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EDITORIAL
09 August 2014

BANGSAMORO HISTORICAL NOTES

AN APPEAL TO THE CONSCIENCE AND HUMANITY

OF THE UNITED NATIONS (UN), HELP RESTORE FREEDOM AND
DIGNITY OF THE BANGSAMORO PEOPLE

OF FILIPINO-COLONIZED MINDANAO

 


MEMORANDUM

To:       HIS EXCELLENCY BAN KI-MOON, Secretary General, United Nations (UN)

From:   Muslim and Animist Lumad Natives as well as conscious Christians of Mindanao

AN APPEAL TO THE CONSCIENCE AND HUMANITY OF THE UNITED NATIONS (UN), HELP RESTORE
FREEDOM AND DIGNITY OF THE BANGSAMORO PEOPLE OF FILIPINO-COLONIZED MINDANAO!

The injustice committed by the Philippine government against the colonized Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao for decades now has to bother surely the conscience and humanity of the community of nations under the reform-and-peace-conscious United Nations (UN).

“When you don’t stand up against injustice, you participate in it,” said Ben Keller. Does this truism speak of the indifference and insensitivity of the United Nations to help solve the nagging Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao imposed by Philippine colonialism?

On one hand, is it possible for the United Nations to see the light to be guided by the words of wisdom of Bishop Desmond Tutu? “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

In history, the gruesome injustice committed by the oppressive America-sponsored Philippine Commonwealth government under the anti-Muslim and anti-Lumad President Manuel L. Quezon in 1935 against the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao was the enactment by the all-Christian National Assembly of Legislative Act No. 4197 of February 2, 1936. The draconian law was otherwise known as the “Quirino-Recto colonization Act”.

Clearly, the sinisterly designed law legalized the naked land-grabbing of the ancestral domain of the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao. Thus, today, continuing the freedom struggle against the Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers in the past, the Bangsamoro people are morally, actively and militantly asserting their fundamental human rights in regaining their freedom, independence and national self-determination from Philippine colonial hegemony.

It is recalled that corollary to the immoral and unlawful colonization of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) in 1936, the Philippine Quezon Commonwealth Government cunningly formalized the land-grabbing also of the Cordillera Region (‘Mountain Province’) of the native Igorots of ‘Central Luzon.’ This was characterized by the immoral annexation or incorporation of the ancestral homeland of both the Bangsamoro and Igorot peoples of Southeast Asia into America-designed Philippine Republic in July 4, 1946.

The tragic reality of this colonial transaction was many years later bewailed in 1987 by Joseph F. Fallon, who emphasized: “After so many decades of abuses and betrayal, for the Moros and Igorots to trust Manila and to remain with the Philippines would not only be naïve, it would be suicidal.”

Thus, toward this oppressive colonial protocol of the travesty of justice conducted even without any elementary courtesy of democratic process – referendum or plebiscite – the oppressed and colonized Mindanaoan and Igorot natives have always expressed indignation and protest against the blatant colonial stratagem of the Manila government from the beginning up to this day.

The negative assessment of Philippine colonialism enforced on Mindanao was aptly summarized by the leader of Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM), Chairman Reuben R. Canoy, who in 1975 stressed: “With the inauguration of the Commonwealth in 1935 and the attainment of full independence in 1946, it was assumed that the Mindanao policies instituted by past colonial regimes would be scrapped…To the dismay of the Mindanaoans, the Manila government turned out to be a worse colonizer.”

It was also observed that after using the majesty of “rule of law” in formalizing the criminal occupation of Moro Nation (Bangsamoro) during the Philippine Commonwealth period, the unscrupulous Filipino politicians under President Manuel L. Quezon embarked in dismantling the political, judicial, moral and cultural apparatuses of the Mindanao Sultanate sovereignty, particularly the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, Sultanate of Maguindanao and Buayan of Cotabato and the Apat na Pangampong Sultanate District of Lanao region. The malevolent colonial scheme was perpetrated in depriving the centuries-long Muslim and Highlander rulers of their sovereign power and influence over the native inhabitants of Mindanao.

Furthermore, showing disrespect for the historical and cultural heritage of the Muslim and Lumad natives, the arrogant Filipino colonialist land-grabbers of Luzon proudly proclaimed the total eradication of Sultan and Datu system. The political maneuver was to erase the cherished title of Sultan and Datu among the native rulers in order to reduce them and the native masses into perpetual colonial servants. And to bear the cursed slavish identity “Filipino” for life when the Muslim and Lumad natives of Mindanao never did become servants of King Philip II or colonial slaves of Spain unlike Catholic Filipinos and Christianized-Indios. Nonetheless, the political strategy never did succeed because the oppressed and colonized Bangsamoro people have a very strong attachment to the Mindanao Sultanate rulership. They have always recognized and continued to do so the moral influence of the active leading heirs of the Mindanao Sultanate of yore up to the present period.

On the catastrophic situation faced by the restless native inhabitants of Mindanao on the hands of the Filipino colonizers, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari launched in late 1968 the freedom struggle of the Bangsamoro people. The liberation struggle is a continuing process up to date. The MNLF has had served actively as the vanguard of the Muslim and Lumad natives as well as the conscious Christians of Mindanao to regain freedom, liberty and independence.

The sacred moral task is but only consonant with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly on the following legal basis:

“(1) The subjugation of people’s to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental rights”, is contrary to the Charter of the UN and “an impediment to the preservation of world peace,” and,

“(2) All peoples have the right to self-determination, by virtue of that right they feely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic status, social and cultural development.”

On this particular point of reference, the Moro National Liberation Front, which is recognized by the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as “Permanent Observer” and representative of the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao, had forwarded a petition to the UN for the complete freedom and independence of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. The diplomatic appeal was submitted to the UN Decolonization Committee in New York on December 10, 2001. This was only after Philippine colonialism under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo registered negative political will towards the full and correct implementation of the GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements of September 2, 1996. Glaringly, Mindanao peace was betrayed for the third time by the Philippine government by totally ignoring the comprehensive and correct implementation of the 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement, 1987 Jeddah Peace Accord and the final 1996 Jakarta Peace Agreements.  

On the part of the Bangsamoro women, professionals, youth and mass supporters of the freedom struggle to regain human dignity and emancipation from colonial slavery, Madam Mucha-Shim Quiling-Arquiza, a representative of the Lumad and Muslim natives of Mindanao to the United Nations Human Right Council Forum on Minority Issues (4th Session) in Geneva on November 29-30, 2011, submitted a clear strong appeal for immediate consideration by the UN August Assembly. She expressed the following soul-searching words:

“My last plea is a concrete call to action. I am addressing the Government of Spain and the United States of America specifically to appeal for them to examine their conscience and once and for all end the colonization of the Bangsamoro minority nationality within the Philippine Republic. Be it within or outside the ambit of the UN. I urge the Spanish government and the United States government to immediately undertake necessary and urgent geo-political administrative complemented with international legal measures, specifically to underwrite the consequences of the Treaty of Paris it signed in August 21, 1898 that unilaterally and illegally ceded the Bangsamoro homeland to the Philippine Republic and unjustly trampling on the sovereignty of the Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao and undermined traditional governance in indigenous Moro and Lumad principalities in the rest of Mindanao. A decisive step towards this will once and for all DECOLONIZE our minds and imagination. And wake up from the nightmare – we, national minorities, perennial nationalists dreaming of their own nation-state and self-determination at a time when as late Arab leader Muammar al-Qhadaffi once said: ‘a time no longer for nations, but for people’. “  

On this particular note, since Philippine colonialism today under President Benigno S. Aquino III has again showed no interest to implement the letter and spirit of the September 2, 1996 MNLF-OIC-GRP Jakarta Peace Agreements, the Bangsamoro people as represented by the MNLF in the OIC have decided in reverting to the original objective of complete independence and national self-determination.

In the last week of August, 2013, the MNLF political, military and religious leaders, including the Bangsamoro mass supporters, had decided in framing a revolutionary government Constitution towards the formal establishment of the United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik (UFSBR). On August 25, 2013, the announcement and reading of the Preamble of the Bangsamoro Constitution and the proclamation of the United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik was simultaneously conducted in Zamboanga City and in all MNLF camps throughout Mindanao.

Consequently, the landmark official and formal declaration of Bangsamoro independence and self-determination from the Philippine Republic was conducted in the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Lupah Sug State Revolutionary Committee (LSRC) in Jolo Island. This was conducted after the AFP-MNLF battle in Zamboanga City from 9-20 September 2013 that resulted in multiple casualties in both camps, the burning of “10,160 houses and mosques” by AFP soldiers and unparalleled humanitarian disaster condition in the Filipino-occupied territory. The thousands of Muslim refugees uprooted by the total burning of five villages in Zamboanga City remain still homeless living in tents in a public stadium. The local officials of the Philippine colonial government have deprived them of their fundamental human rights to re-settle and to build their shelters in their own land.  

In the presence of the different MNLF state leaders and Bangsamoro freedom fighters as well as mass supporters from all walks of life, Chairman Nur Misuari declared the “freedom, sovereignty and independence as well as the inseparable unity of the entire Bangsamoro homeland Sulu Archipelago composed originally of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Palawan and Zamboanga Peninsula, including the entire region of North Borneo (‘Sabah’ and ‘Sarawak’ now) as a free sovereign and independent nation state.”

On the historic occasion, the MNLF Chairman issued the appeal: “We hereby call upon the people of the world, most particularly the United Nations and the UN Secretary General, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, to extend their formal recognition and support behind this new State.”

Hence, the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives as well as the conscious Christians of Mindanao rest their case now before the community of nations and global humanity whose primordial interest is for world peace and the rectification or eradication of social injustices committed in the past. If the vestiges of grim injustice still linger today it is due to few political leaders who are still without compassion towards the suffering and misery of their fellowmen.

Finally, certainly serving a guiding light to the just and lasting solution to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao is the thought of one revolutionary global thinker, Franz Fannon, who said: “Man is a yes…yes to life. Yes to love. Yes to generosity. But man is also a no. No to scorn of man. No to degradation of man. No to exploitation of man. No to the butchery of what is most human in man: FREEDOM.” –osm, mnlfnet.com  

   

   

Related Articles:

AQUINO GOVERNMENT HAVE NO RESPECT FOR SEPTEMBER 2, 1996 GRP-OIC-MNLF JAKARTA PEACE AGREEMENTS

BANGSAMORO CONSTITUTION: ROAD MAP TO INDEPENDENCE AND NATIONAL SELF-DETERMINATION

WHO IS AFRAID OF MINDANAO INDEPENDENCE? - PROLOGUE

WHY DID AMERICA CONDEMN FILIPINOS AND MOROS TO THE MINDANAO WAR?
Part IV -
ILL-EFFECTS OF AMERICAN COLONIAL POLICY UNDER AMERICA-CREATED PHILIPPINE COLONIALISM 

WHY DID AMERICA CONDEMN FILIPINOS AND MOROS TO THE MINDANAO WAR?
Part III - DARK ROAD TO AMERICA-DESIGNED PHILIPPINE COLONIALISM 

WHY DID AMERICA CONDEMN FILIPINOS AND MOROS TO THE MINDANAO WAR?
Part II - COST OF AMERICAN-FILIPINO WAR IN MINDANAO

WHY DID AMERICA CONDEMN FILIPINOS AND MOROS TO THE MINDANAO WAR?
Part I -
BRIEF HISTORY OF AMERICAN GREED FOR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC POWER

PHILIPPINE STATE TERRORISM VIS-A-VIS BANGSAMORO FREEDOM STRUGGLE

WHY BANGSAMORO, NOT FILIPINO?

 

 

 

   

 

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