The deadly bombing in Jolo, Sulu that killed 21 people last Sunday clearly shows the challenges that still lie ahead in attaining peace in Muslim Mindanao.
The two explosions at the Jolo cathedral happened less than a week after the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) took a big step forward with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and in Cotabato City.
The treacherous attack by the terrorists indicates that the peace process has to go beyond just engaging the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Bringing the terrorists to justice and finding out how best to deal with these young Islamic fighters must now be part of the peace effort.
Pouring billions of pesos into the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and decommissioning the MILF will not be enough.
The MILF and the rest of the stakeholders in the peace process in the Mindanao have their work cut out for them.