For the life of me, I cannot understand why some Moros and Christians, including the MILF and government officials, are still calling for the resumption of the “Peace Process”.
Peace must always be strived for. But not at any price. Look at what kind of peace the MNLF got from the Philippine government! Does the MILF want that kind of peace?
There must be a new paradigm for the peace process. The old way of bilateral negotiation with the Philippine government would lead only to a cul-de-sac. We must involve the United Nations, the OIC and other international bodies. And most importantly, it must involve all sectors of the Bangsa Moro peoples (with an s).
In fact, the Bangsa Moro revolution that began in the late 60s / early 70s needs a paradigm shift. The old founders and leaders are gone (physically dead or politically dead). The situation in the early 21st century is totally different from the 1960s / 1970s. The motives may be similar but the goals should be different. And the approach should change with the times.
From my blog Reflections on the Bangsa Moro at www.bangsa-moro.co.cc, I posted the ff.:
Oct. 19, 2008
Here are excerpts from an article in Mindanews titled SC rules 8-7 vs MOA-AD; MILF panel says “SC ruling does not stop armed confllict”:
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 October) – The Supreme Court has ruled as unconstitutional by a vote of 8-7, the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), abs-cbnnews.com reported.
“The minority’s position was to declare the anti-MOA petitions as moot since the Palace has already decided not to pursue the signing of the agreement following a public backlash. This would have given the Palace a graceful exit, if not, defeat,” abs-cbnnews.com said…
Calling the SC decision “a triumph of the people,” North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Pinol, who first filed the petition for a TRO hailed the SC ruling, referring to today as “an extra-ordinary day in our lives in savoring what for us is a manifestation of a long cherished belief that power truly resides in the people.”…
…“There is no problem (for the MILF). We are not part of the case. The Supreme Court is not a party to the MOA-AD. But GRP remains a party and is bound by it.” he said.
“The ruling is an indication that this country can’t put its act together. MILF is right to never negotiate on the basis of the Constitution. It is not a level playing field,” Iqbal said.
Lawyer Datu Michael Mastura, told MindaNews he doesn’t have a copy of the Supreme Court ruling and has not seen a copy of the ruling but “either way, the bottomline is that the SC decision does not resolve the armed conflict.”…
…“We really need an international guarantee, protocol. Whatever is negotiated should be implemented,” Mastura said.
Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado, secretary-general of the Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus, said, “I guess that’s it. That’s the end of the peace process as far as this government is concerned. The Supreme Court has just foreclosed all possible peaceful means of resolving the armed conflict in Mindanao.”
Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, executive director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, said the Supreme Court ruling “puts to an end efforts of the Bangsamoro people to seek domestic remedies to the historical and moral injustices committed against them.”
“Staying with the Republic of the Philippines now becomes untenable, and separation appears as the only viable option left to the Bangsamoro people,” Lingga said.
The SC ruling, he added, is setting a “bad precedent in the use of negotiations in conflict resolutions. It is disincentive to those who fight governments to negotiate if what are agreed upon are thrown to the trash can.”
I suppose it is now pretty clear that the Indio-Filipino people as represented by its three branches of government — the Executive, Legislative (especially the Senate) and Judiciary — do not want peace in Mindanao if it entails giving the Bangsa Moro any semblance of dignity as a people distinct from the Indio-Filipinos or any square kilometer of additional territory or autonomy greater than the existing sham autonomy “enjoyed” by the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
So now, where do we go from here?
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Earlier, on Sept. 10, 2008, I posted this:
As I have known all along, the MILF – GRP peace negotiations would amount to nothing. For the past three years, the very term “peace process” came to mean the MILF- GRP peace talks. Peace talks with other groups like the MNLF or the NPA-NDF were not included in this quite exclusive “peace process.” Finally, this “peace process” has been revealed to be nothing but a sham.
Like the Tripoli Agreement or the Jakarta Accord, the Philippine government has absolutely no plans whatsoever of implementing any agreements with the Moros. Even if the MILF – GRP Memorandum Of Agreement on Ancestral Domain were signed in Malaysia, it would never have passed muster at the Congress or at the Supreme Court. No way.
FEAR AND HATRED OF MOROS
Three hundred and fifty years of Spanish indoctrination, fifty years of American propaganda and 50 more years of Filipino misinformation have inculcated in the minds of the Indios-Filipinos that the Moros are “heathens and infidels”, that “a good Moro is a dead Moro,” that “a terrorist is a Muslim unless proven otherwise,” etc.
In 1991, Mr. Alfonso Felix, Jr. was the President of the Historical Conservation Society. The members of the Society at that time included Alejandro Melchor, Jesus Lazatin, Antonio Araneta, Jr., Enrique Syquia, Ernesto Aboitiz, Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Antonio Concepcion, Francisco Elizalde, O.D. Corpuz, etc. – a veritable Who’s Who among the Filipino elite. Mr. Felix obtained copies of certain historical documents from the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid and proudly reported it to the Society.
In his Report and Acknowledgement speech of Aug. 28, 1991 in Manila, he let it all hang out. His prejudices and biases against the Moros and Muslims, in general, knew no bounds.
About Islam, he said: “…there seems to be in Islam something that pushes its adherents to a delight in the pain of others. The names of Genghis Khan and Tamerlaine are too well-known to need further comment.”
His hatred for Muslims is evident. He said: “Let us take the case of Salman Rushdie whom the Holy Ayatollah condemned to death and who is now living in hiding. Unfortunately, the British have gone soft. If they had made it clear to the Iranians that the death of Salman Rushdie would result in the destruction of Teheran, the Iranians would think twice before inflicting their religion on civilized countries.”
He called Moros names like “devils in human form” or citizens “of the Republic of Mad Dogs” or “reptiles”. He obviously believed that the Moro Wars is not yet over. And his recommendation: “I do not think Christian Filipinos are afraid of Moros. A modern army equipped with the weapons of today and above all with the will to use them will soon cause the Moros to reconsider. When the Italians used poison gas in Ethiopia in 1935 many Ethiopians were exterminated and the liberals of the world found themselves in tears. I do not find poison gas used against Ethiopians deplorable.”
In his speech, he counseled the then President Aquino thus: “I invite our President, Her Excellency Da. Corazon Cojuangco vda. de Aquino to reflect on my words for I feel I am expressing with these words the opinion of the majority of Filipino peasants and Filipino soldiers.”
(See Episodes of the Moro Wars, General History of the Philippine, Part III, Volume II, Manila: Historical Conservation Society, Folio LIV, 1991 )
Ever since the Philippine government’s undeclared all-out war against the MILF and the resurrection of the notorious ILAGA (Ilonggo Land Grabbers Association), the ilaga supporters have been sending comments and hate emails…
…And so, from the scum to the cream of Indio-Filipino society, the hatred for Muslims and Moros is evident.
Since hope springs eternal, the MILF was naively hopeful that the Philippine government would actually implement whatever is negotiated with them in the peace talks.
It is a blessing in disguise that the opposition politicians got wind of the MOA before it was formally signed in Malaysia. The sound and fury unleashed by the Filipino politicians, the ILAGAS and their supporters have shown to all and sundry – including the foreign Muslims – how the majority of the Filipinos really feel about the Moros. The foreign Muslims, especially the Arabs, should take note of the real feelings of Filipinos with regards to Muslims in general.
END OF PEACE PROCESS
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, bowing down to popular demand, has scrapped the government peace panel, junked the MOA, and practically declared the end of the peace process – especially with particular armed groups like the MILF.
Moreover, the President has announced her new approach to the peace process – DDR before anything else. Disarmament – Demobilization – Rehabilitation is the new slogan of the government. This is a euphemism for TOTAL SURRENDER.
As Atty. Malang noted in a TV interview, no self-respecting liberation army will agree to those conditions before any peace agreements.
So what and where does that leave the MILF; and for that matter, the MNLF, whose own peace agreement (the Jakarta Accord) still needs to be implemented in its second and third phases?
And more importantly, where do we, of the Bangsa Moro, go from here? Quo vadis, Bangsa Moro?
A certain albangsamori commented on this article (I presume) but he posted it on the Author page. I am thus replacing his comment here:
The Paradigm shift we are seeking is just returning to the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. His da’wah vis a vis mission utilized a holistic approach that seeks to rectify all the facets of human conditions. A little bit of contemplation upon his Seerah reveals a wealth of information concerning how he succeeded. In a very short sense, his approach was primarily and initially based on faith-based transformation in conjunction with socio-politico-economic solution – an endeavor which revoluionary groups could not effectively perform. Please visit my blog: http://www.bangsa-islam.blogspot.com