When President Duterte, at the start of his speech in Malacanang, gave me special credit as one of the “pioneering spirits” in the country’s peace process, it was unexpected. I am not attempting here to appear solicitous or “sipsip” if you may ( as I am no longer in government) but it has to be acknowledged by all that this Bangsamoro milestone would have not been really possible were it not for the fact that a Mayor Duterte is now sitting there in Malacanang as president.
It had indeed been a long unfulfilled pipe dream spanning several presidencies — amidst violence , conflict, death and poverty .And I was practically there all this time in various capacities seeing them with my own eyes up close, just like many others who, like me, together with the Bangsamoro people , are witnessing this seemingly impossible dream now becoming a reality.
Unknown to many, there were difficult and almost seemingly unsurmountable challenges along the way in bringing about a “new dawn”; a “new beginning” for the fulfillment of the aspiration of every Bangsamoro and non-Bangsamoro alike. President Duterte’s strategic and tactical, at times bold and unconventional personal touch, approaches and leadership helped resuscitate it back to life.
For the moment, there’s really no need for me to disclose what I personally saw up close how he did it. And I know he will continue to do so in his own way, knowing that the new-born BARMM — with all its birth-pains, had to be nurtured and tended until it can be on its feet.
But as I repeatedly said, the president alone cannot do it. Government should not do it alone. Everyone must work together as a team, whether one’s in or out of government (like me now).
The birth of the new BARMM is only the beginning.
But I am personally confident that this is a “new beginning
of the end” of unpeace in the land.
We still have 3 more years of the Duterte “magic touch”. Let’s not squander this now. Or we may never get another chance like this at all at another time — anymore.
By Jess G. Dureza
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