A Chronicle of the Da Pinoys and Da Coconut Repablik of Da Pilipins
Let’s pick another stuff from the national headlines. Oh here it is! You are not dreaming, the government plans to establish a new state named Bangsmaro which is a part of a series of peace talks between the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The framework agreement was signed yesterday.
President Aquino insists that Bangsamoro will still be a part of the national government. A transitional commission is on the process of being set upto take over the former ARMM government. The MILF is willing to give up arms like the MNLF did 16 years earlier.
As we know it, the experiment on ARMM was a complete failure. It only gave rise to political warlords tolerated by the government and did not even give a shit about it. The Ampatuans and the Mangunadatus are competing for power and influence in the region with thousands of mercenaries on each side. Clan feuds are common in this region.
The Moro culture developed almost separately from the Spanish era Philippines mainly because the interior of the region were not conquered, they only took coastal towns and cities.
The Spanish didn’t made any serious attempts in pacifying the interior except for punitive expeditions since the 1600’s. They were contented to make the sultanates and small tribal kingdoms vassals, protectorates and suzerainities.
It was the main reason why another separate war between the United States, Moro sultanates and allied kingdoms was waged. While the Philippine Republican Army was almost destroyed in 1900 except in some areas,the Moros were the only remaining resistance.
The war went for 13 years until the Americans won the conflict. The government established cities thereafter between 1910 and 1939, It was cut short by the Second World War. The Imperial Japanese Army had invaded the country. When the Allies attacked the Philippines in 1944, the Moro partisans rose up and drove the Japanese out.
In the 1950’s, the government encouraged settlement programs for some folks at Luzon and Visayas to establish settlements in Mindanao. The Moros responded with a hostile silence as their land was taken over and over again.
Oligarch owned corporations began to monopolise the economic sector of the region, which had contributed to the poverty and rising discontent of its people. Several movements had emerged seeking either for autonomy or independence.
In the 1960’s, the government planned a covert mission to Sabah by using Moros to occupy Sabah as a pretext for an invasion. They promised that the Moros will be integrated into an elite unit.
The recruits participated in Operation Merkeda, the codename for the invasion of Sabah. The Moro recruits named their commando unit Jabidah. They received their first phase training in Sulu. They boarded a vessel bound for Corregidor.
This second phase of the training turned mutinous when the recruits discovered their true mission. It struck the recruits that the plan would mean not only fighting their brother Muslims in Sabah, but also possibly killing their own Tausug and Sama relatives living there.
Additionally, the recruits had already begun to feel disgruntled over the non-payment of the promised monthly stipend. The recruits then demanded to be returned home. Then the Jabidah massacre happened, which had sparked a series of rebellions against the Philippine government.
Then you know what happened next, the MNLF and after disagreements between Moderates and Radicals in 1978, the MILF was born. In 1991, The Al Qaeda established the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines as a goal to expand their network.
The war is de facto raging for 500 years. It became a perpetual war. The decision of the government was necessary but they only copied it from the Memorandum of Ancestral Domain from the previous administration.
But we must take it with a grain of salt. If the power of the political oligarchs were not reduced, same results will still happen. Noynoy must also open up the economy to FDI’s. Malaysia was willing to help the Bangsamoro state.
As said by BS Aquino last Sunday:
“The ARMM is a failed experiment. Many of the people continue to feel alienated by the system, and those who feel that there is no way out will continue to articulate their grievances through the barrel of a gun. We cannot change this without structural reform”
BS Aquino is a hypocrite. He opposes Constitutional Reform while supporting a “ministerial form of government”? That system of government does not exist, it is a parliamentary system. The Media demonised it since 1986 because their monopoly will end. The political oligarchs contributed to its unpopularity. It was also widely known as Cha-Cha.
I support it because our Muslim brothers deserved a government, as well as other ethnic groups deserve also a similar form of autonomy. The proposed 12 States Philippines is not a bad idea, as it will let the development of the provinces not just only Imperial Manila.
Some Nationalists will argue that we will have no unity after that, but they are also too ignorant to consider that Germany, Russia, India, Australia,Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland are Federal Parliamentary Republics and powerful countries.
It is a proof that the Nationalists are in a state of denial. Spain can be considered as semi federal. Decentralisation will help our country, so the arguments of some Communists are grossly wrong. We do not have a single national identity like the countries that i mentioned above.
Our brothers were treated as second class citizens. Racial discrimination is rampant as well as language discrimination. Isolation was felt by some people. Almost all of the slum dwellers in urban centres were from the provinces looking for a job. It only show that the Philippines is almost a complete failure.
It is time for our brothers to be granted autonomy to improve their states and their individual lives. Constitutional Reform will destroy the oligarchs and will enable competent leaders to almost lead the respective states and the Federal Republic. Nationalism is no longer an excuse. We must be united through diversity as a Filipino.
We must all unite for progress and the development of our country. It is time to end the cycle of collective tyranny from the islands. But still the Moros must also reform themselves into a modern society in order to establish progress.
Mustafa Ataturk used secular laws instead of the Sharia. The proposed state must only follow secular laws with no regard to religious laws except in private matters. If not, the proposed state will adopt a Sharia law as their supreme constitution thus enabling a theocracy to emerge.