Monday, 29 March 2010

My thoughts on Dialog Mindanao (Visayas)

I celebrated EDSA I in Bacolod during the Dialog Mindanao Consultation for the Visayas at St La Salle Campus. Some 300 delegates from West, Central and East Visayas converged for the gathering.

I went out of curiosity and boredom (administrative requirements sapped my energy in those days). I ws curious on how the 300 delegates from different polarities could be made to sit and talk about "mindanao" and how the Visayas people would be of much help we shall be to the complication called Mindanao. I wondered on how much Visayas and how much dialogue could truly take place in a five-hour maximum deliberation.

I was bored out of my work as the run of the mill decisions and works were almost over. The school will just have to go through with what needs to be done. Also, as I was teaching political science, listening to how experts would treat sovereignty and territory in a Mindanao Dialogue might be refreshing...

The dialogue proved better than expected. The people talked and shared their concerns. Notably absent though are the Muslim brothers and sisters that we have in the Visayas It looks like we only have one representative. Another, the government representative or speaker did not truly elaborate much on the government agenda. It appeared that she was quite casual about the entire affair. However, trying to read between the lines, the dialog is not truly taking sides it is a show of force for Mindanao to finally sign the peace accord that lasted for centuries.

What was very convincing and moving was the speech of the MILF representative. It was done eloquently, with much preparation and moving examples enough to hold the audience in awe. Yes, the audience was truly taken by his presentation.

Notably absent in tht affair was the members of the peace process on the government panel. Yes, so much cards were laid on the table but for what? For whose use? I rest my trust and confidence in Mr. Villanueva and the secretariate to produce a very good document out of the proceedings. But then, pages of papers can't equate the spirit and the will of the people present in that time...

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