Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Maguindanao Massacre and the Bangsamoro Struggle for Freedom

Local Government secretary Ronnie Puno now heads the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) under the Executive Order signed by Mrs. Arroyo placing the entire region under a State of Emergency. The decision was based on the potential security implications of the Maguindanao incident.

This so-called "takeover" of the national government of ARMM shows one thing--it proved that the 1993 Peace Agreement is a failure. This action by the government shows that autonomy is not the best governance model for the Bangsamoros.

The best solution to the Mindanao problem is LEAVE THE BANGSAMOROS ALONE. LET THEM SEPARATE FROM THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND GIVE THEM THEIR OWN STATE.

By giving them their own state, they will be able to take care of themselves. They would try to resolve problems among themselves.

However, a True State status should not be GRANTED but EARNED by the Bangsamoros through struggle. There is no other way.

If self-rule emanates from a ceremonial grant from the National Government, it would just lead to violence because leadership obviously would just be transferred from a non-Muslim hegemon to a Muslim warlord hegemon.

This was obviously the game plan of the administration. The Ampatuans and the Mangundadatus were given enormous powers and influence by the palace to counter-act Bangsamoro civil society and the MILF-MNLF. If the peace pact is signed, the Ampatuans would have played a major role in the new Bangsamoro Republic.

If this happens, then, all hell would break loose. A civil war would surely happen since Bangsamoro civil society would have to fight these traditional warlord clans and their armed militias for power. The Bangsamoro struggle, therefore, would not end with a peaceful resolution of the conflict thru the bargaining table.

In fact, the peace process is just one step towards the true liberation of the Bangsamoro People.

Yet, I believe that should a civil war do break out shortly after the signing of a peace pact, it would be brief, provided that, indeed, the Philippine military is honest enough in dismantling those private armies and militias.

But, will the AFP do this? No.

Mindanao is a property being claimed by various interests. And Mindanao happens to be a strategic interest by the military.