirapan, palaging may kriminal, palaging may rebelyon," he said.
(There should be no talk or negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf. The government should find and exterminate them. If we talk about rebellion and peace and order problem in Mindanao, for me, poverty is the cause of rebeliion and crime. Until poverty is solved, there will always be criminals and rebellion.)
Senators Escudero and Gregorio Honasan II shared the same sentiment that poverty and social injustice are the root causes of rebellion and terrorism.
Honasan, for his part, said basic services such as food, shelter, and education, should be prioritized.
“We need to address root causes, social injustices, poverty, hunger, ignorance, homelessness," Honasan said.
While Escudero said there should be no negotiations with terrorists, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a former marine, disagreed, saying it is the only way to deal with secessionists.
Trillanes said all-out war is not the solution, citing its supposed failure during the time of former President Joseph Estrada.
“Pero ginawa na po natin 'yan, di nag-work. Nakuha natin 'yung places pero umalis na sila. Pag iniwan ang mga baril at nakihalo sa ordinaryong sibilyan, di mo na sila mahahanap,” Trillanes said.
(We already did that but it did not work out. We already got the places but they already left. Once they leave the guns, it would be difficult to spot them with ordinary citizens.)
He then proposed the creation of autonomous regions in Central Mindanao and in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
“Historically magkaiba 'yan, di sila pwede pag-isahin. Those are the major flaws of policy makers – pinag-iisa pero talagang hiwalay sila,” he said.
(They are different historically. They should not be merged into one. Those are the major flaws of policy makers. They keep them as one but they should be separated.)
Trillanes also emphasized the need for more soliders and a strengthened military intelligence operations.
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, meawhile, said he would push for the continuation of peace process, as it is the solution to “true and lasting peace” in Mindanao.
He once again slammed the Malacañang-proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law for being unconstitutional and for excluding other groups in the island region.
Marcos is the chairman of the Senate committee on local government.
"Kailangan ipagpatuloy. Naibigay ng Palasyo na BBL ay di talaga magdadala ng kapayapaan, labag sa Constitution. Kailangan lahat ng sector kasama.. Ako ay nag-file ng substitute bill that was inclusive, and that included the different elements that we need for the process to succeed," Marcos said.
(The law proposed by the Palace would not bring peace. It's unconstitutional. You have to include other sectors [in the talks].)
For Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, only federalism can solve the problem in Mindanao, echoing the key platform of his presidential bet Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Cayetano cited poverty and the "historical injustice" among muslims in Mindanao as the reason for continued struggle in the island region.
“It is only federalism na magkakasundo ang MNLF, gobyerno, payag po sundalo. Ang di lang sang-ayon ay 'yung mga nakikinabang sa sistema ngayon, 'yung lalong yumayaman sa sistema ngayon,” Cayetano said.
(It's only federalism that [other camps] like the MNLF, the government, and soldiers agree on. The only ones who are against it are those who benefit from the current system, those who get richer because of the current system.) – Rappler.com
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