Years ago, people would comment that implementing peace agreement would be next to impossible in areas that were part of where the Moro rebellion was taking place.
The so-called hawks, both in government and outside, were demanding that talks be abandoned because it would be difficult to talk peace with the Moro rebels. This was because, aside from being fragmented, there were those claimed that those in the main faction did not want peace as they only wanted to sue for time to advance their materiel buildup to seize control of Mindanao.
However, after the approval of the Bangsamoro Organic Law last year, the peace agreement started to take shape as the law, which provides meat to the peace process and spells out the steps that needed to be taken to ensure that lasting peace is put in place, has become the main instrument in ensuring that everything is in order.
Lately, however, stories have come out how the two sides have worked together to ensure that the agreement and the law are followed to the letter. Of late, the two sides have discussed the implementation of the provision on the normalization process as well as the very contentious issue of disarmament on the part of the rebels.
Of course, there will always be hiccups along the way considering the years that the rebels spent fighting the government, its impact on both sides and those caught in the crossfire, the spoilers who are both armed and unarmed, and the scars that it has brought.
But unless the saboteurs succeed in scuttling the agreement and the law –and the two sides become so steadfast in implementing what they have agreed to do – the future is bright for the Moro areas in Mindanao.
This is because both sides have been tired of fighting its each other and hurting the very people they have sworn to protect.
So they must continue to work hard and ensure that what they and the people desire – peace- is eventually put in place. In the long run, the saboteurs will be sidelined and will lose not just face, but also place to operate on.
They must, above all, ensure that trust and sincerity – two things that must go together- are always given utmost amount of importance.