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08 October 2012


By RRayhanR

Map of China, South China Sea and the Sulu Sea

Given the current dispute between Philippines and China over actual ownership of the islands in South China Sea and the unending Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Filipino-occupied, there are two fundamental questions that need crystal clarification, to wit:


Firstly, can Philippines respect the historical and human rights of the colonized Bangsamoro people and the peace-loving Chinese people?


Secondly, can the Luzon-based Filipino colonizers cease to perpetrate injustice against the historically-sovereign Moro Nation (Bangsamoro) and now emerging super power China?


It is often said that the Spanish-conceptualized Catholic Filipino nation as an American-inspired "fabricated Philippine State" only in July 5, 1946 or a proclaimed "Philippine Republic" in Cavite on June 12, 1898 can never consider history an "ally", but always an "enemy". This truism is validated by its genocidal war today with the colonized Bangsamoro people for more than four decades after the immoral arbitrary annexation of the Moro Nation in 1946 courtesy of the 1935 Philippine Commonwealth National Assembly Legislative Act no. 4197 otherwise known as the draconian Quirino-Recto Colonization Act.


This is also proven true in its present dispute with China over the group of islands located in South China Sea ("West Philippine Sea" shrewdly renamed recently by Manila government) that the Chinese government has categorically claimed owning based on historical rights, insisting that the Huanyan islands case is never a disputed issue because historical ownership rests on China by moral and human rights.


Clearly, Philippine colonialism can never show any historical precedent or antecedent that the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) was ever a part and parcel of the "Philippine Republic" proclaimed by General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. Neither was the Moro Nation and the Bangsamoro people a willing "member" of the American-manufactured "Republic of the Philippines" on July 4, 1946 thanks to Filipino and American colonial conspiracy.




It is vividly recorded in history that the Mindanao-based Sultanate of Sulu ("Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo" later in 1759) sovereignty was established way back in 1450 and followed in later years by the Sultanate of Maguindanao and Sultanate Buayan in Cotabato and the apat na pangampong district in Lanao. The Mindanao Sultanate government was promulgated way advance 448 years before the initial proclamation of the so-called Philippine Republic in 1898.


In history, the sovereign and independent Sultanate Government of the Muslim natives was recognized by no less than China, the oldest cradle and most flourishing civilization in Asia, the Madjapahit Empire (Indonesia today), Brunei, Malaysia and Western countries, such as Great Britain, Portugal, Dutch, and as well as Middle Eastern nations, like Muslim Arabia (Makkah), Hadramauth (Yemen) and Turkey.


Thus, the historical antecedents of the Mindanao Sultanate suzerainty are closely related to China. The two historical Asian independent nations had conducted ever since peaceful and friendly liaison, enjoying mutual cordial commercial and diplomatic intercourse. The Chinese merchants visiting Mindanao from all over China have always respect and trust for the Muslim and Animist native inhabitants of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, contributing historically to the close linkage of the two Asian equal trading partners.


In fact, the introduction of Islam to Mindanao can also be credited to China, which served since time immemorial a wide base marketing centre for the enterprising business merchants from the Middle East, particularly Makkah of early Muhammadan Arabia and Hadramauth (Yemen) during the earliest period of the pivotal impact of Islam in the Arab peninsula.


From China, Arabian Muslim traders, who were also learned and knowledgeable in Islamic dawah (propagation), continued travelling on board Chinese vessels to Sulu in late 1200s, preaching Islam to the Tausug natives, and gradually in later years to the Maguindanao, Iranun and Maranaw natives of mainland Mindanao, particularly Cotabato and Lanao.


The historical corner stone of the pleasant and warm relationship between the Mindanao Sultanate sovereignty and China is attested by the famous Poon Tau Kong Chinese temple built in the metropolis town of the island of Jolo near the biggest Islamic mosque and the introduction of varied Chinese influence and traits that abound in the early Moro Nation, including intermarriage between Chinese nationals with native inhabitants. Thus, the various descendants of Mindanaoan--Chinese blood until today have attested to the peaceful and harmonious co-existence of the people of the early Moro Nation and China.


Unfortunately, the ancient sacred Chinese temple and the historic Tulay mosque in the center of Jolo were burned and razed to the ground in 1974 when the colonial Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) fighter jet planes, helicopter gunships and naval battle ships bombarded indiscriminately the capital town. The historically-noted February 7-8, 1974 "Battle of Jolo" between the MNLF-Bangsamoro freedom fighters and the AFP occupation forces that Philippine colonialism under the murderous Marcos regime tried hard to suppress and to hide from local and global media coverage led to the massive burning of almost the entire civilian houses and commercial buildings. The heavy bombardment and burning of the capital town of Jolo resulted in the mass killing of more than 20,000 innocent and helpless Muslim civilians, including children, women and aged, and countless personal material losses


Toward this single atrocity and many more injustices perpetrated by Philippine colonialism against the colonized and oppressed Bangsamoro people in history marking the colonial genocidal war in Mindanao, no regional and global human rights centre have ever investigated the grave abuses of the Philippine government. The so-called Philippine Human Rights Commission has existed only to hide the "human wrongs" committed by Philippine colonialism against the colonized, oppressed and brutalized Muslim and Indigenous peoples of the Bangsamoro homeland.


Truth to tell, during the reign of Sulu Sultan Badar ud-Din and while paying China a state visit, he appealed to the Chinese Emperor to consider recognizing the Sultanate domain of Sulu as a direct integral province of China. However, the Chinese Emperor declined the request as not necessary since the two nations have a strong diplomatic and commercial relationship based on mutual trust and respect for each other's sovereignty and independence.


The refusal of the Chinese Emperor to annexation, although voluntary, of the early Sultanate dominion as part and member of China would only show that the Asian dominant nation has always believed on peace and harmony with its neighbors. China has always valued peace rather than war in order not to create tensions and animosities that lead to mass suffering, demographic division and physical devastation triggered by other foreign exploitative war-monger nations, like the tumultuous events that happened to Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Bangsamoro.


On this historical reality, the Moro Nation and China should not be convinced by Philippine colonialism to ignore and to forget the moral lessons of history. In as much as China has all the historical rights to uphold its moral obligation and responsibility to the islands in South China that Philippine colonialism is eagle-eyed to land-grab similar to Mindanao, the Bangsamoro people, waging now a freedom struggle for more than 40 years against "Imperial Manila", have also the historical rights and moral ground to continue their noble struggle to decolonize their ancestral homeland. 


In the final analysis, although presently under colonization and occupation by Philippine colonialism, the oppressed Bangsamoro people of Mindanao can only call upon China to stand on solid historical ground. The Philippines may have succeeded in the past with American support in land-grabbing the Moro Nation by using the law of the jungle that "might is right" disguised as "rule of law" to weaken fundamental rights and to erase historical rights, but this legal jargon of duplicity and trickery should serve a historical lesson to China to be steadfast to protect its substantial historical and human rights and ancient national interest.


The Bangsamoro and Chinese peoples of Asia should always eye history as an asset and a foundation of truth, not an "enemy" of a fictitious colonial state like the Philippines. -rrr/bfs          


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