• Wives of MILF members also hope for peace

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    SIMUAY, SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao: After the symbolic turn over of firearms by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members to the national government, it is the women’s turn to voice out their desire for peace in Mindanao.

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    The wives of MILF combatants hope for the start of real peace after the decommissioning of firearms.

    Norbaisa Nenis, a wife of one of the 145 MILF combatants who participated in the decommissioning process last June 16, said she is happy because their life could be peaceful soon.

    She is pleased with the strong commitment displayed by her husband towards doing something concrete and personal so the Bangsamoro peace process would move forward.

    “Masaya kami at sana tuloy-tuloy na ito at maging simula na talaga ito ng kapayapaan (We are happy and we hope this [process]continues and this becomes the beginning of achieving peace.),” said Nenis.

    Her husband dedicated decades of his life to the Bangsamoro struggle as a combatant of the military arm of the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces or BIAF.

    Nenis hopes the peace process, which her husband is supporting, would also help the Moros achieve their right to self-determination.

    MILF Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal has given the assurance that all 145 who were decommissioned were members of the MILF’s BIAF.

    “The ceremonial decom-missioning showcased that the MILF is complying with our obligations in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),” said Iqbal who earlier described the decommissioning as a difficult process, yet it is a commitment for the sake of peace.

    It can be noted that decom-missioning is a gradual process that aims to put the arms and forces of the group beyond use as agreed by the Parties under the Annex on Normalization of the CAB.

    The husband of Normala Balitoc had been an MILF combatant since 1972 and was among those selected to join the first batch of decom-missioned MILF fighters.

    Balitoc revealed that despite being a combatant for the MILF since 1972, her husband finished high school, and like most Moro families, found it difficult to raise a family during the years of conflict.

    “It was difficult for us surviving as our husband leaves every now and then to join battles,” she said.

    Now that her husband has been decommissioned, Balitoc said she hopes that the livelihood support to be provided by government can indeed help their children build peaceful and progressive lives.

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    2 Comments

    1. This is looking at the situation in a different angle. I can only imagine how hard it is for the wives for MILF members. Its about time they live peaceful lives and dedicate time for their families. Let us end war, push for peace! Pass BBL.

    2. Who wouldn’t hope for peace? Generations of living in conditions I can’t even imagine, brought about by the suffering of deprivation, neglect, and war, who wouldn’t want to break free from that situation? Muslim Mindanao badly needs relief and we should be extending our arms to them, giving them what we have instead of limiting and discriminating them based on their religion alone.