Mindanao History by Rufa Guiam


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The Times and Tales of Mindanao: Revisiting history and understanding the Mindanao conflict
By: Ms. Rufa Cagoco Guiam, Director, Campus Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao, Mindanao State University - General Santos

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Mindanao History by Rufa Guiam

  1. 1. Dynamics of Diversity, Challenges of Conflict: Mindanao’s Multiple Realities and Multi-sectoral Responses Prepared by: Rufa Cagoco-Guiam Director, Campus Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (C-IPDM) Mindanao State University – General Santos City, Philippines Asian Public Intellectual (API) Senior Fellow, Year 8 (2008-2009)
  2. 2. Land Area : 10,199,886 hectares Political Subdivisions: 27 cities 25 provinces 6 regions 404 municipalities 10,206 barangays Caraga Davao Region SOCCSKSARGEN Zamboanga Peninsula Northern Mda
  3. 3. <ul><li>2005 Mda Population: 20.23 M 24.1 % of Phil. population estimated at 84.2 million </li></ul><ul><li>Female: 50.01% </li></ul><ul><li>Davao Region: largest population with 4.09 million </li></ul><ul><li>CARAGA: Region with lowest population, 2.44 million people </li></ul><ul><li>Source: National Statistics Office , 2005 data </li></ul>2.44 CARAGA* 3.17 Region 9 3.99 Region 10 4.09 Region 11 3.88 Region 12 2.72 ARMM * Created into a region under RA No. 7901, dated 23 Feb. 1995, and taken from Regions 10 and 11. Population
  4. 4. Diverse Peoples and Cultures Indigenous Peoples (10-15% of Mda population) <ul><li>Subanon </li></ul><ul><li>Mandaya/Mansaka </li></ul><ul><li>Manobo </li></ul><ul><li>B’laan </li></ul><ul><li>T’boli </li></ul><ul><li>Higaonon </li></ul><ul><li>Tiruray </li></ul><ul><li>Bagobo </li></ul><ul><li>Bukidnon </li></ul>Bangsa Moro – Islamized -15-20% <ul><li>Iranun </li></ul><ul><li>Tausug </li></ul><ul><li>Maguindanao </li></ul><ul><li>Maranao </li></ul><ul><li>Yakan </li></ul><ul><li>Kalibugan </li></ul><ul><li>Sanguil </li></ul><ul><li>8. Sama </li></ul><ul><li>9. Badjao* </li></ul><ul><li>10. Jama Mapun </li></ul><ul><li>11. Molbog* </li></ul><ul><li>12. Kalagan* </li></ul><ul><li>13. Palawani* </li></ul>* Partly Muslim & partly non-Muslim <ul><li>Banwaon </li></ul><ul><li>Tagakaolo </li></ul><ul><li>Dibabawon </li></ul><ul><li>Talaandig </li></ul><ul><li>Ubo </li></ul><ul><li>Manguangan </li></ul><ul><li>Mamanwa </li></ul><ul><li>Kalagan </li></ul><ul><li>Ata </li></ul>
  5. 5. Source: National Statistical Coordination Board website as of 19 July 2005, 2006 1. High Poverty Incidence Region Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold (in pesos) Poverty Incidence of Families (in %) 2003 2006 2003 2006 Philippines 12,267 15,057 24.7 26.9 Region IX 10,414 13,219 44.1 40.2 Region X 11,609 14,199 37.9 36.1 Region XI 11,276 14,942 28.1 30.6 Region XII 11,303 14,225 32.0 33.8 CARAGA 12,000 15,249 47.3 45.5 ARMM 12,739 15,533 45.7 55.3
  6. 6. Magnitude of Poverty <ul><li>2000: Mindanao contributed 32% to the nation’s poor </li></ul><ul><li>2003: Mindanao contributed 35.5% to the nation’s poor </li></ul><ul><li>2006: Mindanao contributed 40.25% to the nation’s poor </li></ul><ul><li>Most poor provinces in the Philippines, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Basilan – 26.9% </li></ul><ul><li>Lanao del Sur – 28.9% </li></ul><ul><li>Sarangani – 44.8% </li></ul><ul><li>Sulu – 33.3% </li></ul><ul><li>Maguindanao – 33.4% </li></ul><ul><li>Tawi-tawi – 42.4% </li></ul>“ severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to social services .&quot; - Copenhagen Declaration
  7. 7. ESTRADA ARROYO Mda: 22.7% NCR: 20.7% Bal. Luzon: 18.3% Visayas: 15.3% Note: Don’t Know and Refused responses are not shown. Q: Nitong nakaraang 3 buwan, nangyari po ba kahit minsan na ang inyong pamilya ay nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain? KUNG OO : Nangyari po ba ‘yan ng MINSAN LAMANG, MGA ILANG BESES, MADALAS, o PALAGI? SWS Surveys on Hunger
  8. 8. Mindanao has among the lowest life expectancy in 2006 Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of additional years a person can expect to live, based on the age-specific death rates for a given year Provinces in Mindanao Years Agusan del Norte 63.6 Lanao del Sur 58.7 Maguindanao 57.6 Sulu 55.5 Tawi-tawi 53.4
  9. 9. Challenges of Conflict <ul><li>Inter-and intra-ethnic conflict (e.g. Rido) </li></ul><ul><li>Weak and/or absent governance mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>Uncontrolled logging/threatened loss of biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Slow implementation of agrarian reform program, VOS schemes in Maguindanao </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting laws and overlapping claims on ancestral domain </li></ul><ul><li>Displacement of indigenous people’s from their ancestral domain and loss of cultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Social Issues e.g. increased exportation of human labor </li></ul><ul><li>Human right violations: killings of farmer-activists, journalists, political leaders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most notorious: Massacre of 58 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loose firearms: at least 500,000 in Cotabato City and Maguindanao, conservative estimate </li></ul><ul><li>Narco-politics: intoxicating and deadly cocktail mix </li></ul><ul><li>Children involved in armed conflict/child soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing malnutrition among young children, even in urbanized areas like Gensan </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing number of children and youth becoming victims of rape or sexual molestation (Gensan – Sarangani areas) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Historical Overview <ul><li>Age of the Sultanates – Maguindanaw and Sulu and the Pat-a-Pangampong a Ranao (four principalities of Lanao) – quasi-nation states with political and economic systems </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish colonial period – middle of 16 th century up to 1898, spanning 3 centuries </li></ul><ul><li>American colonial government – more than 4 decades, from Dec. 1898 to July 4, 1946 (grant of independence) </li></ul><ul><li>Philippine Commonwealth government (embedded within American colonial government; preparation for self-rule </li></ul><ul><li>Philippine Republic – 1946 to the present </li></ul>
  11. 11. Conflict dynamics: the roots of conflict and evolution of strained Muslim-Christian relations <ul><li>Spanish colonial policies: evangelization of indigenous population; but failed in Bangsamoro dominated regions in Mindanao </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish use of naval blockades of long distance trade routes – economic base of the sultanates </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of Spain to include many parts of Mindanao among its subjugated regions in the Philippines, but succeeded in planting the seeds of prejudice of Christianized “Indios” vs. Moro/Muslims. Indios drafted to pacify Moros. “Moros as infidels/infieles” </li></ul><ul><li>Americans used education as main tool of conquest </li></ul><ul><li>“ Defiant” and “compliant” sultans; the latter benefited from American scholarships </li></ul><ul><li>Americans perpetuated stereotypes of Moros: “A good Moro is a dead Moro.” “Savage-looking Moros”; Christian Filipino soldiers (constabularies) fought against defiant Moro sultans </li></ul>
  12. 12. The roots of conflict, continued… <ul><li>American colonial land laws and policies- Public Land Acts prejudicial to Bangsamoro customary law (adat) on land stewardship (not absolute ownership) </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of homesteads and agricultural colonies from 1913 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Migrants were entitled to double the entitlement of natives, i.e. 16 hectares for migrants and only 8 for natives (Rodil, 1998) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government-sponsored migration was “smokescreen” to defuse growing peasant unrest in Luzon and the Visayas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many migrants were among “undesirables” of Luzon and the Visayas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Migrants later controlled much of Mindanao’s fertile agricultural lands (i.e. Cotabato River Valley area, known as the rice granary of Central Mindanao); and also wielded political control in many provinces </li></ul><ul><li>Tensions and animosities soon developed as migrant communities increased in number and later on caused irreversible changes in Mindanao’s demographic profile. </li></ul><ul><li>Native and Muslim communities continued to lag behind in economic terms; Moro leaders only controlled a fraction of the areas of influence of the old sultanates </li></ul>
  13. 13. Roots of conflict… <ul><li>Philippine central government’s exclusivist policies – relegated the Bangsamoro to the periphery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education: largely Christian-oriented, in curriculum, mechanics, schedule of classes; Mindanao history is largely excluded in many history classes in most parts of the country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jurisprudence: Code of Muslim Personal Law (CMPL) or Philippine “version” of the Shari’ah was included as part of Philippine jurisprudence only after 1971 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultures of the 13 ethno-linguistic groups of Islamized Mindanao populations/Bangsamoro are only recently recognized and acknowledged; but still not part of “mainstream” Filipino culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority Filipinos’ perceptions of what it is to be Filipino excludes characteristics of Muslims (“maka-Diyos” concept is based on being Christian) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philippine literary tradition, esp. folk and oral literature, is steeped in anti-Muslim themes and stereotypes </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Contemporary history of the conflict <ul><li>Jabidah Massacre </li></ul><ul><li>Armed struggle as the only way to assert the Bangsamoro right to self-determination and redress of Moro grievances against national, predominantly Christian-led government </li></ul><ul><li>Organization of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1968-69; training of Batch 90 in western Malaysia. Founding chair: Nur Misuari </li></ul><ul><li>Series of isolated uprisings that spread in scope and size by early 1970s. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Mindanao Peace Processes – Pre and Post Tripoli –Phase 1 <ul><li>Martial Law regime under Ferdinand Marcos and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Tripoli Agreement, 1976 </li></ul><ul><li>Presidential Decree 1628, declaring autonomy in Regions IV-A (Palawan), IX, (Zamboanga) and XII (Cotabato) (Minsupala regions), 1977 </li></ul><ul><li>Presidential Decree 1618- Sangguniang Pampook, Lupong Tagapaganap ng Pook (LTP) in Regions IX and XII – 1979 </li></ul><ul><li>Ouster of Marcos, 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>Jeddah Accord, Jan 3-4, 1987 – GRP and MNLF with Quadripartite Ministerial commission and OIC Secretary General </li></ul><ul><li>Signing of Organic Act for the ARMM – Republic Act 6734, Aug. 1, 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of understanding, bet. GRP and MNLF, first round of GRP-MNLF exploratory talks in Tripoli, 4 October 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd round of talks and signing of Statement of Understanding, Cipanas, Indonesia, 16 April, 1993 </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Updates on the MILF – GPH Peace Talks </li></ul><ul><li>P-Noy government’s new panel and MILF newly reorganized panel still have to resolve issue on facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Might resume 8 or 9 February (did not push through) </li></ul><ul><li>Dissenting views: Philconsa (constitution experts) propose MILF negotiates through the ARMM </li></ul><ul><li>Issues related to Final Peace Agreement with MNLF (signed in 1996) still need resolution; tripartite review of 1996 Peace Agreement within February </li></ul><ul><li>No war; no peace </li></ul><ul><li>International involvement: International Monitoring Team </li></ul><ul><li>(includes a non-military member from JICA); International Contact Group (ICG) – The Asia Foundation, Conciliation Resources (London), </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Updates on the November 23, 2009 Massacre Case </li></ul><ul><li>Relatives of victims still waiting for trial proceedings to start </li></ul><ul><li>Moves to plead for bail for two principal suspects: Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Sr.; and ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan (from one informant: pay-off of PhP 200 million to be allowed bail.)(around US $ 5 million) </li></ul><ul><li>National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) spearheading efforts to counter defendants’ to plead for bail </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Current security challenges </li></ul><ul><li>- sporadic violence: killings, bombings, kidnapping in broad daylight </li></ul><ul><li>- jailbreak of 15 inmates from Cotabato City jail </li></ul><ul><li>- “narco-politics” – some Ampatuan clan members allegedly involved </li></ul><ul><li>- drug addiction: some leaders within MILF, in 2006, estimates 500,000 addicts in the ARMM; largely “promoted” by local “narco-political lords and ladies” </li></ul><ul><li>- loose firearms: in Cotabato City alone, police estimates around 50,000 loose firearms, as of mid 2010 (conservative estimate) </li></ul><ul><li>- increasing number of car and motorcycle thefts and killings attributed to Ampatuan followers </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Most recent security challenge and possible block to the current MILF-GPH peace talks: </li></ul><ul><li>clashes in Al-barka, Basilan just two days ago that resulted to the deaths of 25 soldiers? (conflicting claims of only 12 by the Philippine military) </li></ul><ul><li>allegedly perpetrated by rogue elements of MILF with tactical support from Abu Sayyaf group </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Government stance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To continue with peace talks despite the current clashes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dean Marvic Leonen: “the peace talks will continue, the clash in Basilan was just an isolated incident...” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MILF proposal for a sub-state still unacceptable for the GPH peace panel and instead they have rejected the “rejection of the MILF panel on the GPH proposal...” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Civil society initiatives/responses </li></ul><ul><li>Consortium of Bangsamoro civil society groups </li></ul><ul><li>Peace building among grassroots communities – through Barangay Justice Advocates, Bangsamoro women </li></ul><ul><li>Peace education in colleges and universities and among military officers, i.e. Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Proliferation of civil society groups to take “advantage” of ARMM as favorite donor destination </li></ul><ul><li>CSO groups sit as observers in the Track 1 Peace Process – peace negotiations between MILF and GPH </li></ul><ul><li>“ Bantay Ceasefire” (Ceasefire Watch); Agong Network, Peace Weavers </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing membership of e-groups focused on discourses on Mindanao peace process </li></ul><ul><li>Peace through Technology project (Peace Tech) </li></ul><ul><li>More media groups getting involved in trainings for peace reporting or “peace-oriented” </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Analysis – quo vadis, ARMM? </li></ul><ul><li>Failures and tragedies in ARMM are reflections of the Philippines as a “failing state” </li></ul><ul><li>“ bossism,” “patrinomialism” beyond ordinary patron-client benevolent relationships between ARMM political warlords and national leaders (GMArroyo) </li></ul><ul><li>Collusion and collision (Lara, 2009) of malevolent political forces condoned by the state and even by religious leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Political Islam – still a “contentious” entity; ulama’s blind eye toward corruption, massacre, and other anomalies associated with some “Muslim” political clans </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms still have not transformed institutions toward the welfare of constituents </li></ul><ul><li>The role of women in reforms still remain untapped, unrecognized; gender discourses limited to participation of women in local governance as nominal leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Claim of Bangsamoro self-determination under challenge: if Moro clans try to outfight each other and victimize other groups in the process, why should they be given this right and exist as a separate entity or polity? </li></ul><ul><li>CSOs have largely acted as service providers to donor assisted projects instead of initiating social movements toward reforms </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>The conflict areas in Mindanao are in the crossroads – no war no peace could mean a volatile situation waiting for a wick to be lighted... </li></ul><ul><li>Justice for the November 23, 2009 massacre victims needs to be implemented, not only felt as a palpable gesture from the national government. </li></ul><ul><li>No fast and easy solutions to the deepening pit of poverty, insecurity, powerlessness among ordinary people in the region. </li></ul><ul><li>Definitely, the military solution does not hold any promise, as it has in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, the political solution (through government reforms, starting with the national government) may not pave the way for basic changes. addressing warlordism, narco-politics, greed for power still poses formidable challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>The forthcoming resumption of the peace talks is welcome. But both panels should frame their discussions not only on addressing past injustices but also present-day problems of warlordism, narco-politics, loose firearms, rising criminality, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Civil society groups need to be engaged and involved in continuing vigilance over abuses of authority. But they themselves have to redirect efforts toward social movement types of initiatives, and must prove to be beyond reproach... </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>THANK YOU! </li></ul><ul><li>Sapulu salamat! </li></ul><ul><li>Sukhran! </li></ul>