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NOTES ON
PHILIPPINE – BANGSAMORO CONFLICT

By O. S. Miharbi


Who’s Afraid of Mindanao Independence?

Chapter I

Welcome to the cyber age – www.mnlf.net!            (mnlf.net is now mnlfnet.com)

Your timely birth is a significant contribution of the Bangsamoro people of Mindanaw to the cyber global village. Quite expectedly, your ‘coming’ is awaited by the rest of the Islamic Ummah, and the world community.

Who doesn’t want to know the truth about the MNLF-launched Bangsamoro people’s struggle to regain liberty and freedom from the real genuine actors and players, who have yet to re-write their own true history?

***

Now, what did the remaining days of year 2001 bring vividly to the consciousness of the Muslim, Christian and Highlander Mindanawans that will again trigger the resumption of a fullscale Filipino-Moro war in the region for the coming year of horse 2002?

Certainly, it cannot be anything else, but a fervent prayer for a lifetime legacy of a peaceful Mindanao… for now and, possibly, forever!

However, is conflict-free Mindanaw possible under the present circumstances? Or is Mindanaw condemned forever to more wars and hostilities between the oppressed ethnic nationalities and their colonial oppressors?

Since time immemorial, the historical past of Mindanaw had always been embedded in tragic wars. Clearly, the tragedy had been always an imposed one. The series of tragic strife were never the making of the native inhabitants – the warrior Moros and the other ethnic communities – but brought upon their doorsteps by the western pirates, who crossed the thousand-mile sea journey to bring chaos and turmoil into the Mindanaw heartland to satisfy their megalomaniac economic and political greed.

Thus, the more than three centuries Spanish-Moro wars, and the almost half century American-Moro war in Mindanao only proved that the western piratical colonizers were mighty proud to promote the law of the jungle: That might is right! But isn’t this the doctrine of the barbarians and the savages?

Indeed, equip with superior ‘weapons of mass destruction’, the Spanish and American pirates used their might to bully the Mindanaw natives into surrender and submission to attain one sublime goal – to land-grab the indigenous lands and to plunder the inherent mineral and aquatic riches of the ethnic nationalities of Moroland.

Yet, the western piratical invaders never did permanently succeed because the native Mindanawans fought back and hard and merely exposed them for what they really were – piratical conspirators, who merely brought upon Mindanaw the continued plague of war up to the present era.

Compounding the ugliness of the whole piratical episode, both the Spanish and American invaders camouflaged their crusade based on the following flimsy grounds: (a) “civilizing the savages”, (b) “Christianizing the native believers from their untrue religion,” and (c) “teaching the unlearned natives with the rudiments of democracy and the sublime ‘benevolent assimilation’.”

Without shame and concern for the fundamental human rights, religion and culture of the Mindanaw ethnic communities, the western pirates, who had established a war base in Manila and utilized to the full extent their Indio slaves from Luzon and nearby Visayas, invaded repeatedly and ransacked the Bangsamoro homeland to accomplish the ugly goals mentioned above.

Thus, how successful were the Spanish and American colonizers to hoodwink the native Mindanawans and to land-grab their precious ethnic lands?

As may be viewed now in modern history, the piratical Spanish and American expeditions have only brought continued war in Mindanao. Worst, the western conspirators had deliberately contributed to Mindanaw becoming a milking colony to the inheritors of Spanish-American colonialism on July 4, 1946.

Hence, the war for Mindanaw independence has had to be fought time and again by the Bangsamoro people against the new homegrown colonizers.

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) started actively the liberation struggle in the late 1960s. However, this was cut short to accepting “autonomy under the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines” through the strong pressure by the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Eventually, the MNLF and the Philippine government with the active participation of then OIC Ministerial Committee of Six, composing of Indonesia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Senegal and Somalia, had forged the Peace Agreement of September 2, 1996, but still the autonomy formula for 14 provinces and ten cities in war-torn Mindanao has to take off the ground.

Unfortunately, the time framework allotted to its implementation has passed the deadline. The MNLF thus accused the Philippine government of mistrust, violating the letter and spirit of the GRP-OIC-MNLF Peace Agreements of September 2, 1996.

On the other hand, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the mysterious Abu Sayyaf group continued to wage a war for Mindanaw independence.

The active Bangsamoro freedom fighters were inspired by the unfolding event in East Timor, whose people voted in a referendum for total independence from Indonesian rule.

Lending support to the ground Mujahideen, Bangsamoro masses by tens of thousands staged demonstrations and rallies in Davao City and Marawi City, demanding for the complete independence of Mindanaw. This milestone event happened on the same day the MILF and the Philippine government started their peace talks sometime November, 1999.

In truth, similar to Kazakstan, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, and East Timor, Mindanaw was always a peaceful free nation until the western piratical war-mongers preyed upon its tranquility. And gradually, the same western piratical powers dumped Mindanaw into its present lowly colonial status.

Today, the idea of Mindanaw independence is only bidding its time. Similar to East Timor, an independent Mindanaw is the only ideal and logical formula to avert a continued genocidal blood-bath war in the region that will eventually end with both the oppressed and the oppressors the biggest losers.

Now, who’s afraid of Mindanaw independence?

Are they, the past and present oppressors, who have come to believe that the perpetuation of colonialism is a shining badge of “might is right”?

Be it as it may, it’s about time too the present conscious Spaniards and Americans have to apologize to the people they had wronged and bastardized in the past.

Surely, their barbaric ancestors cannot be far better off than the Japanese tyrants, who had once ephemerally brought terror, chaos and havoc into Mindanaw, Philippines and Korea, but nonetheless developed the courage today to ask for forgiveness in public.

True justice dictates no less.

However, can the civilized children of the past buccaneers muster enough courage to do this? Or, are they today as their forebears in the past, “mighty and righteous beholders of injustice”?

Let the truth set the oppressed free!

end (for www.mnlf.net – osm/1.1.02)

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Homepage O History of the Bangsamoro People O The MNLF O Organization O Support from the OIC O The Tripoli Agreement
The Jeddah Accord 
O The Final Peace Agreement O The 4th Bangsamoro National Congress O The 5th Bangsamoro National Congress
 The UN Initiative 
O The MNLF-MILF Merger O Speeches of Chairman Misuari O The August 14, 2001 ARMM Plebiscite
 The November 26, 2001 ARMM Election
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