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Let us not waver in our pursuit for lasting peace

mourning

From a post in Facebook:

“I really hope we don’t forget the historical basis for the formation of groups like the MNLF, the MILF, etc. Let’s not forget that for decades, the native inhabitants of Mindanao were victimized by repressive government policies that drove them off their land, refused to recognize them as equal citizens, failed to respect their rich cultural heritage, and marginalized them in their own region. Let us not forget that while we only read about the violence that happens in that region, they have experienced it, witnessed it, lost loved ones for the past three decades. It’s easy to dismiss members of the MILF, MNLF, BFF as “terrorists,” “extremists”, and the like. The hard part is recognizing how they became this way. As well as acknowledging, which most people forget, that the development of Manila came at the price of the exploitation of all the islands of the Philippines – whether this exploitation came in the form of abject neglect of the government to provide social services, or downright marginalization in the form of land use policies that failed to recognize the rights of indigenous people for years over the land that they, and their ancestors, have relied on for their subsistence and livelihoods for years. While it may be hard to believe, take a step back and take in the big picture.”

-Karen P. Simbulan

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