At the left is a modified version of Bong Montesa‘s “Game Tree” about the TROd Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the Arroyo Administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Click on the image to enlarge.
I felt that Mr. Montesa is either being clever or dishonest with his “GAME TREE” and justifications for his choice of peace, whatever the cost.
Here is Montesa’s original game tree, and compare that with the one I did above. Basically my additions are on the white side. If you notice, all choices lead to war except on HIS choice, which is actually open-ended and subject to speculation. Hence, he is being clever or dishonest.
His choice of the phrase “Game Tree” is appropriate, because for all intents and purposes, his flowchart is propaganda – he is gaming public opinion by saying that all other options will lead to war. Yet notice his choice – it is open-ended. Here, he is being clever by saying that “Hey, I am not sure what would happen after this, so…” Yet, he was certain that the other choices WILL lead to war. Here he is being dishonest. He is certain on certain options, but not on his choice?
He is gaming public opinion by not posting the possible ramifications of the results of a plebiscite, as if he is saying, “Hey, it is possible that peace could be achieved after this!” How I wish he was consistent enough to terminate his game tree by placing the word PEACE after the plebiscite.
Anyway, he is being naive if he thinks things could be that simple. What if the sovereign Filipino people (his phrase) rejects the amendments? Will MILF accept such results? No. (If they reject such results, the MILF is being very Filipino, and that would be a monumental irony, IMO.) And even if the sovereign Filipino people accepts the amendments, there will be groups of people who will oppose it, and they will take up arms.
Reading his blog is like reading someone who loves Pollyanna so much. He keeps on saying that the MoA is just a framework, a roadmap that needs approval of the Filipino people – it is not enforceable even if signed. Mr. Montesa, the MILF says it is a done deal – they mean that it is now in effect. And he keeps on harping on constitutional process even if (1) he says peace talks are unconstitutional; and (2) the MILF does not consider itself under the Philippine Constitution and under the Philippines, period.
Then he posted his First Nation BS, and how I wish he posted his proofs, not what-ifs. The problem with his First Nation is that many will dispute the notion – some will say the lumads comprise the First Nation, etc.
And lastly – he is being pretentious if he thinks the MILF represents the entire people of Mindanao. The fact that there are Mindanaoans who are opposing the MoA AD belies his illusion. He, together with the Arroyo Administration panel, should have first consulted all stakeholders before shoving the country in a corner. The fact that he called most reactions are emotional speaks of his short-sightedness and tunnel vision. His ignorance of the total picture of the Mindanao situation has actually EXACERBATED the tension instead of easing it.
I am all for peace, but at what cost? The comparison between the MoA AD and Chamberlain’s capitulation at Munich is somewhat apt – we will not have peace and we will have war. That is the cost of peace that Mr. Montesa and the likes want to impose on us.
I do not profess myself to be an expert on Mindanao, and neither do I claim that I have solutions on the problems of Mindanao. I think I have said it before that the solution lies in the hands of the Mindanaoans themselves. And yes, the solution lies in their hands.
What I will contend is that some group of people are piggy-backing on this issue for their own ends. This is the kind of screwup that pushes Mindanao on the brink of chaos. I don’t blame some people in Mindanao if they wanted to break free.