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Bangsamoroism and the nexus of identity politics and violent extremism in the southern philippines
 

Bangsamoroism and the nexus of identity politics and violent extremism in the southern philippines

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    Bangsamoroism and the nexus of identity politics and violent extremism in the southern philippines Bangsamoroism and the nexus of identity politics and violent extremism in the southern philippines Document Transcript

    • IAG Policy Brief Bangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the Southern Philippines AUGUST 2012 ISSN 2243-8173-12-08
    • 2 | Policy BriefBangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the SouthernPhilippines* Prof. Rommel C. BanlaoiIntroductionV iolent extremism is a highly contested and a very fuzzy concept in the field of violencestudies and terrorism research. If it means a in a society dominated by Christian Filipinos. It is also through the prism of identity politics that some Bangsamoros are radicalized tojustification of the use of violence as an extreme protect and enhance their identity, which theymeasure in furtherance of a certain religious think are being suppressed by the Christianbelief or a particular political goal as well as majority of Filipinos.the protection or enhancement of a certainethnic, class, religious or political identities, Other Bangsamoros fall prey to extremethe Southern Philippines then is enormously ideas that endorse the use of armed violence toprone to many acts of violent extremism. alter their current social, economic and political situation that they think is utterly oppressive There is no doubt that identity politics of their cherished identity.is one of the many lenses from which toexamine the complex challenges of the so- Identity politics serves as an explanatorycalled violent extremism in the Southern logic for Muslims in Mindanao to understandPhilippines. Identity politics is, in fact, a how they acquire a sense of sameness with onemajor analytical framework to examine how ethnic group or belongingness to an oppressedthe Bangsamoro people justify their violent and nascent nation they call Bangsamoro andstruggle for their right to self-determination so distinguish themselves from a dominant andthat they can govern themselves in their own “exploitative” nation of the Christian Filipinos.way, according to their customs, traditions, This imagined ethnic community of a Mororeligions and socio-cultural identities.1 It also nation creates a worldview that defines theserves as the organizing concept to grapple “self” identity of the Moros and distinguisheswith the development of Bangsamoroism, a themselves from other nations.2 This sense ofMoro ideology in Mindanao that justifies the “self” and “other” has permeated sharply intouse of armed violence to protect and enhance a bitter clash of identities in Mindanao thatthe “Moro national identity” and to advance has brought the “minority Muslim Moros” andthe cause of Islamic state in Mindanao, even if the “majority Christian Filipinos” to a bitterits adherents claim to have been upholding the ethnic and sectarian violence for more thanpeaceful struggle for nationhood. four decades and to the seemingly intractable internal armed conflicts that have become so Through the wisdom of identity politics, costly and damaging to both opposing identities.Muslim inhabitants of Mindanao identifythemselves with a common identity they call There are currently four major armedBangsamoro, which is both an ethnic and Muslim groups in the Southern Philippinesreligious construction. Identity politics makes that promote the concept of a Bangsamorosense of the minority status of the Bangsamoros identity: the Moro National Liberation Front
    • Bangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the Southern Philippines | 3(MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front With its concept of a Bangsamoro identity,(MILF), the Al Harakatul Al Islamiyah (AHAI), the MIM aimed to establish a separate Islamicmore popularly known as the Abu Sayyaf Group state in Mindanao. Leaders of the MNLF came(ASG), and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom mostly from the MIM, which later on wouldMovement (BIFM). These groups are arguably soften its stand on Moro independence.engaged in various acts associated with violentextremism that is currently being passed on to Echoing the Bangsamoroism of thethe younger generation. MIM, the MNLF believes that the Moros have their own national identity that deservesThe Moro National Liberation Front independence. The MNLF intensified the promotion of Bangsamoroism as the rallying Founded by Nur Misuari, the MNLF used ideology of the Bangsamoro people for nationalto be a united front of Moro rebels pursuing the liberation through arms struggle. This ideologycause of Muslim independence in Mindanao. At regards the Bangsamoros as oppressed peoplepresent however, the MNLF has been heavily colonized by Filipinos. The Manifesto offactionalized. Some MNLF members have the MNLF released on 28 April 1974 aptlyentered the mainstream Philippine politics articulates the ideology of Bangsamoroismwhile others have been integrated in the when it states:Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and thePhilippine National Police (PNP). The rest are We, the five million oppressedstill waging arms struggle, particularly those Bangsamoro people, wishing to free ourselvesidentified with the so-called Misuari Break form the terror, oppression and tyranny ofAway Group (MBG). The MBG is currently Filipino colonialism which has caused usbeing accused of spreading violent extremism untold sufferings and miseries by criminalityin the Southern Philippines. usurping our land, by threatening Islam through wholesale destruction and desecration Despite its many factions, adherents of its places of worship and its Holy Book, andand followers who associate themselves with murdering our innocent brothers, sisters andthe MNLF continue to adhere to the socially folks in a genocidal campaign of terrifyingconstructed idea that Muslims in Mindanao magnitude’ hereby declares ‘the establishmentare Moros and not Filipinos.3 This idea, in fact, of the Bangsamoro Republic’.5originates from the position of the MindanaoIndependence Movement (MIM) formed in 1968 Nur Misuari endorses arms struggleafter the gruesome Jabidah Massacre.4 The to emancipate the Bangsamoro people fromManifesto of the MIM asserts that the Moros the “oppression” and “colonialism” of Imperialhave their own identity, culture and history that Manila. Misuari regards arms struggle as “aare distinct from that of the Filipinos. The MIM revolution for national salvation and humaneven used the slogan, “We are not Filipinos, we justice based on jihad, which is the path ofare Bangsamoros” during their major rallies. struggle of Muslims, either in the moral, ethical,It was through the MIM when the ideology of spiritual or political realm, to bring about aBangsamoroism started to develop. positive transformation of the inner self and the
    • 4 | Policy Briefsocio-economic and political order.”6 Thus, the by conducting a war against the PhilippineMNLF formed the Bangsamoro Armed Forces military for “defensive” and “counter-offensive”(BAF) as its armed wing. The Organization of purposes.9 Salamat even argues that the warIslamic Conference (OIC) recognizes the MNLF being waged by the MILF is part of the waras the “sole and legitimate representative of the fought by the ancestors of the BangsamoroBangsamoro people.” people. He elaborates:The Moro Islamic Liberation Front The war we are engaged in is part of the war fought by our ancestors. It flared up since The Bangsamoroism of the MNLF, the first half of the 16th century, that is, sincehowever, is viewed to be very secular and even more than four hundred years ago. At present,Marxist in ideological orientation. Thus, a we have no choice but either to wage Jihadsplinter group was formed within the MNLF. in the cause of Allah plunging ourselves intoThis group called itself as the MILF to advocate ferocious war in order to survive in a prosperousa more “Islamist cause”. life and to remain as Muslims, or to submit to subjugation and humiliation.10 Founded by Hashim Salamat in 1984,7the MILF describes itself to be more Islamic The Abu Sayyaf Groupin orientation and religious in conviction thatthe MNLF. While both the MNLF and the Amidst the two Moro groups with theirMILF share the same narrative of Bangsamoro own versions of Bangsamoroism, another groupidentity that views Muslims in Mindanao as emerged in 1989 with the establishment of themarginalized Moros and not Filipinos, the AHAI by Abdurajak Janjalani, a former MNLFMILF provides a more “Islamic” identity into member.11 More known as the ASG, thisthe Bangsamoro identity. group intended to bridge the divide between the MNLF and MILF. Aiming to establish a The MILF also justifies the use of armed “purely Islamic government” of Bangsamorosviolence to advance the Bangsamoro people’s in Mindanao, Janjalani formed the ASG/AHAIstruggle against oppression and colonialism.8 when the MNLF started to enter a peace talkThus, it formed the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed with the government.Forces (BIAF) to wage a “genuine”jihad of theMoros. The MILF also has its Special Operation There were allegations that the ASGGroup (SOG) that is accused of various crimes was created by the Philippine military.associated with terrorism. The MILF-SOG is But Janjalani argued that he founded thealso being linked with the Jemaah Islamiyah ASG as an alternative resistance group offollowers operating in the Southern Philippines, Bangsamoros who were disappointed withparticularly in Central Mindanao. the secular leaderships of the MNLF and the moderate Islamist position of the MILF. In While the MILF recognizes the value of fact, most of the original founders of the ASGpeace talks with the government to advance the were disgruntled members of the MNLF andright to self-determination of the Bangsamoro the MILF. In his undated public proclamationpeople, it also leans towards violent extremism containing many elements of violent extremist
    • Bangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the Southern Philippines | 5ideology, Janjalani explained what it called the The ASG, however, rapidly degenerated“Four Basic Truths” about the ASG, to wit: into a band of bandit soon after the death 1. t is not to create another faction I of Abdurajak in 1998.13 Yet, the ASG, at in the Muslim struggle, which would present, has proven to be a resilient group of be against the teaching of Islam, Bangsamoros engaged in banditry, terrorism especially the Quran, but to serve and violent extremism.14 Its links with as a bridge and balance between personalities associated with Jemaah Islamiyah the MILF and MNLF, whose and Al-Qaeda have even strengthened the revolutionary roles and leadership violent extremist leaning of the ASG in order to cannot be ignored or usurped; promote the cause of a Bangsamoro identity. 2. ultimate Its goal is the The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement establishment of a purely Islamic government whose “nature, A newest Moro rebel group that is meaning, emblem and objective” are currently engaged many acts of violent basic to peace; extremism is the BIFM. The BIFM started as an armed faction of the MILF headed by 3. ts advocacy of war is a necessity I Ameril Umbra Kato, the former commander for as long as there exists oppression, of the MILF 105th Base Command. Kato injustice, capricious ambitions, and originally called his group the Bangsamoro arbitrary claims imposed on the Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) of the MILF Muslims; during its inauguration in December 2010. But he renamed his group as BIFM in August 2011 4. believes that “war disturbs It when his group attracted more adherents from peace only for the attainment of the both armed and non-armed Bangsamoros. true and real objective of humanity — the establishment of justice and The BIFM rejects the on-going peace righteousness for all under the law talks between the Philippine government the of the noble Quran and the purified MILF. Kato even argues that the right to self- Sunnah”.12 determination of the Bangsamoro people cannot be negotiated - it can only be won through arms Like Misuari and Salamat, Janjalani struggle. Kato criticizes the “endless” peaceadheres to the narrative of Bangsamoroism that negotiation between the government and theembraces the idea of a separate Bangsamoro MILF.identity that deserves its own sovereign state.His group also leans towards violent extremism Though the exact ideology of the BIFMas part of Jihad Fi-Sabil-lillah or fighting for has not been fully discussed in the publicthe cause of Allah. Janjalani claims to have domain, Kato adheres to Bangsamoroism offounded the ASG to seek kaadilan or justice for Salamat. Kato claims that his BIFM representsthe Bangsamoro people through Jihad. the united front work of the Bangsamoros
    • 6 | Policy Briefstruggling for genuine freedom through Jihad. This primordialist and even ethnocentricIts armed-wing, the BIFF, aims to pursue this view of Moro national identity, which somefreedom through arms struggle. scholars describe as a “myth of Morohood”, is a strong tie that vigorously binds all MuslimIdentity Politics and Violent Extremism of the rulers, rebels and even warlords involved inBangsamoros everyday politics of armed separatism and Muslim insurgencies in Mindanao.18 Even Identity politics may be viewed as the unarmed and non-violent groups of Muslimsprincipal driver of violent extremism of the in Mindanao share this primordialist andBangsamoros. It is the major source of the ethnocentric understanding of a Bangsamoroideology of Bangsamoroism, which regards identity. The internationalization of thethe Morohood as a single and transcendent Bangsamoro struggle has even strengthened thenational identity that is entitled to have its claim of the Moros to vigorously fight for theirsovereignty and independence.15 The formation identities and their right to self-determinationof this Bangsamoro identity is said to have in the form of an independent state.19developed through more than 400 years of hardand painful struggle for self-determination in The global and regional trends in Islamicthe “Bangsamoro” homeland in Mindanao.16 resurgence in the aftermath of the cold war have further intensified this assertion for a This idea of a Bangsamoro identity Bangsamoro identity.20 The rise of transnationalcurrently informs the violent behavior of armed Islam after the September 11, 2001 terroristMuslims groups in Mindanao. This idea of a attacks on the United States has also heightenednational identity (that is believed by Moros to the Islamic consciousness of Muslims inbe under assault, persecution, oppression, and the Philippines, largely encouraging theireven “annihilation” by other national identities) continued struggle for self-determination.21 Theprovides a moral ground to some Moros to adopt Moro conception of a separate national identityan extreme measure that compels them to resort is said to have entitled its people to enjoy theirto violence in order to protect and enhance this right of self-determination, to wit:identity in accordance with the system of lifethat is deemed suitable and acceptable to the The Bangsamoro people qualify as aBangsamoro people. people who hold the right of self-determination because they have a common historical tradition The ideology of Bangsamoroism endorses and religious affinity and share many culturalsome religious values and political beliefs that practices. They occupy contiguous territoryuphold a worldview of what is just and unjust (being maritime societies connected by the sea)for the Muslims in Mindanao. In fact, leaders of with rich natural resources.22armed Muslim groups, particularly the MNLFand the MILF, contend that the Bangsamoro In other words, the internal armedidentity extends to oppressed non-Muslim conflict in Mindanao on the Moro Front, moreinhabitants of Mindanao: the Christians and popularly known as the “Moro Problem”, isthe indigenous people (IP), locally known as the considered as a “manifestation of the aspirationlumads.17 of the Bangsamoro people to retain their
    • Bangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the Southern Philippines | 7cultural, religious, and ethnic identity and to violence as a rightful and even necessary toolgain greater control over their own lives.”23 to redress the injustices committed against the Moro people. But the concept of a Bangsamoroidentity is being challenged. It is argued that Minoritization. The Moros feel thatthe notion of Bangsamoro nationhood is very the “Christian-dominated” government of thenew (only more than 40 years old) and is yet to Filipinos has systematically minoritized them.be crystallized and even internalized by other The process of minoritization began duringMuslims in Mindanao.24 Spanish colonial period that lasted until the American colonial rule of the archipelago now Nonetheless, this so-called myth of known as the Philippines. The minoritizationnational identity continues to define the violent of Muslims in Mindanao continued when thestruggle of Muslims in Mindanao for self- Philippines acquired its independence from thedetermination. Though Muslims in Mindanao United States in 1946.were given autonomy as a result of the 1976Tripoli Agreement, 1989 Organic Law on the By the 1960s, minoritization of the MorosAutonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had become a fait accompli.26 In 1900, Muslims(ARMM), and the 1996 Agreement between the in Mindanao represented 76 percent of the totalPhilippine government and the MNLF, this type population. By 2000, Muslim population inof autonomy is currently rejected by the MILF, Mindanao dropped to 20 percent.the ASG and the BIFM because of allegationsof corruption, incompetence of co-opted Muslim The minoritization of the Moros wasofficials, and lack of real autonomy (as the attributed to misdirected state policies onARMM is said to have been under the control of agrarian reforms that encouraged Christiansa central government in Manila).25 The so-called in Luzon and Visayas to settle in Mindanao.27“Paper Autonomy” in the ARMM compels other These agrarian reform programs made theMoro rebels, particularly from the MILF, ASG Moros to “become a minority in many partsand BIFM, to resume their violent resistance. of their traditional homeland, with many losing their land to the immigrant settlersIdentity Politics and a Justification for Violence through dubious legal transactions or outright confiscation.”28 From the perspectives of identity politics,the Moros justify their violent resistance because Economic Marginalization. The landof the following reasons: a) “minoritization”; reform program for the Christians in Luzonb) economic marginalization; and c) social and and the Visayas resulted in the landlessnesspolitical exclusion. of the Muslims in Mindanao. Thus, the Moros feel that they have been dispossessed of Young generation of Bangsamoros are their ancestral lands. With no lands at theirexposed, socialized, and even “brainwashed” to disposal, the Moros have also been economicallythese underlying reasons. These reasons are, marginalized. In fact, all Muslim areas of thein fact, being used to radicalize the minds of Philippines are considered to be at the bottomthe Bangsamoro youth and to glorify the use of of the heap.29
    • 8 | Policy Brief In terms of Human Development Index, • Lack of provisions for the customaryMuslim-dominated provinces of Maguindanao, and traditional practices of MuslimsSulu, Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi in official and public settings; and,have the least access to education, health,electricity, transportation, and water and • Loss of Bangsamoro ancestralsanitation services.30 These provinces also properties because of discriminatoryhave the highest number of armed encounters land registration policies.33between the government and rebel forces.These conflict-affected provinces of Mindanao Thus, the Moros feel powerless and thisare considered to be the poorest among the sense of powerlessness drives them to behave77 Philippine provinces and are found to violently to empower themselves.have the highest levels of dissatisfaction withgovernment services.31 Conclusion Social and Political Exclusion. Being Identity politics strongly resonatesminoritized and economically marginalized, as the main driver of the so-called violentthe Moros also suffer from social and political extremism in Mindanao. A strongly held idea ofexclusion under a unitary system of the a Bangsamoro identity that creates the ideologyPhilippine government.32 Through decades of of Bangsamoroism provides a strong moralnegative stereotyping, the Christian Filipino justification for the Moros to accommodatemajority has developed built-in biases against extreme measures and to pursue their strugglethe Muslim minority in terms of employment. for self-determination through the use of force. Even in national elections, Muslims have The centrality of national identity also inspiresdifficulties winning a seat in the national posts. the Moros to be very resilient in their violentMoros who occupy government positions are struggle for freedom and nationhood, whichdeemed to have been co-opted and corrupted and until now informs the behavior of armed Morosacting like oppressors. In the study conducted associated with the MNLF, MILF, ASG andby the World Bank, the social and political BIFM.exclusion of the Moros is exacerbated by thefollowing factors related with minoritization The MNLF, MILF, ASG, and BIFM clingand economic marginalization: to the general notion of a Bangsamoro identity. They all subscribe to the general ideology • Philippine history texts that of Bangsamoroism that justifies the use of do not acknowledge the historic violence to protect and enhance this identity. contributions of the Bangsamoro; But they have different interpretations of Bangsamoroism and approaches on how to • Biases and prejudice in media protect and enhance the Bangsamoro identity. accounts and reports; While there is no doubt that the • Apparent discrimination against quest for national identity drives people to Muslims in job placements; act violently, there are many other drivers
    • Bangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the Southern Philippines | 9of violent extremism.34 These drivers are Verso, 1991).context-and-time-bound and even culture-and- 3 For a seminal work on this concept, see Abdurasadsociety-specific. A more nuanced examination Asana, Moros Not Filipinos(Marawi City: Bangsamoroof these drivers is therefore essential to have a Research Center, nd).better grasp of the many challenges of violentextremism not only in the Southern Philippines 4 The Jabidah Massacre pertains to the summarybut also elsewhere. execution of a number of Moro recruits being trained for Operation Merdeka, a codename for clandestine military But there is a need to emphasize that plan to infiltrate Sabah as part of the Philippine’s strategywhile identities unleash several problems to establish its ownership of the said territory. For an excellent investigative report on the Jabidah Massacre,associated with violent extremism, identities see Marites Vitug and Glenda, Under the Crescent Moon:are not static, immutable and frozen in time Rebellion in Mindanao(Quezon City: Ateneo Center forand space.35 Identities are dynamic, socially Social Policy and Public Affairs/Institute for Popularconstructed and products of the so-called Democracy, 2000).invention of traditions. Identities can, in fact,accommodate changes and therefore contribute 5 The Manifesto of the Moro National Liberation Frontto conflict resolution and social transformation. (28 April 1974).As such, identities can also provide just and 6 Nur Misuari, MNLF Guidelines for Political Cadreslasting solutions to the problems of violent and Military Commanders, n.p.: (Bangsa Moro Researchextremism. Center of the Moro National Liberation Front., 1984), pp. 6-7.End Notes 7 Salamat traces the origin of MILF in 1962 when he formed in Cairo a Islamic group of Moro students called* Presented at the International Workshop on “The Impact Moro Liberation Front (MLF).of Identity Politics on Violent Extremism” organized bythe Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) 8 Salamat Hashim, The Bangsamoro People’s Struggleof the Nanyang Technological University and the Global Against Oppression and Colonialism (Camp Abu Bakar,Futures Forum (GFF) at Marina Mandarin Hotel, Maguindanao: MILF Agency for Youth Affairs, 2001).Singapore October 23-25, 2011 9 Salah Jubair, The Long Road to Peace: Inside the1 For my initial use of identity politics to examine GRP-MILF Peace Process(Cotabato City: Institute ofPhilippine national security predicaments amidst Bangsamoro Studies, 2007), p. 18.terrorist threats, see Rommel C. Banlaoi, “IdentityPolitics and Philippine National Security in the Age of 10 Salamat Hashim, Referendum: Peaceful, Civilized,Terror” in Rommel C. Banlaoi, Philippine Security in the Diplomatic and Democratic Means of Solving theAge of Terror: National, Regional, and Global Challenges Mindanao Conflicts (Camp Abu Bakar, Maguindanao:in the Post-9/11 World (New York and London: CRC MILF Agency for Youth Affairs, 2002), p. 13.Press/Taylor and Francis, 2010), pp. 3-26. 11 For a more detailed analysis of the origin, evolution2 For the concept of imagined community, see Benedict and dynamics of the ASG, see Rommel C. Banlaoi, AlAnderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Harakatul-Al Islamiyah: Essays on the Abu SayyafOrigin and Spread of Nationalism, revised (New York: Group (Quezon City: Philippine Institute for Peace,
    • 10 | Policy BriefViolence and Terrorism Research, 2009). 20 Mehol K. Sadain, Global and Regional Trends in Islamic Resurgence: Their Implications on the Southern12 Samuel K. Tan, “Beyond Freedom: The Juma’a Abu Philippines (Pasay City: Center for InternationalSayyaf (Assessment of Its Origins, Objectives, Ideology Relations and Strategic Studies of the Foreign Serviceand Method of Struggle)”, in Internationalization of the Institute, 1994).Bangsamoro Struggle (Quezon City: University of thePhilippines Center for Integrative and Development 21 See Rommel Banlaoi, “Transnational Islam in theStudies, 2003), revised edition, p. 96. Philippines” in Peter Mandaville, et. al., Transnational13 For details, see Rommel C. Banlaoi, “The Abu Sayyaf Islam in South and Southeast Asia: Movements,Group: From Mere Banditry to Genuine Terrorism”, in Networks, and Conflict Dynamics (Seattle: NationalDalijit Singh and Lorraine Salazar (eds),Southeast Asian Bureau of Asian Research, 2009), pp. 167-188.Affairs 2006 (Singapore:Institute of Southeast AsianStudies, 2006), pp. 247-262. 22 Abhoud Syed M. Lingga, “Bangsamoro Self- Determination” in Peter Kreuzer and Rainer Werning14 See Rommel C. Banlaoi,“The Sources of Abu Sayyaf ’s (eds), Voices from Moroland: Perspectives fromResilience in the Southern Philippines”, CTC Sentinel, Stakeholders and Observers on the Conflict in thevol. 3, Issue 5 (May 2010), pp. 17-19. Southern Philippines (Petalling Jaya, Malaysia: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, 2007), p.15 Kit Collier calls this identity as the “myth of Morohood”. 32.See Kit Collier, “Dynamics of Muslim Separatism inthe Philippines” in Damien Kingburry (ed),Violence 23 The International Bank for Reconstruction andin Between: Conflict and Security in the Archipelagic Development/The World Bank,Joint Needs AssessmentSoutheast Asia(Victoria and Singapore: Monash for Reconstruction and Development of Conflict-AffectedUniversity Press and Institute of Southeast Asian Areas in Mindanao: Volume 5, Local Governance andStudies, 2005), pp. 155-176. Institutions Report (Pasig City: IBRD/WB: 2005), p. 2. See Salah Jubair, Bangsamoro: A Nation Under Endless16 24 Rizal Buendia, The Politics of Ethnicity and MoroTyranny (Kuala Lumpur: IQ Marin SDN BHD, 1999). Secessionism in the Philippines (Murdoch University, Working Paper Number 146, November 2007), p. 13.17 This tri-people concept of Bangsamoro identity,however, is contested. The Bangsamoro identity may 25 See Benedicto R. Bacani, Beyond Paper Autonomy:even be regarded as an excellent example of an invented The Challenge in Southern Philippines (Makati Citytradition. See Eric J. Hobsbawm and Terence O. and Cotabato City: Konrad Adenauer Foundation andRanger (eds), The Invention of Traditions (Cambridge: the Center for Autonomy and Governance, 2004).Cambridge University Press, 1983). 26 Astrid Tuminez, “Rebellion, Terrorism, Peace: America’s18 Thomas M. Mckenna, Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Unfinished Business with Muslims in the Philippines”,Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Brown Journal of World Affairs, Volume 15, Number 1Philippines (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2000). (Fall/Winter 2008), p. 214. 27 For an excellent analysis of this issue, see Eric19 Samuel K. Tan, The Internationalization of the Guttierez and Saturnino Borras, Jr., The Moro Conflict:Bangsamoro Struggle , 2ndprinting (Quezon City: Landlessness and Misdirected State Policies (WashingtonUniversity of the Philippines Center for Integrative and DC: East-West Center Policy Studies Number 8, 2004).Development Studies, 2003). The MNLF is advancingan independent secular state. But the for the MILF, the 28 See Andrew Tan, “The Indigenous Roots of ConflictASG, and the BIFM, it should be an independent Islamic in Southeast Asia: The Case of Mindanao”, in Kumarstate. Ramakrishna and See Seng Tan (eds), After Bali: The
    • Bangsamoroism and the Nexus of Identity Politics and Violent Extremism in the Southern Philippines | 11Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia (Singapore: History and Contemporary Struggles of the BangsamoroWorld Scientific Publishing and Institute of Defence and People (Quezon City: Center for People Empowerment inStrategic Studies, 2003), p. 99. Governance, 2008).29 Ibid., p. 2. 33 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank,Joint Needs Assessment30 Ibid. Also see Philippine Human Development Report for Reconstruction and Development of Conflict-Affected2005: Peace, Human Security and Human Development Areas in Mindanao: Volume 5, Local Governance andin the Philippines (Manila: Human Development Institutions Report (Pasig City: IBRD/WB: 2005), p. 2.Network, 2005). 34 See United States Agency for International The World Bank, Social Assessment of Conflict-Affected31 Development, Guide to the Drivers of Violent ExtremismAreas in Mindanao(Manila: The World Bank Philippines (Washington DC: USAID, 2009).Post Conflict Series Number 1, 2003), pp. 9-10. 35 For an excellent review of existing knowledge on this32 For a good read on this topic, see Mark Turner, R.J. topic, see Sumuna Das Gupta, “Editorial”, Peace Prints:May and Lulu Respall Turner (eds), Mindanao: Land of South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, No. 3, Vol. 2Unfulfilled Promise (Quezon City: New Day Publishers, (Winter 2010).1992). Also see Bobby Tuazon (ed), The Moro Reader: Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of IAG and KAS. IAG as a policy platform continues to create more “tables” in our common search for genuine autonomy and governance. IAG Policy Brief is published monthly. Associate Editor: Ramie Toledo. Lay-out Artist: Omar Tadeja. Go to www.iag. org.ph to download the pdf version. Above Photo: Ameril Umbra Kato (seated) the commander of BIFM grants interview to the media inside his rebel stronghold in Maguindanao in this photo taken on Aug. 16, 2011 (AP).
    • Shaping Public Policy for Peace and Good GovernanceThe Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG)is an independent and non- partisan think tankfounded in 2001 to generate ideas on makingautonomy an effective vehicle for peace anddevelopment in the Southern Philippines. IAG isan institutional partner of the Konrad AdenauerStiftung in the Philippines.IAG is located at Notre Dame University, NotreDame Avenue, Cotabato City,Philippines, Telefax(64)421-2071.Email: info@iag.org.ph and Website:www.iag.org.phKAS is in 5th floor, Cambridge Center Building,108 Tordesillas Corner Gallado Street, SalcedoVillage, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines,telephone 894-3737.