More prayers for the CAB
WITH the formal signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)—which is an official attempt at peace in Mindanao—prayers, prayers and more prayers are needed. And rightly so, it is an open secret that there are three major armies at war in that region of the country—not to mention the Armed Forces of the Philippines: The MNLF, the MILF, and the BIFF, the CAP only covers but one of them. What will the other two other armies do? Just look, clap their hands and stay still?
Hence, a good number of questions come to mind—the answers to which do not seem easy. There is the Bangsamoro. Ridiculous it may be, is it not but right and proper that there is also a Bangsapinas? There is a Bangsamoro. Will the MNLF and the BIFF be eventually counted there in? There is the Bangsamoro. Does this ultimately mean peace in Mindanao? There is the Bangsamoro. Who then has claim to Sabbah? These and many more—both serious and ridiculous—questions come to my mind with the emergence of the Bangsamoro phenomenon.
It is claimed and proclaimed, affirmed and confirmed that the fundamental cause, the underlying reason for the CAB is peace—social order, fraternal unity, and harmonious community. And all these are the big blessings to humanity whereas the opposites thereof are the social disorder, neighborhood disharmony, and possible war even. Let it be clearly said though and well remembered that peace is a fruit of justice. This is a standing truth based on simple logic and wherefore drawn from human history. In the absence of justice, there can be no peace.
And justice, though readily invoked and easily proposed, is a much more complex reality than what it seems. Reason: There is no justice if people do not give to one another what is their respective due in accord with their individual rights. There is no justice if people do not give to their leaders what is their due in terms of taxes. And there is no justice if these leaders do not provide to the people their public welfare, their common good. And there is no reign of peace without the actuality of justice; neither can there be socio-economic development without peace.
The truth is that even outside the newly formed CAB, there has been no justice and peace in the country for so long a time. These are the times when there are crimes committed, come day or night. These are the days when there are customarily killings—assassinations, murders, summary execution—in Luzon and the Visayas. And this is not to mention the still militant existence of CCP/NPA/NDF in the country. And this is neither making mention of the now Phil-China non-peaceful relationship.
ACCORDING to the studies made and findings recorded by the Center for Research on Epidemiology based in Belgium, among the Top Ten Disaster Prone Countries in the World, the Philippines ranks 3rd—after Vanuatu (1st) and Tonga (2nd).
Bad news or not, there are certain undeniable realities such as the following: One, that Climate Change has slowly and surely become an undeniable truth. Two, that the natural environ especially in the Philippines should be realistically protected. Three, that the records stand that the country has already suffered much from natural calamities crowned by the Yolanda disaster. Four, that earthquakes of different magnitude are recently happening more often than before. Five, that Metro Manila in particular has progressively taller buildings rising up one after another—especially in the Bonifacio Global City. What now?
Certain big and relevant questions come to mind: Have the people been sufficiently warned about the reality of Climate Change? Have the parents accordingly taught their children about the havoc that Climate Change has already brought and will still bring about in the course of time? Are the adults actually convinced about not simply the mere possibility but the impending reality of the disasters that go with Climate Change? If the answers to these not only relevant but also significant questions are in the negative, then, pitiful Filipinos!
Needless to say, the present and forthcoming governments—supposedly of the people, by the people and for the people—have a truly indispensable role to fulfill in this already precarious present and markedly dangerous future. Some questions thus come to mind:
Is the present Building Code responsive to the challenges of Climate Change? If not, should not the government have it updated?
Are Rescue Teams enough in number, in training and equipment in order to respond to Climate Change disasters? If not, what is the government doing?
Has not only the national but also the local government identified the proper places of refuge in case of any natural catastrophe aftermath? If not, why?
Are schools having proper and serious drills in the event of calamities brought about by Climate Change? If not, why not duly impose them?
It is not good for the government to see to it that the simple and plain Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared!” be taken seriously by the people in general—precisely in view of the fearsome rating of the Philippines as 3rd of the 10 countries most prone to natural disaster in view of Climate Change?