Left unchecked, I can see these suspicions contribute only to the growth of more ill will. And lack of good will is not conducive to the prospering of the peace.
Then I ask myself, what can I trust?
I think there is a genuine desire for a meaningful, equitable, and durable peace in Mindanao and that this desire has taken hold in the soul of the Filipino nation. What I mean by this is that all who speak in behalf of peace in Mindanao are these days not just voices from Mindanao, not just voices from our Muslim brothers and sisters in the nation, but are from Filipinos across the entire width and breadth of our sheltering Republic.
Certainly the RPH itself not just the GPH wills to establish a meaningful, equitable, and durable peace in Miindanao and that the desire for peace in the Filipino nation remain sincere.
This is a truth I can trust.
Our President in being responsive to the clamor of the people for peace in Mindanao in his own heart I believe desire peace as sincerely as the rest of the nation.
The OPAPP too I believe is sincere and have done (and is still doing) their level human best to carry out the sovereign will of the Filipino people for peace through the authority of the Office of the President. I trust Sec. Deles, Atty Ferrer and Justice Leonen before her to be good, hard-working public servants and that all of them remain so notwithstanding everything.
OPAPP to include not just its visible public heads but all civil servants who comprise this Office were before and remain until now, committed to the Philippine Peace Process as a whole. The sincerity that pushes things forward in behalf of the RPH in them above all, I think has never wavered.
Having followed the GPH-MILF track for a time now, I have been witness to its highs and lows. There were two low points in the process; the first one was al-Barka and the second, Mamasapano. The latter one being indeed the most difficult one so far.
There will be more low times, I expect, but in the midst of these I equally also expect little victories along the way... If there were mistakes done, it surely must be corrected and I think all concerned are open to better means to achieve the singular end for which OPAPP was commissioned.
Let us be reminded that the peace process is being carried out on a broad front and is wider in scope than just the MILF track. Peace reform is a difficult thing but commensurate with its challenges are its hopes and the hope I myself believe a successful conclusion to the Philippine Peace Process as whole shall bring to full fruition in our Country is immense.
All this sincerity I observe still endure even in the midst of the controversies at the wake of Mamasapano.
And these are practically seeds of good will; not yet fully maturated as measures of trust but exists in the form of a desire to be able to trust.
Indeed, trust within the nation has suffered and this wounding have made for unsettled days. However, even as suspicions swirl about dissipating like so much acrid smoke into the atmosphere of the nation, let this observer point to the fact that the desire to heal and to recoup what immaterial gains were lost to us still remains in almost all of us.
This makes me hopeful.
What can I trust? If not who at this time, what can I trust?
There is a new definition of politics I have been chewing on... politics it stated - is a means to harmonize human relationships to advance the goals of the State.
Politics when it comes to pressing forward an agenda or a policy in a democratic forum can be a fight. That much is true especially when old molds need to be proven old to make way for the new, but politics too as stated above can be a decent, constructive conversation.
I can better appreciate the above way of thinking about politics...
As a concerned citizen, I am for a politics that maximizes on the truths about our national conversation, avoids complexities, presents itself simply, humanly and faithfully, defines it advantages truthfully, and exploits nothing untruthfully.
To know the "goals of the State", we should refer to our Constitution. In all things, one thing I am sure of about politics is that it is a duty. It is not a lifestyle. And that there is an on/off switch to our being political creatures. Hence, public service is a calling not an ambition.
Anyway, back again to sincerity...
Firstly, we can trust our sincerity.
Let us give to each other at least, the benefit of the doubt - that we all still want in this Republic to serve and experience the common good. In this particular case, a broader, deeper peace in Mindanao.
Secondly, we can trust the truth.
Truth is what the beholder beholds in his or her heart to be. It just is. Capable of standing on its own. Truth is capable of defending itself. It fights. It sometimes bites.
"Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself."
- Charles Spurgeon.
Truth is also as such.
So don't just believe in me because I say it, believe it because you know to believe it. Accept it because its true. Because as a human being, truth is I too can be wrong.
In the realm of things spiritual, where each of us live the interior life in our souls, often the hardest thing to do is to admit that, "I don't know". This in itself is a profound truth and opens for all seeking hearts, the way that lead into every good journey.
(Back again to topic...)
Public opinion is conflicted. But public sentiment is unified. Why?
We all thirst for peace. This thirst is but one thirst. And because we do, most everybody is asking in essence, the same question, "what is the truth"?. And truth can be many things to everybody.
For there are things we would like to know about the BBL - that we may together understand it.
It is only right to ask and to seek.
But if peace to us is important, in our doing so let us not so readily take to heart second and third hand information if we can help it. Let us care enough about what we commonly thirst for to seek to drink in the truth about everything from its primary sources.
I'll be honest, I have my limitations on what I can understand about the BBL. Thus, I am limited as to what questions I may ask that are truly relevant and constructive about it. Hence, I rely upon our Congress to do what they must... and seek to learn from what they find and accomplish in our behalf.
All this seeking in my own mind is indicative of the depth of our national sincerity; that our desire for a more perfect peace across our Philippines is not only just but also true.
Finally, I believe this seeking for truth as regards the BBL is a seeking that must be sought separately and apart from the political fallout of Mamasapano. It is my opinion that we should be able to make that distinction. It may serve us well to do so...
If our Congress can deliver the BBL on target, by or before June 4, so much the better.
We are dealing with a draft law. It must be scrutinized with legislative objectivity (as opposed to political subjectivity) else our representations in Congress lose sight of their own sincerity...
Truth is if this is done properly, everybody wins.