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EDITORIAL

29 February 2012

BANGSAMORO HISTORICAL NOTES

WHY DOES PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT NEED MNLF AND
MILF PEACE AGREEMENTS TO END MINDANAO WAR?

Former President Cory Aquino broke protocol, ignoring threats to her own life when she met MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari in Jolo in 1986 to talk peace ending with the Jeddah Accord and ultimately with the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) signed in 1996 with the Ramos administration. Photo - Philippines Free Press


TWO (2) PEACE AGREEMENTS! WHAT FOR?

 

It is quite a marvel to note that Philippine colonialism is still playing its own game of dividing the Muslims and Highlander natives as well as the Christian settlers of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) to end the Filipino-Moro war. It is strange that the concept of the Manila government to find a comprehensive solution to the Mindanao conflict is to sign two peace accords with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). But is the colonial design workable enough to bring 'just and lasting' peace to war-torn Mindanao?

 

WHY THE DELAY TO IMPLEMENT THE GRP-OIC-MNLF PEACE AGREEMENTS?

 

Up to date, the Philippine government has engaged 38 years the MNLF in peace talks, including signing three (3) peace agreements, specifically the 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement, 1987 Jeddah Peace Accord and the 1996 Jakarta Peace Agreement. Although the holding of the peace negotiations and forging of peace agreements involved the active participation of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), this did not compel the Manila government to completely implement even the so-called Final Peace Agreement of September 2, 1996, except to craft the bogus Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The ARMM has always been

from the beginning rejected by both the MNLF and OIC. It is sadly noted that the Philippine government has always adopted the colonial strategy of forcibly and unilaterally solving the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao by invoking its own version "constitutional process" to perpetuate Philippine colonialism in the war-ravaged region. However, is the shrewd political move of the Filipino colonizers in Manila helping both the colonial Philippine military occupation forces and the MNLF freedom fighters to permanently stop shooting war hostilities in the ground? 

 

WHAT IS THE PROSPECT OF THE GPH-MILF PEACE TALKS IN KUALA LUMPUR?

 

In the midst of the almost 40 years long GRP-MNLF peace negotiations, the new brand GPH (not Government of Poverty and Hunger?) and MILF peace talks have lasted already for more than 10 years as mediated by Malaysia. Clearly, both parties have to forge a peace agreement, after the initialed Peace Compact on Bangsamoro Judicary Entity was declared unconstitutional by the Philippine Supreme Court under the Arroyo regime. From the start of the GPH-MILF Peace Talks in Kuala Lumpur under the Aquino II government up to this month, the GPH and MILF peace panels have expressed optimism to sign a peace agreement based on "Bangsamoro Substate" autonomy. The MILF leadership already abandoned the original demand for an "independent Islamic state", positing instead for a Bangsamoro Substate under the Philippine Republic. Thus, hopefully, the GPH and MILF negotiating panels can come up with a mutually agreed peace agreement related to the Bangsamoro Substate issue.

Be it as it may, granting that there is a breakthrough and the GPH-MILF Peace Agreement is certainly a foregone conclusion! How is it then possible for the Philippine government to implement two peace agreements with the MNLF and MILF?

Lately, it is reported in the news media that the Aquino II regime can easily implement the two MNLF and MILF peace accords if both liberation fronts can come to terms with each other either by uniting or merging to pursue only one agreement based on autonomy set-up. Simply put, both MNLF and MILF freedom fighters have to choose either the MNLF concept Bangsamoro Autonomous Government (BAG) or the MILF's Bangsamoro Substate.

Does this also mean that without Bangsamoro unity there is no implementation of peace agreements?

On this particular instance, can the MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari and the MILF Chairman Hj. Murad Ebrahim rally their revolutionary adherents to unite in accepting a Bangsamoro autonomy crafted again by the Philippine government?

In the final analysis, this is the ugly consequence of two peace agreements that are forged by a colonial government based only on its own unilateral implementation. Thus, it remains to be seen if this will end the more than four decades long Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao? Likewise, how will this fare with the Aquino II government's oft-repeated phrase solution for "just and lasting" peace in Mindanao?

Hence, if comprehensive peaceful solution is not achieved despite the two MNLF and MILF peace agreements, what can derail the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) Mujahidin and Mujahidat to continue the liberation war originally started by the MNLF to regain the national self-determination and independence of the Bagsamoro people in Mindanao under Philippine colonialism? -
osm/
mnlfnet.com

 

 

 

 

 

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