Retired Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, a soldier who earned the Medal of Valor during the Estrada administration’s all out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2000, said that the Bangsamoro agreement is a welcome development in securing the peace in Mindanao but stressed that it should have been formulated much sooner so that the country would have been spared needless bloodshed.
“Any effort to address the problem in Mindanao and achieve lasting peace is a welcome development to soldiers,” he added.
And now, the ball is now in the court of lawmakers in the House of Congress and the people of Mindanao to pass and ratify the law that make the peace a long lasting one.
Querubin stressed that had a similar agreement have been available or crafted much earlier, there would have been no need for thousands of soldiers and MILF fighters killed in the 2000 campaign.
But he clarified that he did not regret fighting for the country as it was their sworn duty.
Querubin earned his Medal of Award on March 18, 2000 when he commanded a Marine battalion landing team in a 24-hour crossfire against some 800 fully armed men of the MILF in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
His group broke the last line of the MILF’s stronghold that resulted in the capture of Camp John Mack, considered as the rebels’ most strategic staging area for operations. PNA