Moros’ Substate Solution: ‘Babelonic’; NO Peace Talks With MILF!
I have one specific term to describe the unconstitutional, demagogic and religion-based proposal of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF):
‘Babelonic’. This term, the root word of which is “babel”, simply means political division owing to cultural and religious differences, which in the long run would only lead to social and military conflict and strife.
The MILF has been at war with the national government for years to achieve its ultimate political and religious goal: the establishment of an Islamic state in which sharia or Islamic law is the law of the land. It is very clear that this group of Islamic rebels seek to establish their own state simply because of their religious beliefs. In its very recent statement, the MILF calls for the establishment of a substate for the Moros, saying Muslim Filipinos had the right to run their own government.
Such a statement stresses three declarations:
- Their central, main motivation of their political goal is their religion of Islam;
- They do not consider themselves as Filipinos simply because of their religion;
- They only consider their religion of Islam as their national, religious and political identity.
We don’t need to be rocket scientists or experts of religion and politics in order to properly decipher what the Moros want. They want a two-state solution for them and for us Filipinos and infidels. They do not consider themselves “Filipinos” and they do not want to be part of our society simply because according to their ‘holy’ book we are infidels or “people of the book”.
Indeed, this is both a political and religious issue.
Now I say that that Moro proposal is close to insanity and supremacist demagoguery for various reasons. Mindanao is already given an autonomous status under our New Constitution. Basically what the Moros want is a “substate” because that’s mandated by their religion. The Moros are not victims of discrimination in this country. It is they who try to isolate themselves from us “infidels”.
If this current government acceded to their proposal, then we should be ready for the following:
- The Moro substate would implement Sharia law that would alienate non-Muslims. Under a common sharia law, infidels or people of the book (translation: non-Muslims) are legally deemed as dhimma or dhimmis, which means that are second-class citizens.
- War or possible military conflict between us and this Moro State.
The proposal is unconstitutional.
I stated in a previous post the following:
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been receiving support from Islamic countries that favor Mindanao’s secession from the Philippines. I strongly disagree with the idea that secession is justified if it is fueled by religious dogma or the concept of ethnicity. There’s only one justification for a belligerent or hostile territory to secede from its motherland and this is the concept of individual rights. The MILF wants to secede because its warlords seek to establish an Islamic regime in Mindanao. This proposition is not justifiable because they only seek the religious enslavement of people in that part of the country.
There’s no doubt that this separatist group is getting military support from shadowy international networks that aim to establish a strategic military and radical religious base in the country. The result of their radical religious or theocratic dogma is what is happening now in Iran, where women have no individual rights and people have to follow under the pain of death the decree of their religious dictator.
Also, in reply to a commenter who said that the MILF or the Muslims are entitled to secession I stated the following:
The primary issue of Mindanao conflict is religion. A hostile or belligerent province or territory cannot claim secession from the main government on the ground of religion. There were mistakes of the Philippine government but we cannot correct a political wrong by embracing or adopting an evil idea. Those who deny or refuse to believe that the goal of the separatist group of MNLF is to create an independent Islamic state in Mindanao are simply detached from reality. The only valid justification for secession must be based on individual rights. A province cannot claim independence on the ground that it adopts a different religion, culture, or ethnic norms.
The idea that “Mindanao is a very complex matter” is an attempt to evade reality, because the Moro people in Mindanao are not really fighting for their freedom, but for the enslavement of their own people. Secession would only lead to an endless dispute and even war between the Philippine government and the would-be Islamic regime of Mindanao. But even granting arguendo that religion is not the main issue of the armed conflict in the South, the Moro separatist people cannot justifiably claim secession on the very absurd ground that “Mindanao is a very complex matter.”
I have no prejudice against religion, but I am opposed to the idea that religious dogmatism can justifiably be used to enslave a group of people or to exterminate those who are not in favor of a particular religion. Any kind of religious sect or denomination has the right to operate or flourish under our Republican system, but they have no right to claim political power in order to enforce their religious prejudices on other people who do not choose to adopt any religious dogma. The religious extremists who resort to suicide bombing, kidnapping and terrorist activities should not be given any space in a civilized society. The most dangerous brand of terrorism is the terrorism inspired by an extremist religion, because the people who act on blind faith can always claim that their immoral and ungodly advocacy is right and sanctioned by unknown, unknowable specter in a utopia they call heaven.
If the government consented to the political demand of the MILF, then it should provide the same opportunity to other religious and cultural groups that would raise the same proposal by virtue of their religion or indigenous culture.
HERE’S AN UPDATE:
Thank god there’s Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile who reminded Malacañang about the futility of peace talks. On October 19, Sen. Enrile urged the Aquino administration to stop the peace negotiations with the MILF in light of the bloody encounter between government army and secessionist forces in Basilan that resulted in the death of 19 soldiers. It’s good to know that there are politicians who understand that peace talks are suicidal and those in the government who have been pushing for more peace negotiations should be fired immediately.
Here’s a news report from GMA7:
“They better break it (peace talks) up and conduct an operation unless the MILF will surrender those people who committed that… one-way traffic yang peace process na ‘yan, ‘di pwede yun,” Enrile told reporters on Thursday.
“My God, that (presidential peace adviser Teresita) Deles should be fired if she insists on a peace process that she cannot handle… she’s insisting on the peace process when the soldiers of the republic are being killed,” he added.
Earlier, Deles and government peace panel head Marvic Leonen called the clash an “isolated” incident.
Enrile, however, said that it was impossible that the hierarchy of the MILF did not give a clearance for the attack.
“(If not) then this is the duty of the MILF to run after their renegade members if they are really sincere with the republic,” he said.
Deles said they plan to resume the peace talks in November. But Enrile said he does not believe in the sincerity of the MILF.
“What peace talks are we talking about when they are engaging us in combat? There is a ceasefire, they are engaging us in combat. What assurance can that Deles give the nation that the peace process will go through with this kind of situation? Are we willing to be fooled by these people and sacrifice the lives of our soldiery?” he said.
But Enrile noted that it was not a matter of staging an all-out war but a of enforcing order.
“When your soldiers are being killed that means they’re conducting a warfare against the government of the republic,” he said.
Earlier in the day, former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. also said Deles should be held accountable for the clash.
Sen. Francis Escudero, for his part, said that the incident should not get in the way of the negotiations.
“It is imperative for our negotiators to pursue efforts to finally find peace in Mindanao. But they should also give equal importance to the lost lives of our soldiers who were vital instruments in protecting our people from rogue elements,” Escudero said in a statement released Thursday.
Below is the MILF’s statement entitled “Let Moros Run Their Own Affairs”:
The MILF’s formula to solve the Moro Question in Mindanao is very simple; it is far from complex. Let the Moros run their affairs; let them decide their own destiny. Let them succeed or self-destruct. Gone were the days when the government in Manila designed everything for them.
The most important element here is self-determination. Let them exercise this right to self-determination (RSD), which is enshrined and guaranteed by the Charter of the United Nations. This is a right that cannot be foreclosed by any agreement or the subject of negotiation.
The MILF’s formula calls for the creation of a substate for the Moros. This entity is not an independent state. The powers over national defense, foreign relations, coinage and currency, and postal services are still the sole jurisdiction of the central government. The substate has jurisdiction only over other matters, except those jointly exercised by the substate and the central government.
There is nothing to fear in this proposal, because the substate, as the name connotes, is still part of the Philippines. It has no army, except police and internal security forces, tasked to do policing within the substate.
For those who do not grasp the concept of substate, let their mind swing to those countries which have federal system of government. A federation is characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (federal) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the central government.
A federal system of government is the opposite of another system, the unitary state, which the Philippines is a typical example. This is the reason why the MILF is not openly advocating for a federal system of government in this country, because all the other areas or administrative divisions here do not want a federal system of government. The MILF respects that desire, but it also wants them not to stand against the desire of the Moros to live and run their lives under the aegis of a substate.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is a far cry from what the MILF envisions as a substate. The ARMM, contrary to its name, is not autonomous. A province or city is more power powerful than the ARMM. The recent postponement of the ARMM elections speaks loudly why this entity is not autonomous; it is controlled, nay dictated, by Manila.
For those who said the Moros cannot run themselves, including Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, we say to them: Let them show it by giving them what they want. If they go to hell by their own making, so be it. They deserve no sympathy. After all, they have always been described as a “problem” not only to the Americans during colonial days but all succeeding Filipino administrations.
In an editorial posted on Tuesday on its website (www.luwaran.com), the MILF said it would take responsibility for the success or failure of the proposed substate.
“The MILF’s formula to solve the Moro Question in Mindanao is very simple … Let the Moros run their affairs. Let them decide their own destiny. Let them succeed or self-destruct. Gone [are] the days when the government in Manila designed everything for them,” the rebel group said.