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EDITORIAL
14 August 2015

BANGSAMORO HISTORICAL NOTES

“WHEN WILL FILIPINO COLONIZERS END INJUSTICE AND
GENOCIDE WAR AGAINST THE OPPRESSED BANGSAMORO PEOPLE?” – REVEREND ABSALOM CERVEZA


The stark injustice committed by the Luzon-based Filipino colonizers against the oppressed tri-people (Muslims, Animist Lumads and Christians) of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) has surely led to the prolongation of the Filipino-Moro conflict in the war-torn territory.

The decades-long colonial genocide war of conquest by the Filipino colonialist land-grabbers today has only duplicated the savagery and wickedness employed by the Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers in the past. The Spanish, American, Japanese and Filipino invaders have similarly used colonization as oppressive weapon to subjugate and to enslave the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao. Worse, the heartless colonizers resulted to using their own alien laws or man-made constitution in justifying their land-grabbing scheme, plunder and crime against humanity with the callous intent to deceive both the Filipino and Bangsamoro communities as well as the whole of humanity forever.

Today, the Filipino colonizers have used the same colonial strategy to stranglehold the Bangsamoro people, turning deaf and blind to the grave injustice done against the colonized victims. Worse, they want to impose a “cursed” identity and prostituted culture upon the colonized and brutalized Indigenous Peoples.

Thus, the Mindanao tri-people (Muslim, Animist Lumad natives and conscious Christian settlers) have militantly opposed their tyrannical colonial conquest by continuously pursuing a freedom struggle to liquidate Philippine colonialism in the Bangsamoro homeland.   

Today to help right the wrong, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) spearheaded by its once President Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, has repeatedly pointed out the “injustice” against the identity, sovereignty and development of the

Bangsamoro people of Mindanao as the primary root cause of the conflict.

However, the Filipino colonialist land-grabbers, headed by the political leaders in Malacanang, both Houses of Philippine Congress and majority of the so-called justices in the Philippine Supreme Court have shown no moral integrity and uprightness to accept the truth?

On this turn of colonial events, Reverend Absalom Cerveza, Spokesman of the MNLF Peace Panel, has always bewailed the brazenness and callousness of the Luzon-based Filipino colonialist land-grabbers in committing the grievous injustice against the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao.

In the past, he has publicly posited that “Mindanao peace is Bangsamoro freedom, not injustice of Philippine colonialism.” He has also called the attention of the Filipino colonizers to take stock of the damage and danger of the continuation of the Mindanao war. He has pleaded for the stoppage of the crime against humanity by the Filipino colonialist occupation forces for Mindanao peace. He has earnestly appealed time and again to Philippine colonialism to be straightforward, serious and sincere to achieve a permanent and comprehensive peaceful settlement to the Mindanao problem. He has called repeatedly on the Filipino colonizers not to betray Mindanao peace time and again because it will only make the “Catholic” Filipino nation a land of war-mongers and continuously “sick man of Asia.”

But the Philippine government or ‘Imperial Manila’ has had repeatedly betrayed Mindanao peace by reneging on correctly implementing the peace agreements forged between the government and the MNLF except in implementing its own unilateral superficial version.  

Now, Reverend Cerveza has posed another question to the Filipino colonizers and the whole of humanity: “When will Filipino colonizers of Luzon end the injustice and genocide war against the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao?”

He is also now wondering why the notorious Mamapasano invasion was designed by Malacanang to be used again a justification to create another unilateral and farcical autonomous entity in the Bangsamoro ancestral homeland that never can guarantee Mindanao peace. The treacherous Mamapasano invasion led to the killing of 43 Filipino PNP SAF invaders, 8 Bangsamoro  freedom fighters and 12 civilian Muslims that contributed to the rough sailing of BBL to be enacted into law.

UNDER PHILIPPINE COLONIALISM, CAN ARMM AND CONTROVERSIAL BBL BRING MINDANAO PEACE?  

“It is impossible that the unilaterally created ARMM and another Philippine Congress-enacted BBL can bring Mindanao peace,” said Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

He has emphasized that the comprehensive solution to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao is for the two parties in agreement to correctly implement the international peace agreements. He could not just understand why the ‘peace process’ is used by the Manila government to prolong merely the Mindanao conflict to institutionalize Philippine colonialism in the occupied territory.

He has also bewailed the colonial strategy of the Manila government to divide and to deceive both the Bangsamoro leadership and people in order not to implement correctly the international peace agreements that have guaranteed to establish ‘just and lasting’ peace in war-wracked Mindanao.

He has always expressed the positive view that the September 2, 1996 GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements could definitely end the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao once correctly and sincerely implemented by Philippine colonialism instead of using dilatory and deceptive political tactics in undermining the agreement.

The MNLF chairman has just recently presided over a general meeting of MNLF political, military and religious leaders in the MNLF GHQ in the Bangsamoro heartland. The meeting was attended by the different MNLF State Committee (or Command) chieftains, military officers and religious headmen from all over Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, including North Borneo.

How does the MNLF Chairman diagnose the problem besetting Philippine colonialism vis-à-vis the farcical Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that proposes another version of autonomy to be simply called “Bangsamoro?”

It is recalled that all unilateral fabrication of the Philippine government geared to attain Mindanao peace, such as the Marcos version 2-region autonomy (region 9 and 12), 4-province ARMM created by the Corazon C. Aquino regime and the 5-province ARMM crafted by the Arroyo government, proved only a miserable failure to net Mindanao peace.

Presently, President Benigno S. Aquino III, the son of the first lady Chief Executive, has boldly with sinister design embarked on duplicating the “failed experiment” or political legacy of her mother and other predecessors by stubbornly posturing for the passage into law of the controversial BBL.

 However, with the controversy now surrounding the BBL political project, bordering on the Mamapasano invasion fiasco, non-consultation of major stakeholders by OPAPP, unconstitutionality question, etc., the sure betrayal of Mindanao peace is again a probability.

On this colonial development surrounding the political strategy of Philippine colonialism, MNLF Chairman Misuari has pointed out that both the ARMM and the new version prospect autonomy based on BBL is nothing but a mirage to delay only the complete settlement of the Mindanao war. The unilateral political exercise of the Manila government to bring meaningful and durable peace to Mindanao may border only in wishful thinking and deceptive formula. Surely, it would be impossible to bring peace to war-torn Mindanao because it would emanate from another peace agreement that can be easily betrayed by Philippine colonialism.

The MNLF chairman has cited the simple fact that the Philippine government has had forged three peace agreements with the MNLF since 1976 up to 1996. But none of the substantial peace accords has been correctly and completely implemented except unilaterally establishing the 2-region 9 and 12 fake autonomy in 1977 and later manufacturing the 4 and 5-province ARMM that dismally ended only as the “cheating capital of Philippine elections.”

He has again reiterated that “without justice, there can never be an end to the war in Mindanao.”

WHY CAN’T PHILIPPINE COLONIALISM BRING PEACE TO MINDANAO?

In revisiting the historical era of the Spanish land-grabbers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, it all started when the dark historical past was punctuated by buccaneerism and so-called exploration conquest.

The foreign invaders patronized injustice and used the vehicle of colonization in land-grabbing native lands and enslaving the native inhabitants. The Spanish invaders for one started in using the “law of the jungle” that “might is right” with all impunity in colonizing the natives and robbing them of their agricultural, mineral and aquatic resources in the name of their despotic king, country and religion.

The Spanish buccaneers or ‘conquistadores’ forced their way to the Orient, particularly Southeast Asia, starting early 1500s to land-grab the islands situated in Visayas and Luzon in the name of ‘exploration’ and ‘proselytization.’ They also in turned converted the natives into Christianized colonial slaves as the Spanish king considered the commoner Spaniards his loyal servants and soldiers of genocide war of conquest.

Although the 1521 Ferdinand Magellan exploratory invasion ended in a debacle because he was killed in mortal combat by Rajah Kulafu (‘Lapu-Lapu’), a Tausug/Sama Bangingi warrior from the Sultanate of Sulu, the Spanish invaders under Miguel de Legazpi pursued in occupying Visayas islands around 1540s. The Spanish buccaneers named the island habitat ‘Islas del Filipe’ (‘Philip islands’) in honor ofthe immoral and “king of inequities” Philip II of Spain. The islands of Luzon were later included under the new Spanish land-grabbed nation, which in the beginning was inhabited by flourishing civilizational settlements under the Muslim and non-Muslim natives. The Spaniards called the native settlers distinctively “Moros” after the Muslims of Mauretania whose inhabitants were called “Maurus”, “Moors” or “Mauris.” Mauretania with Arab support conquered and ruled Spain for 782 years.

On one hand, the Spanish invaders branded “Indios” the non-Muslim settlers in Manila. While the Spanish colonizers easily subdued the settler native Indios, the Moros in Manila under Rajah Sulayman Mahmud and Rajah Matanda as well as Rajah Lakandula of Tondo (‘Tondal’) fought fiercely the Spanish invaders in the so-called Battle of Tondal. But at the end of the day the native Muslims were defeated by the heavily-armed Spanish soldiers. The remaining Moro settlers in Luzon hurriedly withdrew from the area to seek refuge in Brunei and Mindanao. 

In 1977 Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil cited the historical antecedents of Luzon pre-Hispanic period in her own candid words. She clearly narrated:

“It is hard to believe that Manila was once firmly under Muslim heel, Muslims controlled the seat of government, the wealth and trade and down the Pasig and Boi Lake Batangas as well as the sea lanes to Mindanao and Borneo. The Muslims were the ruling class in Luzon; the rich traders, cultural leaders and missionaries, the ones with the know-how and the right connections, the literacy and what’s more, the right religion.”

After three centuries later, the American and Japanese invaders pursued the colonization conquest of Filipinas (later Philippines) composed only of the islands of Luzon and Visayas as well as ‘Moro Nation’ (Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan). While both the American and Japanese marauders handily defeated the Filipinos of Luzon and Visayas, they met stiff resistance from the Moros of Mindanao. The Bangsamoro people considered them similarly just another ugly face of colonialist land-grabbers ruthlessly on rampage to trample their fundamental human rights and freedom.

The Muslim freedom fighters of Moroland continuously staged open revolt against the American colonizers during their more than 40 years of colonial conquest in the region. The strong protest against American colonial rule was demonstrated both in violent and peaceful means.

The American dark crusade in the Bangsamoro homeland was notoriously marked by the merciless and brutal massacres of Muslim fighters and civilians characterized by the mountainous Bud Bagsak and Bud Daho battling events in Jolo Island.

Indeed the 1906 Bud Daho battle was literally a “massacre” and only proved the wickedness and brutality of America to pursue colonial land-grabbing. The heinous incident massacre only showed the propensity of the American soldiers to brutalize aboriginal natives in depriving them of liberties and ancestral homeland as perpetrated against the native aborigines in North America. The Bud Daho massacre explicitly mirrored the brutal U.S. government colonial conquest campaigns against the Bangsamoro aborigines of Lupah Sug (Sulu).

The clearest violation of human rights and deprivation of the basic freedom of the island natives was even protested by a conscious American writer in 1910, coming out with a personal journal thesis that read:

            “Reflection on the ‘Battle of Bud Daho,’ Jolo, Sulu, March 1906.”

“A Pen Warmed-up in Hell, Mark Twain in Protest 97 (1910).”

            “A tribe of Moros, dark skinned savages, had fortified themselves in the bowl of an extinct crater not many miles from Jolo, and they were hostile and bitter against us because we have been trying for eight years to take their liberties away from them…General Wood’s order had been to ‘kill or capture those savages’…The enemy numbered six hundred – including women and children and children – and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for his dead mother. –Mark Twain, Grief and Mourning for the Night.”

During the short-period Japanese colonization campaigns in early 1940s, the Moro freedom fighters of Mindanao only proved the Bangsamoro people’s tag as the “unconquered race.” They registered in the Japanese journal to have killed thousands more Japanese imperialist soldiers compared to all the combined Japanese soldiers killed in Luzon and Visayas by the Filipinos.

To the very end of their freedom struggle against the new rampaging Asian colonizers, the Muslim freedom fighters never wavered and surrendered to the tyrannical Japanese forces unlike the Filipinos of Luzon, marking the “Fall of Bataan” and the “Fall of Corregidor Island.”

After World War II, the treacherous colonization of the Bangsamoro homeland and the ancestral Cordillera Region of the Igorots were perpetrated by the U.S. government in conspiracy with the Philippine Commonwealth regime. The Mindanao territory of the Bangsamoro people and ‘Mountain Province’ of the Igorots were illegally and immorally incorporated into the U.S. government-created “Philippine Republic” on July 4, 1946.

The 1946 American-Filipino conspiracy of depriving both the Bangsamoro and Igorot peoples of their fundamental human rights, independence and sovereignty to stagnate, to suffer and to face “suicide” under the “rotten to the core” (according to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte) Philippine colonial leadership has just led to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao today. Furthermore, it also resulted to the continued restlessness of the Igorots in Filipino-occupied Cordillera Region.

In emphasizing, the tragedy of both the Moros and Igorots under Philippine colonialism, the crystal-clear analysis of Joseph E. Fallon in 1987 is worth a review. He vividly 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 at that time 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 land. They constitute only 40% of the current population (Filipino sources claim they are just 27%), 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.”

Indeed, the clear objective analysis has only confirmed today the miserable backwardness, stagnancy and uncertainty of the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao and Cordilerra Region under the Philippine colonial government. The colonized victims can never hope to fully progress and develop under Philippine colonialism that only takes pride in continuous injustice and genocide war. 

In the final analysis, to help end the historical injustice inflicted by the once Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers on the oppressed Bangsamoro people of Mindanao, why can’t the past colonizers see the light of true justice today? Why can’t they help right the clearest injustice committed against the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao and Cordillera now still suffering untold misery, agony, uncertainty and inhumanity under the Luzon-based Filipino colonialist land-grabbers?

Why can’t the justice-conscious Spanish, American, Japanese and Philippine government today morally end the monumental injustice committed against the colonized Bangsamoro and Igorot peoples of Asia?

Does this mean that Spain, America, Japan and Philippines have no morality and humanity at all to be a true and justice-conscious nation? –osm, mnlfnet.com

 

 

 

 

   

   

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