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Moro Right to Self Determination

Moro Right to Self Determination

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  • 1. Moro Right to Self-Determination A Call for Solidarity By: SAMMY P. MAULANA Secretary – General Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) Cotabato City, Philippines
  • 2. In Retrospection
    • The Bangsamoro has been existing as an indigenous nation in the far-east having the elements of a nation: people, sovereign territory, resources and government prior to the coming of the foreign colonizers and before the establishment of the Philippine republic in 1946.
  • 3. As an indigenous nation
    • The Bangsamoro:
    • - Had been freely exercising and enjoying their inherent and inalienable right to self-determination;
    • - Had been living with prosperity and dignity with the vast natural resources of their ancestral homeland;
    • The Bangsamoro nation had been recognized by other nations. Treaties were entered into between the Moro leaders and foreign heads of states before and during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.
  • 4. During Colonization
    • The Bangsamoro forefathers signed the Zamboanga Declaration of 1924 and the Dansalan Declaration of 1935 to protest the inclusion of the Moro Ancestral Domain as part of the territory ceded to the US through the Treaty of Paris.
    • Pushed against the wall, the Bangsamoro was forced to defend themselves and their ancestral homeland.
    • The struggle for freedom and self-determination was born.
  • 5. What worsened the Moro situation
    • Influx of the settlers from Luzon and Visayas which triggered mass dislocation of the Moro from their own land due to legally sanctioned “land-grabbing;”
    • Political disfranchisement of the Moro politicians due to the so-called “majority votes over minority votes;
    • The Jabidah Massacre;
    • The organization of ILAGA; and
    • The imposition of Martial Law in 1972
  • 6. The Rise of Bangsamoro Armed Resistance
    • The Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM) was formed to rekindle the struggle for independence and self-determination
    • Led by Mayor Udtog Matalam
  • 7. The Rise of Bangsamoro Armed Resistance
    • The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) later on carried out the struggle after MIM.
    • ** After decades-long armed resistance against the government, the GOP-MNLF Final Peace Agreement was signed which led to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
  • 8. The 1996 Final Peace Agreement
    • Phase I – Transitory Period (What happened)
      • The stipulated control, and/or regulatory powers of the SPCPD was not provided.
      • SPCPD not deputized to participate in the conduct of the 1998. general elections and the 2000 local elections and plebiscite, violating the agreement that the SPCPD would be deputized by the COMELEC in the conduct of any electoral activity in the SZOPAD.
      • Resources for SZOPAD during transitory period were under absolute control of the appropriate NGAs and not the SPCPD.
      • RA 9054 (Amending RA 6734) was an arbitrary and unilateral act of GRP and vehemently objected by the MNLF.
  • 9. The 1996 Final Peace Agreement
    • Phase I – Transitory Period (What happened)
      • The plebiscite was conducted without social preparation or information campaign about RA 9054.
      • Clusters of municipalities in Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat that voted for inclusion in the ARMM were left out since their situation was not in the contemplation of RA 9054. – subsuming Paragraph 2 (b) of the FPA (clusters of contiguous Muslim dominated municipalities voting in favor of autonomy be merged and constituted into new provinces which shall become part of the new Autonomous Region)
      • MNLF integrees were not organized into separate units within the transition period – they are still under SouthCom/WESTMINCOM.
  • 10. The 1996 Final Peace Agreement
    • Phase II – Establishment of Genuine Autonomous Government.
    • The Autonomous Framework consists of the following:
    • Executive Council, Legislative Assembly, Administrative System and Right of Representation in the National Government – ( only partially implemented )
    • The Establishment of the Special Regional Security Forces for the Autonomous Region (Phase II of the Implementation of the Tripoli Agreement) – ( not implemented )
    • Educational System to develop total spiritual, intellectual, social, cultural, scientific and physical aspects of Bangsamoro people – ( not implemented )
    • The Economic and Financial System, Control over Mines and Minerals – ( not implemented )
    • Shari’ah – ( still only remains up to personal and family laws )
  • 11. The ARMM
    • Although the territorial jurisdiction is limited, ARMM was expected to bolster good governance to develop and uplift the socio-economic condition of its people
    • It was perceived to be an effective machinery to regain the Bangsamoro homeland and restore RSD
  • 12.
    • ARMM was not able to assert its mandate and prove its worth
    • Rather, it was adjudged as an added burden to the Bangsamoro as it became a stamp pad of Malacañang and serving the interest of whoever is the president
    • It was also branded as the most corrupt and backward region
    • despite the abundance of its natural resources, it had failed to improve the quality of life of its constituencies.
    However …
  • 13. The MILF
    • The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) kept the Bangsamoro struggle for independence and RSD alive
    • After the Bangsamoro people and the MILF seasoned a countless wars in their homeland, the peace panels of the government and the MILF wrapped up their work with MOA-AD slated to be signed in Malaysia on August 5, 2008 but was aborted by the Supreme Court’s TRO.
  • 14. The MOA-AD breakthrough
    • viewed as a breakthrough in the search for a relevant, applicable and acceptable solution to end the “seemingly endless war” in Mindanao
    • A group of lawyers and CSOs including the CBCS had accredited themselves as interveners to assist the government in defending the MOA-AD
    • the SC ruled the MOA-AD unconstitutional
    • The civil society and the government peace panel filed a motion for reconsideration only to be junked by the Supreme Court in the end.
  • 15. The Supreme Court Decision
    • May be right:
    • - because it is mainly anchored on the Philippine Constitution -- a document that serves as a tool to perpetuate continuing colonization over the Bangsamoro
    • May be wrong:
    • - because it did not help solve the problem in Mindanao. It even aggravates the “already aggravated” situation as brings Mindanao back into the brink of war
  • 16. What is MOA-AD?
    • It is a product of GRP and MILF’s years-old peace negotiation
    • It is a result of the 4 years planning, data gathering, and analysis, exploratory talks and negotiations, public consultations, advocacy with stakeholders, study and review by the negotiating panels, and a legal review by a committee of law experts tapped by the president to review the document and assist the GRP panel.
  • 17.
    • A valid document that can stand before any international laws on international court of justice
    • It is supposed to serve as key to restore a just and lasting peace in Mindanao
    • It also offers a mechanism to attain a just and lasting peaceful co-existence among the people in Mindanao.
  • 18. What’s in it?
    • CONCEPT & PRINCIPLE
    • Explicitly defines the Bangsamoro people’s identity and acknowledging their roots as a self-governing society in pre-colonial period.
    • At the heart of the concept of ancestral domain is respect and acknowledgement not only of the Bangsamoro rights and freedom but also vested property rights, religious and cultural liberties of other peoples.
  • 19.
    • TERRITORY
    • The strand of territories defines the area of composition of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, the core of which is the present is the present ARMM, including areas composed of 721 barangays adjacent to ARMM and found in the agreed provinces and those barangays in agreed cities accession to ARMM after a plebiscite including those already voted in the previous plebiscite.
    • There are areas that have also identified for intensive development assistance. Arrangement over fluvial and maritime domain consist of internal and territorial waters of BJE.
  • 20.
    • RESOURCES
    • Grants authority to the BJE on the use and development of resources found within the BJE jurisdiction
    • It sets the reasonable sharing with the Central Government of profit exploration of potential sources of energy found within BJE jurisdiction
    • The BJE shall have the power to conduct economic relations to maximize its capacity to fully develop. There is 75%-25% sharing scheme of proceeds from resources in favor of the BJE
  • 21.
    • GOVERNANCE
    • Laid down the mechanisms and the modalities to implement the MOA-AD, the details of which shall be outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
  • 22. The Sad Story
    • The MOA-AD is a victim of greedy politicians whose primary ambitions are either to cling on power or to crave for power including other sectors who have interests in the Bangsamoro homeland
    • It was also held hostage the by foreign power and foreign giant corporations with vested interests on the vast natural resources of the Bangsamoro homeland.
    • All of them are unmindful for whatever consequences it may cost just to attain their ulterior motives.
  • 23.
    • Evidences of government’s insincerity:
    • ~ non-implementation in full of the GOP – MNLF Final Peace Accord
    • ~ collapse of GOP – NDF peace talks
    • ~ abandonment and betrayal of the GOP – MILF peace talks
  • 24. Who’s at the losing end?
    • Hundreds of thousands of civilians are again brought back to the dehumanizing condition in various evacuation centers where they always are in times of war
    • The number of civilians who are either killed or wounded continues to rise, not to mention the damaged properties and crops / livelihood
  • 25.
    • Despite all these, the government insists that there is no humanitarian crisis and that the military offensive is just a “surgical operation” aimed at pulling out the 3 base commanders of the MILF.
    • War armaments like OB10 fighter planes, mortars and tanks are used in the operations.
    • However, the violation of the civilians’ rights is only treated as a consequence in pursuing so-called criminal elements.
  • 26.
    • The unbroken chain of the Moro struggle to restore their freedom and independence is an indubitable fact.
    • Their history is a record of this unwavering heroism of which every chapter is written with the blood of our martyred forefathers our mujahidin brethrens who continue to write with their blood the closing chapters of the Moro continuing struggle for freedom.
  • 27. STATUS OF THE PEACE PROCESS
    • 1. MNLF-GRP-OIC TRIPARTITE ON-GOING REVIEW OF THE 1996 PEACE AGREEMENT;
    • CREATION OF THE 5 JOINT WORKING GROUPS :
    • SHARIAH, EDUCATION, POLITICAL REPRESENTATION, REGIONAL SECURITY FORCE, ECO. DEVELOPMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
    • GENERAL AGREEMENT TO REVIEW REPUBLIC ACT 9054 AND INCORPORATE (attune) THE SAME WITH THE 1996 AGREEMENT (EXPLORATORY);
  • 28. THE TRIPARTITE
    • THE DAKAR SUMMIT MADE THE COUNCIL OF 15 FELT HAVING BEEN MARGINALIZED THUS THE PAGADIAN DECLARATION;
    • REMAINING QUESTION: IS THE NEW MNLF GROUP A THREAT OR VALUE ADDED TO THE REVIEW AND THE UNIFICATION EFFORTS?
  • 29. The Best Scenario for the MNLF The release of Nur Misuari from jail* Tri-partite succeeds RA 9054 and 1996 FPA merged GMA anoints MNLF now or later ARMM “managed” by the MNLF MNLF showcases genuine development as envisioned by the revolution Solidarity of the Bangsamoro Note: the MNLF, however, cannot effectively monitor the implementation of the “MERGED” 1996 agreement if they remain out of power
  • 30. THE MILF-GRP TALKS
    • 1.THE IMPASSE: ROLE OF PREJUDICE, STEREOTYPING AND POLITICAL WILL; “CULTURAL BAGGAGE”
    • INTER-ISLAND (Phil vs. Mindanao)
    • PHILIPPINES VS. THE MORO
    • (ERAP, MERCADO, REYES)
    • INTER-ETHNIC (Settlers vs. Moro vs. IP)
    • INTRA-ETHNIC (Moro vs. Moro)
  • 31. WHAT HOLDS THE GRP FROM GRANTING THE EXERCISE OF SD TO THE BM?
    • LACK OF POLITICAL WILL , CREATIVITY AND SINCERITY? “GOING AROUND THE BUSH”
    • THE CONSTITUTION - THE DOCTRINE OF NATIONAL SECURITY, ONE NATION-STATE AND INVOKING THE ARCHIPELAGIC PRINCIPLE;
    • PRESENCE OF SPOILERS AND PROVOCATEURS
    • HIGH LEVEL OF PREJUDICES AND STEREOTYPING VS. THE MORO
    • DETERMINATION TO DEFEAT THE MNLF POLITICALLY AND THE MILF MILITARILY;
    • PREFERENCE OF MILITARY SOLUTION OVER DIPLOMATIC ONE
  • 32. Challenges and Concerns
    • Where are the peace processes leading to?
    • What are the chances of success in the present peace processes and efforts ?
    • Can the government change perceptions and perspectives and become more creative to grant the BM full exercise of their right to self-determination?
  • 33.
    • The Bangsamoro is not begging anything from the government.
    • The real issue is NOT what the government can give to the Bangsamoro
    • but it is WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD RETURN TO THE BANGSAMORO.
  • 34. Sukran. “ I am growing old and soon I will pass but I am happy to go because I have successfully planted the seed of jihad in the hearts and minds of the Bangsamoro.” -- the late Amerol Mujahideen Salamat Hashim