The parade of SOs and peace in Mindanao
A series of more recent development unfolded in Mindanao.
First came the announcement of the resumption “Soon” of the formal talks (and the peace process) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as a cessation of hostilities is at hand.
Then the continuing calls by civil society and peoples organizations in conflict-affected areas. Among the most prominent call is that Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo to “end the war, enough is enough.” and those from evacuees demanding they want to go home.
Then on July 23, around 4p.m. Malacanang’s announcement at 4 p.m. of a suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) “effective immediately” was met with applause and tears, and even, disbelief.
Then 48 hours later, the MILF, also declared a suspension of military actions (SOMA).
Talk is rife that this will just be a charm offensive in time for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s supposedly last State of the Nation Address at 4p.m. this afternoon.
Incidentally, both the SOMO and SOMA were issued at 4.p.m. which is also the time we expect Arroyo to account for her achievements this afternoon.
For all its worth, this must go beyond politicking and proceed to the resumption of the negotiations for peace in Mindanao.