Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Concept of Minority Nationalism and the Effects of declaring a Bangsamoro sub-state without Amending 1987 Constitution

I do not share Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile's opinion that it does not need for the Constitution to be revised or amended since Congress, according to Enrile, has enough powers to create a political entity. Was the concept of local government a legislated proposal or came from the 1987 Constitution? That concept was first proposed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution before Congress made a Code, refining the earlier idea. 

In the present peace deal where both GRP and the MILF agreed to build a sub-state within the Philippine state, no where in the present charter allows the partition of Philippine territory into "states and sub-states". 

How then can we establish such a state without redefining Philippine territory? 

Even in the provision establishing the ARMM, it was put as a constitutional provision as an expression of the State's willingness to follow its political commitments to the Bangsamoro people.

Can political commitments made in the negotiating table be made law? Those commitments that do not transgress or violate the Constitution, yes, it only takes Congress to express it through a law.

How about political commitments outlining a building of a parliamentary state which exercises political power? 

Basing on the statements made by Atty. Marvic Leonen of the OPAPP, both parties agree to establish a "state" or a "sub-state". A state, as defined, needs a definitive territory, a people, a government, management of resources and police powers. Leonen said that the Bangsamoro concept has all the elements of a state except police powers, which I disagree. Analysing his statements, the Bangsamoro concept has police powers too. Meaning, it is a true state, not a "sub-state".

Will residents of the Bangsamoro sub-state agree for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police of "imperial Manila" still manage their peace and order situation?

The Philippine government has, in effect, recognized the existence of a minority national within its territory, which hinges on the presupposition that the minority exercises a contrasting socio-cultural-economic and political standpoint from the state nationalism. How then can this recognition be fully implemented without allowing the Bangsamoro Nation to build its own security forces?

The University of Edinburgh's concept of sub-state follows the line of what it is now known as minority nationalism. Minority nationalism recognizes the existence of a separate concept of nationalism based on the purview of a minority group existing in a multinational state. The Philippines is well within the definition of a multinational state. At such, there exists minorities which, though part of the national territory of the multinational state, proposes a totally different view on governmental management, among other things.

Surely, the concept of a Bangsamoro "sub-state" follows this recent and modern scholarly view. However, recognizing such a concept opens more problems than solutions.

What will prevent other "regions" with fully recognized cultural minorities to assert their own brand of nationalism and force the Philippine state to agree and grant them the status of a sub-state? Nothing since the government itself opened the possibility of it being agreeable to the establishment of a Bangsamoro sub-state?

This also opens the possibility of these regions attaining belligerency statuses and using armed rebellion as a necessary condition towards forcing the Philippine state to grant it a sub-state status.

So it seems that extra-constitutional means is the best way to assert one's minority views about nation-building, according to the actions and recognitions made by the Philippine government with respect to the Bangsamoro.

Don't get me wrong---I am in favor of the Bangsamoro-GRP agreement or peace deal. This is a correct step in the right direction.

However, I am in total disagreement with allowing Congress full powers to realize this only in  their level--meaning only thru regular legislation. 

Since the commitments made by the Philippine government has effects in the political structure or sub-division of the government, the study, review and eventual granting of this commitment should not be made only through a regular session. There must be a special session to be called and based on the Constitution, Congress must transform itself into a Constituent Assembly to be able to address several contending issues linked with this very concept of a sub-state.

Without this, it seems that, even I, along with several people, can actually use armed struggle to be able to carve a kingdom for myself and those others who consider themselves "minorities".