by ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday called on the government to open more windows for talking peace with all rebels groups, as fighting erupted anew in Datu Piang and Maguindanao in Centeral Mindanao between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its break-away group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) led by Amelil Ombra Kato. The fighting displaced about 3,000 famiies.
Duterte earlier praised President Aquino for his back-door meeting with MILF leaders in Tokyo in a bid to find lasting peace in Mindanao. He said however that President Aquino should also sit down with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), another Moro rebel group in Mindanao, led by Nur Misuari. The MNLF has inked a peace pact with the government but is accusing the government of failing to implement many provisions of the 1996 pact. To complete the peace efforts, Duterte suggested that President Aquino also sit down in negotiation with all other groups fighting the government.
Duterte’s formula for peace is government talking with a rainbow of ideologs and secessionists including bandits, that form a lethal brew that makes Mindanao continuously on edge. These brew includes Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Al Haj Murad of the Moro Islamic National Liberation (MILF), Joma Sison of the communist National Democratic Front (NDF), renegade Moro rebel leaders Ameril Umbra Kato and Kumander Bravo of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.
In the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN, Duterte said an all-out war against the Moro rebels would be futile as a means to achieve peace in Mindanao.
We can talk forever, he said, adding government in an all-out war is not the solution to the problem.
The government should not wage war against its people, he said, adding that, besides that, the government “cannot kill all” the Muslims in Mindanao.