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GUEST EDITORIAL
27 May 2016

BANGSAMORO YOUTH CORNER

MEMORANDUM:

TO: PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. DUTERTE

FROM: REVEREND ABSALOM CERVEZA

 

“HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE THE MINDANAO WAR?”

By RRayhanR

DAYS BEFORE, AFTER MAY 9, 2016 POLITICAL STORM

After hibernating for quite sometimes searching for the freshness and vigor of idealism and youth that included the possible solution by all peaceful means the nagging Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Mindanao, this representative of the Bangsamoro youth in Filipino-colonised Mindanao has again sought the advice and counsel of the Mindanaoan elders – Christian, Lumad and Muslim.

Today, the Bangsamoro youth are just inspired by the promising political events generated by the recent May 9, 2016 national elections. After all, under currently forced and oppressive Philippine colonialism, the colonized victims are affected sometimes by the political events dictated by ‘Imperial Manila’.

Parallel to a loud thunderbolt that registered a deluge of tsunami votes, a Christian Mindanaoan “political rock star” emerged triumphant on a platform of radical reformative change. His political rise has repudiated absolutely the Luzon-based colonialist land-grabbers that have continued the “rotten political system” of massive corruption and pork barrel system.

The reality cannot be lightly dismissed that the highly-centralized America-introduced decadent Philippine socio-economic political system has no doubt metamorphosed the disturbing Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao and the conflagrating AFP-NDF/NPA war throughout the whole region.

On these two devastating threat to security, peace and public order coupled with other social ailments marked by escalating mass poverty and hunger,

massive corruption in government, drug trafficking/addiction menace, criminality, etc., the Manila government has only but introduced artificial and cosmetic preventive measures. Military Solution. Divide-Rule-Destroy. Cooptation-Accommodation. Monetary Dole-outs. Promises.  And more Promises.

Truth to tell, the Aquino II government incensed by its “daang matuwid” self-serving hype has only patronized war and injustice instead of peace and justice. Worst, just like its predecessors – the Marcos, Aquino I and Arroyo regime – it has betrayed again Mindanao peace.

Clearly, on this other malevolent crusade of ‘Imperial Manila’, it has only deceived both Chairman Murad Ebrahim-led Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak-led Malaysian government. It has also “taken for a ride” (quoting incoming Philippine Congress speaker Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez) the Filipino and Bangsamoro peoples, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member-states and the whole humanity.

Thus, moving on to discuss some tangible points toward peace solution to the worsening endless Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Mindanao, the youth dynamic idealism has to be harnessed and sharpened to critique the controversial issue.

On this lightning water-shed, the crystal lens of the Bangsamoro youth has this time around spotlighted on the known “man of God” and spokesman of Mindanao peace – Reverend Absalom Cerveza of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

FROM PRESIDENT BARACK H. OBAMA TO PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. DUTERTE

On the novel quest to contribute positive ideas towards the final resolution to the Mindanao war, the Bangsamoro youth also in the past took the liberty of writing U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama. He was directly asked how he could help solve peacefully the Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Filipino-occupied Mindanao that has been raging for almost half a century now.

It was pointed out to him that the naked historical injustice committed by the U.S. government was the fabrication of the “Philippine Republic” in 1946. In global history, the so-called Philippine Republic illegally and immorally annexed the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) and the Igorots’ Cordillera Region (‘Mountain Province’).

The Christian American-Filipino sinister conspiracy glorifying then colonial land-grabbing has today resulted in restiveness and hostilities in the two ancestral homelands of the Indigenous Peoples of this part of the world.  

On this note, the American president responded with somewhat a positive attitude, insinuating that the possibility of achieving Mindanao peace and ending Mindanao war could be effectively initiated by a third party.  

As a face-saving devise that America could not publicly admit, but could not directly help, could the “third party” refer to be the United Nations (UN), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), European Union (EU), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other active peace advocating Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)?  

Surely, all these truth-and-peace-advocating international organizations have already outlawed and banned ‘colonialism’ in all its ugliest form. But, unfortunately, most of them have become supportive of pro-war governmental establishment at the expense of the oppressed and colonized humanity.

In continuing today the Bangsamoro youth’s initiative to help find a curative ‘blue pill’ towards Mindanao peace, the Bangsamoro Freedom Solidarity (BFS) has sought the counsel of foremost Mindanaoan freedom fighter Reverend Absalom Cerveza. He is recognized as the official spokesman of the MNLF peace panel and trusted leader of the MNLF Christian members. The BFS also found out that Reverend Cerveza was the first Christian MNLF member nominated and elected Prime Minister of the Bangsamoro Republik that was proclaimed in 2001.  

 As a respected freedom fighter whose commitment to the MNLF-launched liberation struggle for independence and self-determination of the Lumad and Muslim natives as well as conscious Christian settlers of Mindanao has become his passionate vocation in life, Reverend Cerveza has given his piece of mind to solve the Mindanao conflict. He has directly addressed his unsolicited but timely advice to the present highest Mindanaoan national government leader – President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE THE MINDANAO WAR”?

This is the first unsolicited “Memorandum” for presumptive President Rodrigo R. Duterte from Reverend Absalom Cerveza. And possibly too from the oppressed and colonized Bangsamoro people suffering under ‘Imperial Manila’ brand of colonialism.

Aside from being the first official MNLF coordinator for Lumad, Christian and Muslim affairs in Mindanao, Reverend Cerveza also served the oppressed Bangsamoro people as the first elected Prime Minister of the Bangsamoro Republik. The independent Bangsamoro government was declared by the MNLF-sponsored Bangsamoro People’s National Congress of different sectoral representatives held in Cabatangan Complex, Zamboanga City, on April, 2001.

Consequently, the burning sentiments of the Bangsamoro general assembly for independence and self-determination was concretised by a formal petition addressed to the Kopi

Anan-led United Nations Organization. The official petition was submitted to the New York-based UN Decolonization Committee by the MNLF legal representative for international affairs – Atty. Ely Velez Pamatong – on December 10, 2001 

This was after the betrayal of Mindanao peace by Philippine colonialism under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who did not implement the September 2, 1996 GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements. The Arroyo regime instead unilaterally created the farcical 5-province Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), transforming it merely into the “cheating capital of Philippine elections”, according to Philippine media.

Under the Arroyo watch, the first political robbery in national scale was transacted by the Benjamin Abalos-led COMELEC by stealing the presidency from the perceived winner – the legendary Philippine movie king Fernando Poe, Jr. The broad daylight political robbery was legitimized by the joint Philippine Congress pork barrel-conscious ‘lawmakers’ with the proclamation of “comelected” President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the night tide unholy hour in Batasan Pambansa halls.

Assessing the current events evolving around the incoming Duterte government, Reverend Absalom Cerveza has called on presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to sincerely solve the decades-long Mindanao war. He has reminded the first Mindanaoan Philippine president that the Filipino-Moro conflict is an embedded and deep-seated colonial structure that smocks of glaring “historical injustices” (borrowing the words of then Davao City Mayor Digong Duterte) against the Lumad and Muslim natives as well as conscious Christian settlers of Mindanao.

He emphasized that a comprehensive permanent solution to the Mindanao problem should be seriously considered and not used only for political dramatic hyperbole as shown by the Luzon-based pro-war and anti-peace pseudo-leaders or colonialist dealers.

 RECALLING THE DISMAY OF MIM CHAIRMAN REUBEN R. CANOY

As a progressive MNLF Christian leader, Reverend Cerveza has reminded the incoming Duterte government on the precautionary words of Chairman Reuben R. Canoy of the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM). In 1975, the Mindanaoan patriotic freedom fighter and martyred hero once said:

“With the inauguration of the Commonwealth in 1935 and the attainment of full Philippine independence in 1946, it was assumed that the Mindanao policies instituted by past colonial regimes would be scrapped…To the dismay of the Mindanaoans, the Manila government turned out to be a worse colonizer.”

Thus, it’s never surprising why ‘Imperial Manila’ has had been looked upon by the oppressed Indigenous Peoples as an oppressive colonial government sharing the same war-freak tag of the past Spanish, American and Japanese colonialist invaders.

On the saddest plight of the Muslim natives of the Bangsamoro homeland, an Igorot thinker, Joseph F. Fallon, in 1987 clearly illustrated:

“At the start of the U.S. occupation of Moroland in 1913, the Muslims represented approximately 98% of the territory’s population. Virtually all of the land was owned or occupied by the Moros. As a result of half a century intensive, systematic Filipino colonization, the Moros are now a dispossessed minority in their own land. They constitute only 40% of the current population (Filipino sources claim they are just 22%), own less than 17% of the land, most of it barren land in remote, mountain areas, and have had 80% of their people reduced to the status of landless tenants…After so many decades of abuses and betrayal, for the Moros and Igorots to trust Manila and to remain with the Philippines would not only be naïve, it would be suicidal.”

The tragic reality today is the manufacturing and continuation of the fake autonomous ARMM and so-called autonomous Cordillera Region as the most impoverished and depressed colonies of the Manila-based “Christian Filipino colonialist slavers”, who only take pride in perpetuating the colonial slavery of the colonized natives of Mindanao and Cordillera (source: mnlfnet.com ‘Bangsamoro Historical Notes’).

 OIC-MEDIATED 1996 JAKARTA PEACE AGREEMENT AND MALAYSIA-BROKERED BBL

Commenting on the controversial PGH-MILF-Malaysia Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the MNLF-OIC-GRP Jakarta Peace Agreements, Reverend Cerveza has viewed the two agreements as substantial roadmap to Mindanao peace.

While the BBL was crafted with the direct collaboration of the Filipino and Malaysian colonialist leaders with the end view to find per se “just and lasting peace” for war-torn Mindanao (yet both parties have hidden agenda on its final outcome), the 1996 peace agreement on one hand served an acid test for the Filipino colonisers to show strong political will to solve the decades-long Mindanao conflict.

Reverend Cerveza has diagnosed that both Philippine and Malaysian colonialism have hidden agenda on the final outcome of the GPH-Malaysia-MILF peace parley that led to the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB), Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) and finally BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law).

From the beginning, it was observed that the hidden motive of Malaysian colonialism under exPrime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was just to divide the Bangsamoro freedom fighters, pitting the MNLF against its splintered group MILF.

It’s common knowledge that the MNLF under a Tausug (Suluk) leader Chairman Nur Misuari could never compromise on the status of Sulu Sultanate-owned North Borneo. Until today the North Borneo territory has been forcibly colonized by the federal Malaysian government justifying “under its sovereignty” the immoral possession of the colony. But, in truth, similar to Philippine’s thievery, the proclaimed “sovereignty” is based on land-grabbing because North Borneo was leased to a commercial British Company represented by Gustavus Baron Overbeck and Alfred Hill. The Sulu Sultanate-owned territory was leased to a private British Company during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (SSNB) on January 22, 1878.

The SSNB sovereign ruler decided to lease Sulu Sultanate-owned North Borneo to the British Company in order to raise monetary resources in purchasing war weapons needed to defend the Sultanate domain against the piratical Spanish colonialist invaders.

North Borneo was never leased neither to the British government nor to the federal Malaysia government that was only founded in 1963 after gaining independence from British colonial rule.

In recent modern history, the continued Malaysian land-grab on the Sulu Sultanate-owned North Borneo resulted to the 2013 Lahad Datu (Sabah) war between the federal Malaysian soldiers and royal forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.

Now under Prime Minister Najib Razak, it is perceived that violent hostilities may erupt anytime in the future between the Tausug colonized victims and Malaysian colonisers. This cannot just be discounted if the federal Malaysian government would remain indifferent to conduct peaceful dialogue with the legitimate owners of North Borneo to peacefully settle the immoral land-grabbing controversial issue.

As the case nowadays, the federal Malaysian government could just silence any Filipino colonialist president with Sabah wealth money to shut up related to the Sulu Sultanate-authorized Philippine claim.

Lately, the Najib government, which is constantly under attack for possible liquidation by ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has cut off any barter trading commercial transactions between the Mindanao-based Tausug Muslims and Sabah merchants. The lame reason given is to stop the rampant kidnappings in Sabah waters and remote places without seriously investigating that the abductions could be “inside job” as revealed by two Malaysian officials in the past.  

 GAMES OF THE COLONIZERS’ THRONE

On resolving the continuity of destructive Philippine colonialism in the Bangsamoro homeland, Reverend Absalom Cerveza has expressed “strong political will “ and “good judgment” as golden key to achieving just and permanent Mindanao peace. He has lamented the lost opportunity given in history to the present Aquino government that was the ideal dream of the late Filipino peacemaker, statesman and national hero, Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Jr.

Ninoy Aquino once said: “Study the lessons of history before it is too late…If you are not sincere, how many will die.”

Instead of using the “peace process” to sincerely guarantee lasting and durable peace in war-ravaged Mindanao, the Aquino government only toyed with “peace process” orchestrated by the notorious Office of the Peace Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP).

It proudly conspired with corruption-wracked Najib government to stage series of Kuala Lumpur peace talks in drumbeating Mindanao peace, but at the end of the day shrewdly betrayed it.

Undersecretary Jing Deles, the OPAPP only took pride in Malaysia-sponsored window-dressing Kuala Lumpur peace talks and the disbursement of pork barrel “pamana” funds as monetary dole-outs to deceive and divide the Bangsamoro people and freedom fighters.

Worst, the Aquino regime chose to continue the Mindanao war and totally ignored the GRP-OIC-MNLF September 2, 1996 Jakarta Peace Agreements that the Ramos government tried hard to implement with the establishment of Tripoli agreement-mandated 13 province and 9-city Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD).

Unfortunately, the political will initiative of President Fidel V Ramos was undermined by succeeding presidential war-mongers, President Joseph E. Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who patronized “all-out war” colonial strategy   rather than sincere peaceful dialogue.

Thus, deception, treachery and promises only became the hallmark of the Aquino government and OPAPP in dealing with the MNLF freedom fighters, MILF “hopefuls” and federal Malaysian government.

Unmindful of the ominous violent events surrounding the March, 2013 Sabah war and the September 2013 Zamboanga City war, the Aquino government remained insensitive to seriously solve the Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Mindanao. It never paid any slightest attention to the Philippine Sabah claim to help the Muslim Tausug owners of North Borneo. Instead, it continued the clearest conspiracy with Malaysian colonialism to hoodwink the Filipino and Bangsamoro sectors as well as MILF “hopefuls” with the imagined implementation of Malaysia-brokered peace agreement BBL.

However, with the hidden monetary funds of Sulu Sultanate-owned North Borneo changing colonial hands and gaining complete trust and confidence of the MILF freedom fighters, the Aquino government has only to “shoot two birds” with one bullet. That was the master plan to neutralize dead (or alive) one single “Malaysian terrorist” (Marwan) with the Malacanang-designed Mamasapano invasion in Mindanao. The rest now is ridiculous history.

On this controversial end, Reverend Cerveza could only hope with a fervent prayer that the Duterte government would learn the moral lesson in Philippine and Bangsamoro history that Mindanao peace, although betrayed repeatedly by ‘Imperial Manila’, could be the monumental legacy of a Mindanaoan president in world history.

Certainly, it can never be doubted that Mindanao peace is to end the “suffering, misery and agony” of the Muslim and Lumad natives, and too the concerned and conscientious Christian settlers. – rrr, bfs  

 

 

 

   

   

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