In publishing this monograph, MindaNews considers the issue of confidentiality surrounding the GRP and the MILF Drafts. The contents of the Drafts are already known. Only the mode of presentation is new. The compelling issue is transparency or the need of the people to know what is being negotiated.
MindaNews also considers the concern that, being election time, candidates and their leaders will use the Drafts to their advantage. What is wrong with that? That will mean taking a stand on the ongoing GRP-MILF peace talks. Making the Mindanao or Bangsamoro Problem a national or local election issue is for the best. In fact that should have been done in the past four elections.
MindaNews features four articles to highlight the latest in the GRP-MILF Peace Talks:
Patricio P. Diaz, in his GRP-MILF Clash in Drafts, summarizes the articles of the GRP and MILF Drafts with analytical comments to give the readers an idea of their essential contents.
Carolyn O. Arguillas, in her 10 Years after Erap’s ‘All-Out War’, GMA’s ‘All-out Peace’ is not within Reach, briefly reviews events in the last ten years significant to quest of peace in Muslim Mindanao.
Rudy B. Rodil, in his Decolonize the Philippines, Adopt a New Constitution and Lakas ng Loob, Magkaisa ng Loob, digging into his intimate knowledge and first hand experiences, gives new insight into the roots of the Bangsamoro Problem or the Mindanao Conflict and suggests a radical solution.
The monograph includes in its Appendices the Drafts and joint and official statements to enable readers to formulate their own more intelligent appreciation of the essential issues of the on-going peace talks to end the Mindanao Conflict.
The GRP and MILF panels last March 4 ruled out any possibility of signing a peace pact before President Arroyo steps down on June 30, 2010. Instead of going ahead with their exchanging of Drafts, they agreed to forge an interim agreement declaring principles and arrangements for governance to tie over the peace process or negotiations to the next government. This renders moot the Drafts.
However, the Drafts have not lost their significance. The thinking, the policy drift or direction, the hardened positions and the unchanging demands the Drafts have manifested or implied are most significant to future talks. The panels now framing the interim agreement and the panels after June 30, 2010 cannot just ignore these manifestations. The present they tell forewarns the future.