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
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
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
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
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