Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mindanao blasts: Bring the peace

Four explosions rocked Mindanao within a 12-hour period starting Monday evening, leaving at least six people killed and 56 others wounded, prompting the police force in the south to go on the highest alert.

The explosions came after an improvised bomb went off outside a church in Cotabato City on Sunday, leaving five people killed and at least 35 others wounded.
-- source, Inquirer.net, "4 blasts in south leave 6 killed, 56 hurt"

It seems that with the coming of an election year, strife in Mindanao escalates. Bombings, kidnappings, and all manner of hostile activities come to fore.

With talk of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pursuing another term outside of the one term rule mandated by the 1987 Constitution, there are fears that the violence in Mindanao may be laying the predicate for another Gloria Forever scenario.

Taking the longer term view of the situation, I think peace in Mindanao will never be achieved as long as we stick with the current paradigm that relies heavily on military action.

The government has to work harder to bring the peace to areas of conflict in Mindanao. This means not only providing government services more expediently, but also embarking on projects that will make a great impact on Mindanao.

One such project which recently caught my interest is the creation of a canal, similar to the Panama Canal, which will cut through the base of the Zamboanga peninsula -- thus eliminating travel time between Southern Mindanao provinces and the Visayan islands.

No such project of this scale has ever been proposed and is just as close as one can get to sending a Philippine rocketship to the moon. Some will definitely say it will be impossible, but with Senator Dick Gordon as a main proponent -- I think it will come to fruition, no matter how long it takes.

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