GPH-MILF illusions

5

WHILE the Aquino administration has been euphoric about the signing in Kuala Lumpur of the final annex (on the subject of “normalization”) to the proposed “final peace agreement” between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the government military was waging war against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. The BIFF is supposed to be a renegade MILF army. It has indeed been involved in battles with government military. It has raided parts of Mindanao populated mainly by Christians, causing death and destruction.

Advertisements

The military commanders have apparently acted with the approval of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) high command, and presumably with the okay as well of the AFP Commander in Chief President Benigno Cojuangco Aquino.

The BIFF was said to be getting ready to launch raids again to express their disapproval of the success of the GPH-MILF talks. So, the AFP took preemptive action.

A pragmatic and Machiavellian manager of government affairs would give the Aquino administration high marks for the attack against the BIFF.

A manager with a high-minded view of governance would however see the government and AFP action as morally wrong, eventually counterproductive and fraught with dangers.

That is what has been fundamentally wrong with the principles of Malacañang in its assessment and management of the Mindanao Muslim insurgency.

The Benigno Aquino presidency chose to continue carrying out the policy of the Arroyo administration to win peace in Mindanao by pleasing one group of Muslim insurgent leaders—the MILF—while ignoring the feelings, aspirations and actual plight of that other group of insurgent leaders, those with the Moro National Liberation Front and Chairman Nur Misuari, as well as many other Muslim Filipinos who are neither with the MNLF nor the MILF.

The Arroyo-Aquino administrations’ approach to stopping the rebellion of the MILF is to pretend that there is no international treaty, the Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the Philippine government (of the Ramos presidency) and the MNLF. This peace agreement was reached after years and years of negotiation. As a result of it, constitutional provisions were passed and ratified and laws were enacted to create the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Suddenly, President Aquino proclaimed the ARMM to be a failure and ordered his people to work for the destruction of the ARMM and its replacement with the new arrangements described in the hoped-for Peace Agreement with the MILF.

These annexes that the Aquino administration, the MILF leaders and their Malaysian go-between are so proud to have “acccomplished” are to become the substance of the “comprehensive” GPH-MILF peace agreement they hope will be signed next month or in March. Then after that peace agreement has been signed, there will be produced the “draft Bangsamoro Basic Law” (in our understanding a “basic law” is a constitution), which is now being writted by the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission, headed by MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal.

This “basic law” needs to be passed by the Philippine Congress. And our country’s Constitution MUST be amended to make the “Bangsamoro Basic Law” and the constitutionally subversive contents of the hoped-for GPH-MILF Peace Agreement legal and morally binding on all the Filipinos.

But the Aquino administration and Mr. Aquino’s peace panelists appear to have convinced the MILF leaders that they can ram through the peace agreement and make it effective without amending the Philippine Constitution. That must be why President Aquino’s keeps saying he doesn’t care about amending the Charter.

All of this will only result in greater trouble for the Philippine Republic and more confusion and threats to peace in Mindanao.

For the GPH-MILF Peace Agreement ignores and insults Christian Filipinos, Muslim Filipinos not of the MILF persuasion and undermines the constitutional and legal system of the Republic of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the most simple and basic approach to peace in Mindanao is given the least attention.

This is the economic. Uplift the poor in Mindanao. They are the poorest in our country. Most of these poorest Mindanaoans are our dear Muslim fellow Filipinos in the ARRM. But there are dirt-poor Christians in Mndanao too.

Uplifting the poor is not just showering them with pesos. It also means expanding their opportunity horizon. Giving them the dignity that God wants all human beings to have and enjoy.

Without this all so-called peace agreements are mere illusions.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

5 Comments

  1. Let reason directs action, not passion. Having said that, Is it worse for Filipinos to gain one group to the government side, than none at all?

    I am sure the government negotiating panel knows their constitutional law. That this was taken into account. That this Bangsamoro Basic Law will be scrutinized by Congress before implementation. Why don’t we hear from anyone from Congress about this. This is almost like telling a unborn baby that he will not amount to anything even before he is born.
    Why do we shot down any initiative even before it hits the ground. With this kind of attitude this will cause administrative paralysis.

    • Comment on Findelty’s comment:
      1. Under the Tripoli Peace Treaty in the mid 80s and then under the Final Peace Agreement between the GRP (Government of the Rep of the Philippines when FVRamos was the president)-MNLF in 1996, the large insurgency of the MNLF was ended and the Filipino Muslims in the MNLF became peaceful and were “gained” by the Philippines.

      2. There are about 500 other insurgent and bandit groups in Mindanao, including the bandit Abu Sayyaf, Grp. MILF is only one of them. During the Estrada administration, the MILF was captured by the Philippine military.

      3. But during the Arroyo administration the government foolishly listened to the Western bleeding heart countries and Japan to enter into negotiations with the MILF. In doing so, the Arroyo government abandoned the treaty with the MNLF. Is that what you call gaining one group to the government side?

      4. Then the PNoy administration came and continued the talks with the MILF and President even gave the rebels P5 million as a gift in the GPH-MILF meeting in Tokyo. Now Aquino and his negotiators are giving away Mindanao to the MILF Muslims.

      Mr. or Ms. Findelty, expect Mindanao to break out into wars in various provinces if the Aquino-blessed Bangsamoro state is formed without amending the Consttution –which will mean holding a referendum in which all Mindanaoans including Muslims who do not belong to the MILF and the Christians of Mindanao must agree to have their areas become parts of the Bangsamoro state to be subject to Sharia Law and Islamic Religious laws. That state will surely have a law, as in Malaysia which is a co-midwife with Aquino of the Bangsamoro state, that only Muslims can use the name of God in Arabic (Allah) in their prayers and writings.

      Of course, the final result is the separation of Mindanao from the Philippine Republic. This will be welcomed by the Western powers and Japan who are eager to have another playground for their businesses and industries, suck out the oil and natural gas in the waters around Mindanao. Maybe even Palawan will end up breaking away from the Philippine Republic and be another protectorate of the West and Japan or part of the new Muslim Bangsamoro state.

      Is that what you want, Mr. or Ms, Findelty?