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09 October 2011



"The time has come", said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before the delegates to the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) only last September. He further emphasized, "I don't believe anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application for full admission in the United Nations," waving simultaneously a copy of the letter of application for statehood he had presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Thus, striking a blow for Palestine to be recognized as an independent State amongst the community of nations in the UN, the Palestine Question, which is prioritized and repeatedly debated in the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) for many years, has now been elevated to the UN for final reckoning. Indeed this has gained moral and political victory to the Palestinian people under Israeli colonialism.

Now comes the Bangsamoro Question! After the Palestine problem, the most controversial issue usually discussed in the annual OIC Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference (ICFM) meetings is the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao that until now is wanting comprehensive solution. Despite the forging of the 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement, the 1987 Jeddah Accord and the 1996 Jakarta Peace Agreement concurred with the active participation of the OIC, the Bangsamoro Question remains still a thorny issue in the OIC.  Unresolved. Chaotic. Threatening. Still courting humanitarian disaster for the colonized Bangsamoro people under Filipino occupation since the Philippine Commonwealth regime in 1935.

Parallel to the Palestine Question, how can the global pan-Islamic body help resolve completely the Bangsamoro Question? Is it to mediate actively in the Filipino-Moro conflict for 37 years now, but leave the two antagonistic parties - Bangsamoro people and Philippine government - to arrive by themselves at the final end of the comprehensive solution to the problem? However, what if the other party is not to keenly serious in resolving the nagging problem, but only delaying the whole peace process to perpetuate the dreadful status quo in the war-ravaged area to preserve its colonial national interest? Indeed for more than 37 years, this is the ugly political strategy of the Philippine government, which is only banking on a no-peace no-war situation. Clearly, the political design is only to perpetuate Philippine colonialism in Mindanao, trying to deceitfully outmaneuver the OIC and the Bangsamoro people. But, how is this possible with the active

MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari with OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu at the OIC Foreign Ministers Conference held in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan, on 28-30 June, 2011

Sultan Jamal ul-Azam of the Sulu Sultanate interviewing French Visitors in the late 1800s when the Bangsamoros were free and sovereign.
-- J. Montano, Voyage aux Philippines et en Malaisie (Paris, 1886)

involvement of the OIC and other peace-advocating world organizations, like UN, NAM and EU watching?

Apparently, the political move of the Manila government now as always is to divide the Bangsamoro people, subdividing the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and pitting the MNLF against the splintered groups, including Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Al-Harakatul al-Islamia (Islamic Movement), Moro National Liberation Front-Executive Council (MNLF-EC), etc. Along this deceitful course, the Philippine government is brazenly conducting its diplomatic offensive in seeking 'observer' status in the OIC to replace the colonized Bangsamoro people as represented by the MNLF, which gained OIC Observer status in 1976 and later upgraded to 'Permanent Observer'.

Thus, backdrop by this duplicity on the part of the Manila government complemented by a Philippine media totally against Mindanao peace for obvious reason, the peaceful solution to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao is always facing dead end for more than four decades today. But, this is only compounding the 'suffering, misery and agony' of the oppressed Bangsamoro people and continuing the wanton killings of Muslims in Mindanao.

Hence, on this end, it is of wiser judgment that the Bangsamoro people thru MNLF representation have to revive their application for full membership in the OIC. Hopefully, once accomplished, they have to vigorously campaign for observer status in the UN. Today, both the members of the global bodies, OIC and UN, should have a "shred of conscience" in resolving the peaceful end to the Filipino-Moro conflict for the sake of the suffering Muslims, Christians and Highlanders in war-torn Mindanao. -osm/mnlfnet.com  


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