I’d like to answer some questions sent by the “Equalizer” – great handle, reminds me of one of my favorite 80’s tv series –
1)Can you possibly be the bridge between Muslim and Christian Filipinos?
– Having deep Muslim and moro roots and at the same time being married to a Christian and living in a predominantly Catholic community, I can appreciate both perspectives, which is a prerequisite to resolving a lot of tensions and conflicts between Muslim and Christian Filipinos. Also, unlike some in the moro community, I’m not stuck in a 70’s time-warp, holding on to the belief that armed struggle is an appropriate method for resolving muslim-christian differences and I don’t approach problems of discrimination from a mentality of anger and hatred towards the majority. I hate the discrimination but I choose not to hate the persons and groups causing the discrimination and marginalization. I don’t vilify christian settlers in mindanao as “land-grabbers”. Lastly, I believe lasting solutions to the Mindanao conflict can only come from a perspective that sees all sides to the issues affecting Muslim-Christian relations in the Philippines.
2)Aren’t you concerned about antagonizing the hotheads in the MNLF with your more moderate views?
Honestly, I don’t care about the hotheads in the MNLF and MILF or the civil society groups that have called me, among other things, a “former Moro”. Unfortunately for them, and I really pity them, they are stuck in two things – (1) the past; and (2) an orientation towards hate with an openness to violence. History has left them behind.
3)Why do you associate with the the tradpols in Genuine Opposition?
You have to look beyond the personalities and remember that a sizable segment of the population – the masa – supports them. The masa deserve a place at the table and deserve to have their views understood and articulated so that is why I associate with what some may call ‘tradpols”. Just remember that what may be a tradpol to you is a hero to the masa.