Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Peace deal opens doors for unrest, group warns
Rebel splinter group raises concerns over latest treaty
- Kerima Bulan T. Navales and Bong Fabe, Davao City
- October 10, 2012
Leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) said that the new agreement is a violation of the failed peace agreement it made with Manila in 1996 and that discarding the earlier agreement could lead to a backlash.
"For us, this is double talk, a betrayal on the part of the government on the MNLF,â€ť said Habib Mujahab Hashim, chairman of the MNLFâ€™s Islamic Command Council, adding that the government should not underestimate the MNLF's strength at present.
Politicians in the area are urging lawful support of the new agreement, which prescribes the establishment of a 15-member â€śtransition commissionâ€ť to draft a law creating the Bangsamoro political entity within two years.
To become law, it will require passage through Congress and a referendum.
Those who oppose the deal can take part in the referendum, rather than sparking tension or violence, said Governor Emmylou TaliĂ±o-Mendoza of North Cotabato province.
"We've suffered enough in Cotabato. We don't want a repeat of 2008," she said, referring to a series of attacks launch by Muslim rebels after the Supreme Court declared a previous agreement unconstitutional.
Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao expressed optimism that the latest accord will open the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Mindanao, calling it "a very positive step towards peace."
Civil society leaders, meanwhile, urged Mindanao politicians running in next year's elections to support the peace agreement.
Reu Montecillo of the Mindanao People's Caucus said the support of future leaders is critical to its implementation and sustainability, adding that information dissemination will play a crucial role in generating support from Muslims and Christians.
Protestant Bishop Modesto Villasanta, head of Exodus for Justice and Peace, said the success of the peace process will depend on tangible progress: land for landless Moro farmers and just wages for the Moro workers.
"It is hoped that the peace process... will answer the basic problems," he said.
Real chance of peace as landmark deal is signed