March 4, 2013
Why is PeNoy subservient to Malaysia? | # |
When Filipinos commit murder in foreign countries, the Philippine government go on bended knees asking foreign countries to spare the lives of these Filipinos.
When the Sultan’s relatives went to Sabah, which was the home of the Tausugs for centuries, they were immediately threatened and humiliated by the Philippine President. (The Sultan’s and Rajah Muda’s father lived for some time in Sabah)
PeNoy’s arrogance towards the Sultan and his people and subservience towards the Malaysians are simply incomprehensible.
I cannot understand how any self-respecting Moro could stomach the sheer arrogance of PeNoy and his people towards the Sultan, his people (and by extension the Bangsa Moro) and the claim to Sabah.
Why is this unheard of subservience to the Malaysians? Their part in the Framework Agreement is not enough justification. Is the Philippine government supposed to be ever grateful to the Malaysians because of their mediation in the Peace Talks between the Government and the MILF? But why? People naturally infer that the Malaysians favor the MILF, their fellow Muslims. So the Lahad Datu crisis should have given the Philippine government the chance to exercise leverage over Malaysia and thus weaken the the ties between MILF and Malaysia.
But the actions of the Philippine President now make many people wonder. Has the Philippine government agreed to drop the Sabah claim in exchange for a peace agreement with the MILF?
The government’s announcement that the MILF has dropped the claim on Palawan becomes very telling. While the MILF agreed to limit the talks on the small ARMM, which excludes about half of the Moros in the Philippines, I don’t see anything on the Framework Agreement that says Palawan or any other parts of the Philippines shall never be able to join the ARMM. On the contrary, I think there is a provisio that allows for future entry of barangays, cities, municipalities or even provinces.
The MILF’s apparent anger over the Lahad Datu incident, their approval of the handling of the event by the PeNoy government, Eid Kabalu’s nomination for ARMM governor and his appointment as consultant to the Armed Forces of the Philippines make one doubtful of MILF.
The MILF’s arrogance in saying that the Moros should not do anything which would imperil the peace talks is sheer B.S. Are the peace talks only for the benfit of the MILF? Are all Moro concerns supposed to be put in the back burner until the Peace Talks are ended? When will that be? In 2016 when there will be another Philippine president?
So please tell us, what have the Philippine government and the MILF sold to the Malaysian government? The Bangsa Moro and the whole Filipino people deserve to know.
See my online reports:
February 20, 2013
Who Owns Sabah? | # |
Senators fear Sabah standoff may affect peace talks
The Sabah standoff: Revolt left out sultanate’s heirs
The Philippine, and I suppose the Malaysian, media are abuzz with what’s going on in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
I have just been interviewed by the anchorperson of the radio station DWBL. I was asked about the Sabah issue.
Perhaps it is appropriate to upload here an article I wrote in 2002 during the massive deportation of Moros from Sabah. Here it is:
Who owns Sabah ? by Datu Jamal Yahya Abbas
Amil Hussein Jalilullah is 30 years old and a full time graduate student. He belongs to the Sama ethnic group, which is indigenous to Tawi-Tawi and neighboring islands. With a scholarship grant from Muslim donors, he is pursuing his M.A. in Islamic Studies at U.P. Religious and unassuming, Mel, as he likes to be called, hopes to be an Islamic scholar in the tradition of contemporary Islamic thinkers like Iqbal and Maududi.
The recent massive deportation of Moros from Sabah disheartened Mel because he could not believe that a Muslim country could do such atrocities against Muslims. Migration is very important in Islam. The first Muslims migrated to Abyssinia to flee the cruelty of the Arab pagans. The Prophet himself migrated to Madina and set up the first Muslim Community (Ummah).
Mel joined his classmates and went to demonstrate against Malaysian actions. He and his classmates are all members of their graduate students’ association, the UP-ASSABIYAH (Group Solidarity). They called on everyone to consider the plight of the Halaw. Halaw is a Malay term adapted by the Tausug to refer to migrants in Sabah displaced in a disgraceful manner. The term halaw implies that these people (their humanity) were “violated”.
Mel comes from Bongao, Tawi Tawi. He lives practically a boat ride away from Sabah. He had always regarded Sabah as part of the Sulu Sultanate just as Tawi-Tawi is part of the Sulu Sultanate although the Philippine government considers Sulu and Tawi-Tawi as two separate provinces.
He believes that the Philippines should claim Sabah because “it belongs to Sulu.” He says, “Getting Sabah would be better for Tawi-Tawi, for the Sulu Sultanate and the Philippine government.”
But who truly owns Sabah?
The massive deportation of Moros from Sabah has sparked new interest in the ownership of this rich Malaysian state in North Borneo. Perhaps thinking that it would help his country, the Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines, Mohammad Taufiq announced on Sept. 2 that Malaysia’s Finance Ministry paid early this year the Sultanate of Sulu in southern Philippines its yearly "rent" of M$5,000 (HK$10,250) for Sabah. This surprised Filipino congressmen, who did not know that Malaysia pays annual rent to the Sulu Sultanate. For many congressmen and Christian Filipinos in general, the Sulu Sultanate had disappeared long ago and is now a mere figment of the imagination.
Realizing the logic that he who pays rent does not own the property, some congressmen immediately called for the return of Sabah to the Philippines. The Malaysian ambassador tried to cover his faux pax by saying that it was not rental fee but “cession fee”.
The Philippine government through no less than its President announced that the claim to Sabah would be studied carefully. "We affirmed that we can indeed come up with a national unified position on the Sabah issue at this time," a presidential palace statement dated 5 September quoted the President as saying. Representative Apolinario Lozada called the Malaysian presence in Sabah as an “occupation” by a foreign government.
During the dynastic war in Brunei in the 1650’s between Sultan Mu’adin and Sultan Abdul Mubin, the former asked the help of the Sultan of Sulu (Salah ud Din Bakhtiar). The Sulus came to the aid of Mu’adin and defeated Abdul Mubin. In exchange, the victorious Brunei Sultan gave Sabah and Palawan to the Sulu Sultan.
European powers recognized Sulu’s sovereignty over Sabah. Eighteenth and nineteenth-century European maps usually indicated North Borneo as "territories of the Sultan of Sulu."
On Jan. 22, 1878, the Sulu Sultan leased Sabah to Baron Overbeck. The Sulu Sultan also gave Overbeck the title of Datu Bendahara and Rajah of Sandakan, thus making him his subject.
When the Americans occupied Sulu, the US declared that while they had sovereignty over all Philippine Islands, they recognized the Sulu Sultan’s sovereignty over his possessions outside the Philippines. The US made it plain to England in official statements in 1906 and in 1920 that Sabah belonged to the Sultanate of Sulu.
Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram II died in 1936 without a direct heir. His niece and adopted child, Princess Piandao succeeded him as Pangyan (Sultana) of Sulu. But the some members of the Ruma Bichara (the Council of Elders) did not like the idea that their Pangyan was married to a non-Tausug. When Pangyan Piandao insisted that her husband, Datu Ombra Amilbangsa be declared Sultan, half of the Ruma Bichara withdrew their support for Piandao and instead proclaimed Piandao’s cousins Zein ul-Abidin II and Princess Tarhata as Sultan and Pangyan of Sulu.
With two sultans and sultanas, the ownership of Sabah came into question. It became confusing even to the Americans and the British. To set the matter straight, the heirs of Jamal-ul Kiram II asked the Sabah Court to decide on who are the real heirs of the late Sultan. The so-called Makaskie Decision in 1939 recognized the proprietary rights of the Sulu royalty to Sabah and named the heirs and their shares.
Although the Philippines became independent in 1946 and Mindanao and Sulu were included in the Republic, Manila’s hold on the South was tenuous. It practically had no idea that Sabah belonged to Sulu. Or if it did, it made no action whatsoever to include Sabah to the Philippines. In 1957 England granted its Malay colonies independence and the Sulu royals, along with the Indonesian government, protested immediately. It was only then that the new Philippine Republic faced the Sabah issue.
In 1961, Malaya invited Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah to join the federation. The Sulu royalty again protested. The Sulu royals granted the Philippine President, Diosdado Macapagal, the authority to claim Sabah. Macapagal promptly opposed the Sabah annexation and sent a delegation to London.
But neither Indonesia nor the Philippines could do anything because England declared that, with all its might, it stood firmly behind the creation of Malaysia. The US refused to back up Philippine claims and Indonesia had no one to turn to.
President Marcos tried to get Sabah by hook or by crook but it ended with the fiasco now known as the Jabidah massacre, which inspired the Moros to resume the Moro Wars in the early 1970s. One of the results of the ‘70s Moro Wars was the displacement of about half a million Moros to Sabah.
Despite Sabah’s annexation to the Malaysian Federation and Sulu’s inclusion in the Philippine Republic, the State of Sabah continues to pay annual rent to the Sulu royals as specified in the1878 lease, which now amounts to a mere token. The Sulu royalty since 1957 refuses to accept the annual rent although it receives the letters of payment.
In 1989, Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram III sent a formal notice to the Philippine government revoking the Sultanate’s authorization to the Philippine government to claim Sabah. In a press conference on September 4 at the Sulo hotel, Sultan Jama ul-Kiram III reiterated its revocation of the Philippine government’s authority to negotiate for Sabah.
Sultan Kiram’s lawyer, Firdausi Ismail Abbas, the Sultan of Lanao, said that the 1989 formal notice merely underscored the failure of the Philippine government to press the claims on Sabah, as agreed upon by the Sultanate and the Philippine government. “We actually consider the authorization nullified as far back as 1963, when Sabah became a part of the Malaysian federation," Sultan Abbas said.
ASKING PHILIPPINE ASSISTANCE
However, the Sultan of Sulu is still is asking the Philippine government to help bring the Sabah issue to the United Nations in “behalf of the Filipino people.”
But his lawyer said that the Sultanate of Sulu is giving the Philippine government only up to six months to bring the issue to the United Nations. Lawyer Abbas said that there are forums other than the U.N. which the Sulu Sultanate can air its demands.
Harry Roque, a law professor at UP says that a legal principle known as uti posseditis juris “accords pre-eminence of legal title over effective possession as a basis of sovereignty.” The Sulu Sultanate holds all legal documents to prove their ownership. However, realpolitik seems to indicate otherwise.
The prospects of the Philippine claim to Sabah do not seem to look good. Despite the lawmakers’ insistence, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said, "the Sabah issue remains a low priority."
Mel’s mentor, Prof. Julkipli Wadi of the UP Institute of Islamic Studies also believes that the Sultan of Sulu, Jamal ul-Kiram III is the rightful sovereign of Sabah but he thinks that the claim will not prosper in the immediate future. He maintains that the Philippine government does not have the “capability, the right leadership and the political will” to successfully claim Sabah. He said that the Sulu Sultanate is “sandwiched between two governments” with their own selfish agendas. Finally, he said that the Philippine government is simply “not willing” to pursue the Sabah claim seriously.
Mel is firm in his belief that Sabah belongs to Sulu. But when confronted with the idea that if Sabah becomes part of the Philippines, it might become like Mindanao and Sulu, Mel had a change of heart. “If by Sulu getting Sabah means that (Christian) Filipinos will lord it over Sabah just as they do in Mindanao and Sulu, then it would be better for Sabah to stay with Malaysia,” he concluded.
Mel’s conclusion is echoed by most of his classmates. Even with the present hardships inflicted by Malaysians on Moros in Sabah, it appears that Moro ties with Sabah and the Muslim Malays formed by centuries of shared history, kinship and religion is still stronger than Moro ties with Christian Filipinos formed by the creation of a Commonwealth in 1935 or a nation-state called the Republic of the Philippines in 1946. (END/ SEPT. 2002)
SEE RELATED POST: SABAH AND THE BANGSA MORO
January 14, 2013
On the 2012 MILF - GPH Framework ON THE BANGSAMORO | # |
FIRDAUSI I.Y. ABBAS, Ph.D. 
(The author is the Sultan of Lanao, Chair of the Bangsa Moro Party (BMP) which was founded by the Conference of Bangsa Moro Islamic Organizations (CBMIO)}, composed of Fifty Eight National Moro Organizations in 1985 and the President Emeritus of the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, Inc.(MUSBARAP).He is the former General Legal Counsel of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF),Legal Consultant to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) when Ustadz Salamat Hashim was Chairman and still considered by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which is now called the Organization of the Islamic Co-operation as permanent MNLF delegate to the Tripartite Conference among the MNLF - the Philippine Government (PG) and the OIC.)
Today the Bangsa Moro (Moro People) must once more decide, this time whether or not to support the MILF and trust the President.
Atty. Marvic Leonen, erstwhile chair of the Philippine panel negotiating with the MILF, who is now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court at the Malacañang press conference on October 8, 2012 emphasized that there must be sincerity and trust for the proposed agreement to succeed. We of the Bangsa Moro Party (BMP) are in full agreement. Indeed these factors coupled with honesty and competence are sine qua non for a propitious conclusion.
SEEDS OF DISTRUST
Already one MNLF faction accused President Benigno Aquino lll of insincerity and even betrayal because the negotiations between the MNLF and the PG are still on-going under the auspices of the OIC which recognizes the MNLF as the sole Bangsa Moro representative. Further, past events have made the militant Moro groups skeptical.
In 1976, the Tripoli Agreement was signed between the MNLF and the PG to establish Bangsa Moro autonomy in the south. President Ferdinand Marcos unilaterally implemented it and created two farcical autonomous regions - Regions lX and Xll and empowered his yes-men. President Corazon Aquino vowed to give the Bangsa Moro real autonomy and created the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which turned out to be spurious. President Fidel Ramos signed the Jakarta Agreement with the MNLF in 1996 but the problems persisted. Even worse, the government itself maliciously projected the Philippines as a target of Muslim Arab terrorists allegedly aiming to sow destruction and chaos in many Philippine cities and consequently several Arabs were arrested, incarcerated and charged. The MUSBARAP proved that the prosecution evidence were planted by the police and the Arabs were acquitted. President Joseph Estrada handled the MILF with an iron fist and launched a crusade that left dozens of Moro fighters and AFP elements dead with thousands of innocent Moro men, women and children left homeless. Under his watch in 2000, several establishments and places in Metro Manila were blown up which were blamed on the MILF. The MUSBARAP successfully caused the charges to be dismissed against Salamat,Murad,et.al. The same pernicious scheme of blaming the MILF for a series of bombings which were masterminded by the government itself to tag the MILF as an international terrorist organization by the United Nations was perpetuated under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
OBJECTIONS TO THE 2012 FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT
Sincerity, trustworthiness and honesty were dubious with the past Presidents mentioned vis-a-vis their policies toward the Bangsa Moro. We examined the Framework and the pronouncements of Atty. Leonen and found that the elements which he emphasized are necessary to succeed are wanting.
In the Framework Agreement they coined the word - Bangsamoro. The Moros never used this word. What was and is used is the term Bangsa Moro which consists of two words - Bangsa which in Malay and in the Moro languages of the Maranaos, the Tausugs, and the Maguindanoans means race or people and Moro which means an inhabitant of Mindanao, Sulu, Zamboanga and Palawan who has historical presence. He may be a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a believer of any faith or even an atheist because Moro is not synonymous with Muslim. Moro connotes a historical affiliation with Mindanao, Sulu, Zamboanga and Palawan and a political identification with the Bangsa Moro while Muslim connotes religious adherence to Islam.
This term began to be used but was not generally accepted till the late sixties. It was regularly used and popularized by the Dawatul Islam, the newspaper of the Bangsa Moro Revolutionary Movement in the late sixties and early seventies under the UIFO which paved the way for the concretization of the Bangsa Moro revolutionary agenda.
Sec 1. The Parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and that the Bangsamoro shall be established to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The Bangsamoro is the new autonomous political entity (NPE)…
Here it means the government.
Sec 5. The parties recognize Bangsamoro identity… Their descendants whether of the mixed or full blood shall have the right to call themselves as Bangsamoro…
Here it means the individual.
Sec.1. The Bangsamoro shall be governed by a basic law.
Here it means the people.
The several meanings attached to the word Bangsamoro make it confusing. Consider the statement, “Bangsamoro is the government of the Bangsamoro to which Bangsamoro can identify himself.” It should likewise be noted that the MILF does use Bangsamoro in its title, but Moro.
Sec.4. The relationship of the Central Government with the Bangsamoro Government shall be asymmetric.
Sec.5. ….their descendants whether of mixed or full blood shall have the right to identify themselves as Bangsamoro by ascription or self-ascription.
Definitely the laymen do not know these words asymmetric, ascription and self-ascription. Many professionals including lawyers have to look up their meaning in the dictionary. These words further add to the confusion.
Sec.4.The Central Government shall ensure the protection of the rights of the Bangsamoro people residing outside the territory of the Bangsamoro…
Are the Bangsamoro not Filipino citizens protected by the Bill of Rights of the PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION?
Sec 2. The Government of the Bangsamoro shall have a Ministerial Form.
This provision again exemplifies why the PG’s honesty is doubtful. Here the attempt to conceal the real meaning as agreed upon by the parties is apparent.
There is no ministerial form of government!
The forms of government as to who exercises authority are: (1) Monarchial – Absolute or Limited, (2) Aristocratic, (3) Dictatorial, (4) Socialistic, (5) Communistic, and (6) Democratic. The forms of government as to the extent of powers of the Central or National Government are: (1) Unitary and (2) Federal. The forms of government as to the organization of government are: (1) Presidential (2) Parliamentary.
The meaning of “MINISTERIAL” is the absence of discretion or judgment (Gonzales v. Securities and Exchange Commission, SP 03247 Aug 26, 1985). But this is not what the parties meant otherwise it would be no different from the farcical and sham autonomies. What they agreed upon is that the head of the NPE will be called Chief Minister and his cabinet members will be called Ministers. Why did they not say so outright? With these titles, one might ask whether these Ministers are officials of another state, or of a “state within a state”.
Sec 5. The Parties recognize Bangsamoro identity. Those who at the time of conquest and colonization were considered natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands including Palawan.
Conquest and colonization of who and of what? Of the people of the north called Indios by the Spaniards? Of Luzon and the Visayas? But this has no relevance in the determination of Moro identity. If it refers to the Bangsa Moro and their homeland then it is a travesty.
This is a gross distortion of history which records that the Bangsa Moro were never conquered and have the distinction that among all the Malay peoples only they humbled the foreign invaders.
This historical distortion is debunked by historians who aptly pointed out:
“CONQUEST OF MINDANAO AND THE MOROS was pursued by the Spaniards for over three centuries to no avail. The Moros retained their faith, culture and institutions.” (Blair and Robertson, “The Philippine Islands”)
As late as the 1930s, the Filipino leaders in Manila were still conspiring to colonize Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. On June 16, 1936 President Manuel Quezon of the Philippine Commonwealth laid down the government’s Mindanao policy: “The time has come when we should systematically proceed with and bring about the colonization and economic development of Mindanao. A vast and rich territory with untapped natural resources is a temptation to enterprising nations that are looking for an outlet for their excess population… if, therefore, we are to conserve Mindanao for ourselves and our posterity, we must bend all our efforts to occupy and develop it…”
Even when the Americans administered Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, the American government still acknowledged sovereign attributes of the Sultan of Sulu as duly documented in the letter of Governor General Frank W. Carpenter to the Director of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes on May 4, 1920: “It is necessary that there be of official record that termination of the temporal sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu within American territory is understood to us to be wholly without effect or prejudice as to the temporal sovereignty, ecclesiastic authority of the Sultanate beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. government, especially with reference to that portion of the island of Borneo, which as dependency of the Sultanate of Sulu, is understood to be under lease by the chartered company which is known as the British North Borneo Company.” Under international law, only a sovereign can have a dependency.
This provision is pernicious. It negates the legacy of the Bangsa Moro. The MILF negotiators who are professionals, with lawyers among them, could not be ignorant of Moro history. The MILF leaders’ concurrence to this perversion is plain perfidy and an outright sell out.
Historian PETER GOWING in his book MUSLIM FILIPINO HERITAGE AND HORIZON wrote: “ARMED INVADERS – SPANIARDS, AMERICANS, JAPANESE, AND CHRISTIAN FILIPINOS – always outgunned the Moros but the invaders never succeeded in crushing the indomitable spirit of the Moros. They never subjugated the Moros. Everyday thousands upon thousands of Moros in hundreds of mosques and countless homes kneel in abject surrender to ALLAH. No lesser power, certainly no power on earth can ever bring them to their knees. This is their heritage.”
6. The customary rights and traditions of Indigenous Peoples shall be taken into consideration in the formation of the Bangsamoro justice system.
3. Indigenous Peoples’ rights shall be respected.
These provisions suggest that Moros are not indigenous which is utterly preposterous. There were no other peoples before them in the Bangsa Moro homeland. The cited provisions perpetuate the scheme of President Marcos to downgrade the patrimonial claim of the Bangsa Moro by equating them with the so-called “indigenous peoples.”
Before the advent of Islam in the 13th century, the Moros, like these so-called indigenous peoples were pagans but already had a high degree of culture and civilization. They interacted with the other Malay peoples of Southeast Asia and with merchants from China. The epic of the Maranaos, the Darangan which is pre-Islamic is the Philippine national epic. The Moro dance, the Singkil dazzled millions the world over. Islam further developed the culture and civilization of the Moros and gave them consciousness that they belong to a greater community (Cesar Majul, Muslims in the Philippines).
The Bangsa Moro which is a collective people of Moro nations, of the Tausug, Maranao and Maguindanao peoples number by the millions and whose civilization and culture were recognized by other nations of the world long before the great global powers emerged. The mightiest powers of their day, Spain, Great Britain, Portugal, and the United States of America entered into treaties with the Moro sultans. There never was such a recognition bestowed on these so-called indigenous peoples which are actually tribes who co-existed with the Moros in some areas of the homeland in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan but who were never on the same level as the Moros - politically, culturally and socially. The special considerations, positions and concessions given by the government to these tribes in the negotiated agreements with the Moro fronts is not right. While the Moros respect the indigenous tribes and lived with them for centuries, they believe that there must be a separate policy for them.
The assurances of Atty. Leonen that the law provides or could expand the jurisdiction of the Shariah Courts and exercise criminal jurisdiction further compound the insincerity and the dishonesty of the government. This is a blatant misrepresentation. Criminal jurisdiction can never be conferred on the Shariah Courts. Shariah criminal law is based on the Holy Koran. If a man steals his hand will be cut off. An adulterous wife will be stoned to death. A man guilty of a capital crime will be beheaded. These are categorized as cruel and unusual punishments which the Philippine Constitution prohibits. Even Malaysia, a Muslim state does not apply Shariah criminal law.
He vehemently stated likewise that the MILF-PG agreement will not require any constitutional amendment. The changes however which the proposed agreement exacts on the present political structure in Muslim Mindanao are not only substantive but also radical. For one, the new entity will now be called Bangsamoro. The MILF will definitely assert inclusion of the word Bangsamoro in the constitution.
These vociferous declarations of Atty. Leonen, are further muted by the following provision:
4. (b) Functions of the Transition Commission. To work on proposals to amend the Philippine Constitution for purposes of accommodating and entrenching in the constitution the agreements of the parties whenever necessary.
Very clearly, based on this article, the constitution may not only be amended but may be amended “whenever necessary” which connotes not just a single instance but several occasions.
On the basis of these confusing, misleading and offensive provisions, the BMP and other militant Moro groups definitely cannot support the proposed agreement.
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS
The opposition against this proposed pact is not fueled by an inveterate animosity towards the MILF leaders. It is not anchored simply on the above-mentioned provisions but more importantly on the absence of any concrete assurance to establish real autonomy and provide genuine economic opportunities.
There must be assurance that the autonomous government shall have political stability and continuity. It must be shielded against illegal, capricious and whimsical postponement of elections in the autonomous region. There must be fiscal autonomy to enable the AG to survive even with modest budgets from the national government and therefore must be guaranteed authority to raise funds primarily within the region supplemented by foreign assistance. But primarily the AG must be run by competent and dedicated Moros in a free elections which will truly reflect the Bangsa Moro’s choice and not by handpicked sycophants of the President presented as victors in a rigged and simulated electoral process.
It is imperative that the Moros be assured of a better and prosperous future to secure for themselves and their posterity a brighter tomorrow. To achieve this, it is paramount to have access to basic capital assets and the inability to do so according to a study is the main cause of poverty - a major underlying problem of peace which has the highest incidence in the Moro regions. These essential capital assets are namely Human, Financial, Natural and Physical (The European Community-Philippines Strategy Paper 2007-2013).
1. HUMAN CAPITAL. Human capital means literate or educated human resources. “Out of 100 children starting in Grade I, only 69 are able to become elementary graduates or 31% drop out for various reasons not because of intellectual incapacity but principally due to economic reasons.” (Under-Secretary Bartolome Carale, “Educators Speak”, Manila Bulletin February 11, 2000).This incidence is much higher in the Moro regions where only a small percentage of the children finish the six years elementary education.
2. FINANCIAL CAPITAL. There are few private banks in the Moro areas which do not easily give loans to the Moros who are considered high risk. The government banks which service the Moro areas are neither accessible for loans. More than ninety (90%) of the residential lots are without titles which render them non-viable as collateral. Generally lands in the Moro regions cannot be titled because these have been declared military reservations by the commonwealth government. Personal or housing loans are not available either and the western oriented commercial banks serve mostly for deposit or checking accounts.
3. NATURAL CAPITAL. This refers to accessibility to natural resources. Lands for commercial purposes are limited if not scarce. There is no visible government assistance for cottage industries such as furniture making despite the abundance of trees and bamboos in the Moro lands. The centuries-old art of brassware production called galang in Taraka, Lanao del Sur ormalong weaving among the womenfolk have not been recipients of much needed help to sustain or develop the industry. Government assistance in cultivating the fish industry in Lake Lanao is nil which is a waste of this rich natural resource. Pure mineral springs are plenty but again the needed financial capital is not obtainable. Pearls of the finest grade abound in the Sulu sea which could be a major industry but this has not been developed. The awesome Turtle Islands of Sulu is another wastage of a rich commercial and tourism resource. The Liguasan Marsh which is believed to have rich oil deposits has neither been harnessed. The agricultural lands are becoming unproductive due to lack of agricultural implements and equipment that can increase productivity. The regions’ rich timberlands are exploited by non-Moros who have exclusive logging permits and pour no capital to develop the area.
4. PHYSICAL CAPITAL. This refers to basic necessities such as electricity and water. Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan, Lanao del Norte derives its source from Lake Lanao in Lanao del Sur. The government hydro-electric plants which harness the power of the falls supply electricity to the whole of Mindanao but many municipalities and towns in the province have no electrical service. They have no lights. Even Marawi City has poor electrical service and the rates paid by the residents thereat are even higher than those of the other provinces benefiting from the electricity generated from the falls.
Drinking water which is another basic need was not a problem to the Maranaos of Lanao until recently when the water in the lake became severely polluted by the hydroelectric plants. Tens of children as well as several pregnant women have been ill. It now appears that the water from the lake may no longer be potable due to contamination and has also been observed that the abundant fishes in the lake have suddenly diminished considerably because the pollution has seriously affected spawning.
Health services are scarcely available in the Moro rural areas. The public hospitals are few, the accommodations are inadequate, the staff is undermanned and needed facilities and medical equipment are lacking. Infant and child mortality as well as maternal mortality rates are still high. The number of unvaccinated children is increasing while malaria and tuberculosis are still prevalent.
It is quite clear that the inaccessibility to the named capitals which cause poverty are either due to inimical government action, deliberate inaction or gross negligence. This government indifference and apathy to and neglect of the Moros is the primary reason for the absence of good primary and secondary public education, economic opportunities, employment (unemployment has remained at 11% since the year 2000 which is higher in the Moro areas) and income opportunities, social services and of peace and order.
Economic and social development of the Moro regions must be systematically and continuously implemented which equate to Social Justice – a mandate imposed on the state by the constitution. It requires the state to adopt measures that guarantee the right of the people to equal opportunities in all fields of human endeavor and to equitable sharing of the fruits of social and economic development with special emphasis on measures that will ameliorate the standard of living of the underprivileged groups. These measures are duties of the government imposed by constitutional fiat and require no negotiated pact with the Moro groups for execution. The economic and social amelioration of the south and the Moros is an immediate concern of the state which is long overdue and must be speedily and efficiently effectuated thru programs that shall not be advantageous to only a few as in the past but substantive, extensive, viable, productive and beneficial to the Moro masses.
The Moros have witnessed negotiations and agreements between the MNLF and the PG before which were always accompanied with so much festivity and boisterous heraldry of a peaceful and prosperous beginning for the Bangsa Moro. After a while sobriety creeps in and reality orchestrates once again the staccato sounds of gunfire and the hapless Moro civilians are once more consumed by anxiety of anticipated turbulent circumstances.
The so-called agreements were actually mere accommodations of the MNLF leaders. Presidents Marcos and Corazon Aquino accommodated MNLF commanders who surrendered in exchange for government positions, power and wealth but the problem instead exacerbated. President Fidel Ramos accommodated Nurrulagi Misuari who was made Regional Governor of the ARMM for five years. Only he, his family and a handful of his loyalists benefited. The corruption, incompetence and negligence that characterized the ARMM did not change during his term. Painfully the opportunities for reforms have been wantonly squandered. And the fighters who sacrificed terribly experienced no betterment in their lives. Their brothers who died on the battlefields are not even remembered much less honored by their leaders. And those who were determined to persevere waved another banner-that of the Abu Sayaff.
The present negotiations between the MILF and the PG is another accommodation. Some of those who will benefit from such arrangements were never in the revolutionary movement. They faithfully served under the Marcos dictatorship and some even wronged many Moro quarters. Their only link to Chairman Murad is that they are also Maguindanaon. The same is true with the MNLF that have negotiators who unabashedly declare that they are not MNLF but simply lawyering for the MNLF.
A careful reading of the Jakarta Agreement immediately exposes the evident flaws which are imputable to legal incompetence, ignorance of Moro history and lack of understanding of Islam. Lamentably the Moro negotiators are at fault. In RA 9054 which is basically based on the Jakarta Agreement of 1996 between the MNLF and the PG, the MNLF agreed to the provisions on the so-called indigenous peoples which negates the Bangsa Moro as indigenous and even provides for the creation of Tribal Courts and an Appellate Tribal Court which have civil and exclusive criminal jurisdiction over members of the indigenous communities. (ARTICLE Vlll, SEC. 19, RA 9054)
One of the important provisions of the said law is that on Shariah (Islamic law). This is under ARTICLE VIII, Administration of Justice. Consider the following provisions under this ARTICLE, SECS 11 and 18. The qualifications for Judges of the Shariah Circuit and District Courts as well as the Shariah Appellate Court are the same qualifications for Judges of Regional Trial Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts. In addition, they must be learned in Islamic law and jurisprudence. A Shariah Court is an Islamic Court presided over by a Muslim judge who adjudicate civil conflicts between or among Muslim litigants. Based on the qualifications of Shariah judges and justice under the said provisions, a Christian, a Jew or even an atheist can qualify because the phrase “learned in Islamic law and jurisprudence” is not synonymous with being a Muslim. There are many Christians, Jews and even atheists who are learned in Islamic law and jurisprudence.
SEC. 23 provides:
Bases for Interpretation of Islamic Law:
Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Shari’ah courts shall interpret Islamic law based on sources such as:
a. Al-Quran (The Koran)
b. Al-Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition)
c. Al-Qiyas (Analogy) and
This section is replete with many errors. It opens with the provision that Islamic Law shall be interpreted by Shari’ah Courts subject to the constitution.
First, Shari’ah Courts do not interpret the Shari’ah but simply implement it. They have no authority or competence to interpret Shari’ah, and it has been decreed a long time ago that interpretation of Shari’ah or the Koranic verses has already ceased.Second, Shari’ah cannot be subject to the Philippine Constitution. Shari’ah which is primarily based on the Koran is the law from ALLAH, GOD’s law and cannot be subject to man-made law such as the Philippine Constitution. The Christians will neither accept that Canon law or pronouncements of the Pope shall be interpreted in accordance with the Philippine Constitution.Third, it further provides that Shari’ah shall be interpreted “based on sources such as: a. Al-Quran (The Koran) b. Al-Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition) c. Al-Qiyas (Analogy) and d. Al-Ijima (Consensus). These sources, per this section are mere examples.“Such as” means precisely for example. A decision of the Supreme Court or an opinion of the President could therefore be also sources of “interpreting” the Shari’ah. This is simply outrageous. Fourth, Al-Sunnah is translated as “Prophetic Traditions.” This is wrong. In Islam, there are many recognized and beloved prophets such as Nabi Isa or Prophet Jesus, but when it comes to understanding the Holy Quran, only the customs and traditions of the Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) can be used as basis. Al-Sunnah must be translated as the Customs and Traditions of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.). Fifth. It is not Ijima. It is Ijma. Sixth. Ijma is the consensus of opinions of the companions of the Prophet, and the decisions taken by the learned “Muftis” or the Jurists on Islamic matters. Al-Qijas is the legal principle introduced in order to derive at a logical conclusion of a certain law on a certain issue that has to do with the welfare of the Muslims. In exercising this however, it must be based on the Qur’an, Sunnah and Ijma. Clearly Ijma is a source that precedes Al-Qijas and must be letter (c). Identical and similar errors are visible in the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
How can these groups or persons therefore legitimately speak on Islamic jurisprudence, moro history or represent the Bangsa Moro? This is absolutely a gross anomaly.
Agreements with the MILF and MNLF will not solve the problem in the south without the participation of the other Bangsa Moro sectors. These forces combined are not even 0.5 percent of the Moro People. Even if the MILF surrenders its firearms peace will not follow. The MNLF did this in 1996 but war broke out in 2002. The arms of the MNLF and MILF which is roughly from 15 to 20 thousand is not even five percent of the arms in the hands of the Bangsa Moro. The AFP assisted by the MILF cannot force the Moros to give up their arms. The Moros will not surrender their armaments. It is their protection. It is part of the Moro culture and a way of life. The government is aware of these facts.
Furthermore the government admits that the problem in the south is complex, that it is multi-dimensional - military, political, religious, cultural, social, economic and traditional which necessitates a holistic approach but it is however complacent and despite these indisputable premises it insists on pursuing the futile negotiations. Like the previous exercises which President Aquino refers to as failed experiments, his own test will suffer the same fate because it is the same policy, the same hypothesis.
LACK OF MORO UNITY
The fault is not however exclusive to the PG. The Moro fronts and the incumbent Moro political leaders share the blame. At the height of its popularity the MNLF rejected the participation of other Moro groups and falsely claimed to have originated the revolutionary struggle. It obviated the UIFO which internationalized the Moro issue, negotiated for foreign assistance and commenced the training of Moros including the top MNLF leaders. There would be no MNLF without the UIFO. The MNLF also blamed the Moro political leaders for the sufferings of the Moros but it was the moro leaders’ private armies who fought the soldiers – who fired the first protest shot against martial law a month after it was imposed in the historic Marawi uprising.
Today the MILF has the same divisive arrogant posture. They reject the status quo and negate the MNLF achievements - the Tripoli and Jakarta Agreements. R.A. 9054 which is based on the latter accord has many positive and beneficial economic provisions, but the MILF insists on its own independent and totally new agreement with the PG. Like the MNLF it wants to obliterate the past but the incontrovertible fact is that without the MNLF there would be no MILF. The MILF should build on the gains of the MNLF and exemplify better leadership.
Then there are the Moro political leaders. They have not supported the MNLF and the MILF in their pursuit of Moro autonomy either because of a different political agenda or belief that this is the task of the Moro fronts which is erroneous. Their participation in this enterprise is in fact crucial. The great Palestinian Yasser Arafat told Moro leaders in Tunisia in 1982, “Autonomy is the task of politicians. Revolutionaries fight for independence.” The Moro political leaders must now perform their role and call for the immediate implementation of provisions in RA 9054 such as the appointment of qualified Moros in the organs of the state to capacitate Moro participation in national policy formulation.
And despite the clearly correct and necessary holistic approach which will unite the Bangsa Moro neither the MNLF nor the MILF advised the President to adopt it. Obviously the Moro fronts are wary that on the same forum with other Moro leaders, their ignorance and incompetence will be exposed. And the President will neither take the initiative because apparently the PG does not really want to terminate the tumult and end the conflict for it serves a lot of interest and offers tremendous benefit. The armed groups justify the huge military budget, the intelligence funds allocated to the Office of the President, the considerable financial assistance from the U.S., the European Union and of course from Malaysia which fears a Moro armed force, especially one close to its shores.
The solution to the Moro problem is not military nor in the hands solely of the MNLF or MILF. It has many facets and is in the hands of all the sectors of the roughly twelve million Moros. The proposed agreement between the MILF and the PG is contemplated to be the Bangsa Moro basic law and shall be the basis of the new organic act amendatory of RA 9054. It shall be the constitution of the new autonomous political entity. This is unacceptable - a constitution for the Bangsa Moro proposed and formulated by a handful of Moros who have arrogated unto themselves the authority to represent the Bangsa Moro with a handful of selected officials by Malacañang, brokered by Malaysia which is motivated by its own interest that is inimical to the Tausug people. It is as repugnant as the 1987 constitution which is the product of fifty handpicked Filipinos.
Bangsa Moro Constitutional Convention
Let this law be acceptable to the Bangsa Moro. Let them be proud of it as their legacy. Allow them to enact this constitution in a convention which Congress shall convoke wherein all the Moro sectors shall be guaranteed appointed representatives and together with freely elected delegates duly constitute the congregation who shall reflect in this fundamental law the historicity, identity, aspirations, sentiments, hopes and dreams of the Bangsa Moro. This is the holistic approach.
The Bangsa Moro yearn for peace and live normal lives. The fiery cry for secession has been tempered by the acceptance of autonomy long ago but it is as elusive as independence. Now is the chance to do right-establish real and meaningful autonomy and resolve the age-old conflict in the south. Now is likewise the moment to rekindle hope and unfold the vision of a verdant dawn. Today the Bangsa Moro focus on the President-on the crucible of his political will. If he is guided by a sincere, competent and resolute concern, then he must listen to and grant the Bangsa Moro the freedom to charter their political course and mold their own destiny under the aegis of the Philippine Republic.
 Firdausi I.Y. Abbas was the Editor of the Dawatul Islam, the official newspaper of the Moro Revolutionary Movement under the Union of Islamic Forces Organization (UIFO) from 1969 to 1972, member of the UIFO Executive Council and Chair of the Committee on Youth and Student Affairs. He initiated and led the MNLF special team to Indonesia who met and asked Vice-President Yusuf Kalla in Jakarta on August 17,2007 to recommend the resumption of the MNLF-PG-OIC tripartite meeting. It was resumed in December 2007 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He represented the Bangsa Moro in the first international symposium of the OIC in a non-Muslim state in Seoul, South Korea and in the World Muslim League Conference in Madrid, Spain in 2008. He was also a special guest of the Ministry of Haj of Saudi Arabia in the Conference on Islam and Islamic Culture in Mecca last September 2012. He was formerly a Senior Professorial Lecturer in the graduate program in Industrial Relations at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City and a member of the PHI Kappa Phi International Honor Society. Presently he practices law.
The UIFO headed by Sultan Rashid Lucman of Bayang, Lanao del Sur who was then Congressman of the mentioned province and Atty. Macapanton Y. Abbas, Jr., Chairman and Secretary-General respectively clandestinely met with Malaysian officials headed by Tun Abdul Razak, then Information Minister who were sent by Tungku Abdul Rahman, then Prime Minister of Malaysia in Penang in 1969. Soon after the said meeting, the UIFO sent the first and last batch of Moro youth to Sabah, Malaysia for military training. This batch known as the top 90 was headed by Datu Abul Khayr Alonto, Vice-Chairman of the UIFO Committee on Military Affairs, Chaired by Datu Udtog Matalam, Jr., which included Nurrulagi Misuari aka Nur Misuari and Sultan Punduma Sani. It turned out that the Malaysians just wanted a leverage against the Philippines on the Sabah claim and gave the names of the Moro revolutionaries to President Marcos, which resulted in the arrests of many UIFO leaders including Atty. Abbas, Jr.
 A tribe as defined is a group of individuals generally few in number, who cannot be counted in thousands, living simply, crudely and even primitively as a distinct portion of a people from a common ancestor. (P.D. 705)
October 14, 2012
PNoy’s Roadmap to Peace or to Nowhere? | # |
Tomorrow, a supposedly historic event will happen at Malacanang - the formal signing of a Framework Agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Four years ago, a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was pre-signed in Malaysia but was prevented from being formally signed and eventually declared unconstitutional by the Philippine Supreme Court.
Although the MOA-AD and the Framework Agreement are basically the same just as the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity is practically the same as the new Bangsamoro autonomous political entity, everybody seems to be happy with this one yet was seething with venomous anger against the other. Why?
WITH THE PRESIDENT’S BACKING
I understand why anti-Muslim autonomy politicians like Senator Drilon and Sec. Roxas are quiet. They are the stalwarts of the Liberal Party, the party of President Aquino III. I understand why even opposition politicians who are anti-Muslim autonomy advocates are quiet. They do not want to go against the dictates of Malacanang as they might lose their pork barrel. I understand why most of mainstream media are supportive of the Aquino- approved Framework Agreement. The Media Agenda is basically the same as the Malacanang agenda. I am not surprised why the Supreme Court who branded the MOA-AD as unconstitutional is silent about the new Framework Agreement. Their new Chief Justice was newly appointed by the President.
But I am surprised why so many ordinary Christian Filipinos, who appeared ready and raring to join the Crusades against the Moros during the height of the MOA-AD controversy, are now silent and are even said to be "pro-Peace", whatever that means. Could it be that left on their own, the Filipino masses would actually be pro-Peace and that they are just looking for cues from their opinion leaders?
If that is so, then there is actually a possibility for peace in this country!
The question then is, will the ruling elite allow lasting peace in the country? The "No War - No Peace" condition has a lot of advantages for the powers that be. It helps them maintain their position of dominance and power - both in Mindanao and in Metro Manila.
This early, government functionaries have already said that the schedule for the finalization of the MILF-GPH peace talks will be in 2016. That would simply not work. In 2016, Aquino III will be a lameduck president. The opposition will not be afraid of him. His party-mates will be ready to abandon him. The Media will look for its own agenda.
Ms. Arroyo thought that in 2008, she could still make the MOA-AD palatable to the majority. But she underestimated her unpopularity. The obvious rigging of the elections in 2007 and her attempts to have Martial Law through Proclamation 1017 which called for a State of Emergency gave chills down the spines of many Filipinos. The opposition’s resistance to the MOA-AD gained overwhelming adherents.
In the same vein, Mr. Aquino should not over-estimate his popularity. The removal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Corona and his replacement wit a young law professor who was Aquino’s schoolmate in college does not go well with many critical-thinking Filipinos. As Senator Joker Arroyo remarked, by removing CJ Corona, Aquino effectively controlled the three branches of government thus having Martial Law powers without calling Martial Law.
Recently, this September, the ‘netizens of the country were up in arms against Aquino’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law, calling the imposition of the law as "e-Martial Law". His advisers/retinue who keep on trumpeting Aquino’s alleged popularity must have been surprised at the people’s protest. With about a dozen petitions to the Supreme Court, the Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the government’s implementation of the law.
If Aquino and his party-mates are truly sincere in this peace process, they must start the ball rolling this early. They cannot presume that Aquino’s popularity will remain as high as they say it is. A plebiscite in one and a half year’s time must be scheduled. The plebiscite should not be done beyond 2014. If that happens, then maybe there would be some hope for peace.
As for the doubting Moros, it does not matter who represents the Bangsa Moro. What is important is what the representatives achieve for the Moros. The best thing we got so far, after struggling for more than 40 years, is the Tripoli Agreement. If the MILF can get something less than the Tripoli Agreement but can have it fully implemented favoring the Moros, then well and good. But for me, the Tripoli Agreement remains the basic autonomous agreement. Everything else is a part of the process towards its full implementation.
However, and this is a big however, I’m afraid all this hullabaloo is just for show. The Aquino administration is simply imitating the Arroyo administration. Like Arroyo, who lured the MILF to the negotiating table by dangling a "Bangsamoro State" carrot, Aquino is dangling the Bangsamoro "autonomous political entity" carrot while taking control of ARMM by appointing his own people - Hataman et al - and letting them run for office in the coming elections. This is being done in spite of Aquino’s announcement that his team will be on a temporary capacity and will not run in 2013. (Remember when Arroyo said she wouldn’t run in 2004?). He will extend the talks until near the end of his presidential term when it will meet extreme opposition from the Christian majority.
On the other hand, the MILF will be glad to keep on talking and putting concepts on the table. The alternative is war in the battlefields. Any agreements will be bases for future agreements. The MILF can just bide its time while winning more local supporters as well as international supporters like the US and Malaysia. It probably also hopes that MNLF will somehow just disappear.
It is really a win-win situation for Aquino and the MILF but a lose-lose situation for the people.
At the end of Aquino’s reign when the s##t hits the fan, there’ll be disaster. And this time, it might not just involve two commands of MILF "rogue" fighters but might involve a whole lot more. By that time, so many Moros would have been made to believe that Aquino and the Philippine government are sincere, only to find out that they were just being had.
(And pray tell, whatever happened to the Jakarta Agreement - Ramos’s peace pact with the MNLF? It also had the US imprimatur as well as the OIC’s.)
Leonen said, “The new autonomous political entity will be created through an organic act, drafted by a Transition Commission, enacted by Congress and effective upon ratification in a plebiscite.” If this can be done swiftly with the full support of the government, then we will be on the Road to Peace. But if done near the end of Aquino’s term and left on its own, then Aquino’s road map will lead to nowhere, or worse, bigger war.
March 3, 2012
PNoy gives P 526 M to ARMM for fire trucks / police cars and fire / police stations | # |
Business World Online has this story:
THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P526 million for the transition programs of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The funding was given to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for its ARMM Transition Investment Plan, which includes projects such as the construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of equipment for peace and order facilities.
“The recently approved release will boost the Aquino administration’s bid to accelerate critical reforms in the [ARMM]. In particular, it will enable the DILG to carry out reform-focused projects, as well as fortify key infrastructure and equipment for restoring security in the region,” Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a statement.
The bulk of the budget release, amounting to P310 million, will go to the Bureau of Fire Protection for the construction of 33 fire stations and the provision of 33 fire trucks in ARMM.
Another P136 million will support the Philippine National Police through the establishment of 21 police stations and the acquisition of 23 police vehicles for the region.
Various reform projects will also receive P63 million.
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, meanwhile, will get P16 million for the rehabilitation of six jails in the ARMM.
“The continued implementation of the ARMM Transition Investment Plan is part of [President Benigno S.C. Aquino III’s] commitment to establishing peace and order in the country. We are pursuing this goal in a systematic way so that we can establish good governance in the ARMM, as well as provide crucial support for poverty reduction initiatives in the ARMM,” Mr. Abad said.
An improvement in the socio-economic conditions can empower its residents and maximize the potential of the region, previously limited because of security concerns, he added. — Diane Claire J. Jiao
Months ago, there were rumors that President Aquino would give P 500 Million to his people in ARMM so they can put in much needed reforms in ARMM. Now, it turns out that ARMM will not really be able to touch the budget. As usual, it is just good propaganda for the government.
According to the report, P 310 M will go to building 33 fire stations and buying 33 fire trucks. Hmmm. I didn’t know ARMM is a fire hazard place. Although I know that the military is known to put houses on fire during their "missions".
A Philippine-made fire truck costs around P 9 million pesos. For 33 trucks, that will amount to P 297 million. So what is left to build the 33 fire stations? Perhaps ARMM will buy second-hand fire trucks?
P 136 M will go to PNP to build 21 police stations and to buy 23 cars. Hmmm. I suppose the policemen will be mostly Christians. More police to back up the military.
There’s really nothing left for infrastructure - more roads, bridges, telecommunication, schools, irrigation, sewage system, etc.
Reform the ARMM through more fire and police stations. Great!
November 28, 2011
US involvement with MILF-GPH peace talks | # |
I was looking over some old newspapers and saw the Philippine Daily Inquirer with a huge photo of MILF head Murad Ebrahim and former US Ambassador to Manila Kristie Kenney with the headline Wikileaks: US backs MILF. Although it was old news, Inquirer still headlined it and again, there was much to-do about it. It is very strange that Filipinos should reject US intervention in the MILF-GPH peace talks yet keep mum, or even applaud, the US interference in the Philippine government’s war against the Moros (cloaked under the guise of war on Terrorism).
In May 2002, I called for US intervention in an editorial in my now defunct online journal, The Moro Review. A year later, in January 2003, the late MILF chair Hashem Salamat wrote a letter to then US Pres. George W. Bush, which was responded to favorably. My brother’s article IS A BANGSA MORO STATE WITHIN A FEDERATION THE SOLUTION? published by the Ateneo Law Journal talked about this in some detail.
The exchange of letters led to the direct involvement of the US government, through the US Institute of Peace (USIP), in the MILF-GPH peace process. Ironically, I never became a part of any USIP’s activities here. My brother already passed away when USIP started its activities here. My brother’s son gave my name to USIP but he was surprised that I was not invited. During a conference, he asked why I was not invited and he was told that it could be just a mix-up or something. Once, a USIP fellow asked him if he knows any Moro who is knowledgeable in Moro history. Again, he gave them my name. And again, he was surprised that I had not been contacted. I wonder why USIP guys didn’t want to contact me. Perhaps they mistook me for somebody else (I have good reason to believe this) or they want somebody whom they can dictate to.
Below is my May 2002 editorial:
VOL.2 NO.2 MAY 2002
One Hundred Years Ago
Some one hundred years ago, the Americans, under the delusion of ‘Manifest Destiny’, betrayed the trust of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and other Filipino revolutionary leaders and conquered the Philippine Islands; thus, ending the very brief experience of Filipinos with republicanism.
Some one hundred years ago, the Americans, upon the prodding of Manila-based Europeans, decided to extend their imperialistic adventures to MOROLAND –Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan but not to Sabah. Although part of the Sultanate of Sulu, Sabah was untouched by the Americans because the British were there.
One hundred years ago, on July 4, 1902, US President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Philippine-American War as officially over.
Yet it was exactly one hundred years ago when the Moro-American war began. The first fight between the Americans and the Moros occurred in the Sultanate of Bayang in the land of the Mranaos. The intermittent but bloody fight that pitted the Krag versus the Kris lasted for some 30 years until the time when the Moros were co-opted into joining the Commonwealth in 1935 and the Republic in 1946.
One hundred years ago, America was an emerging power. The Moros, on the other hand, were still enjoying their freedom and independence from any colonial power. Both had just given the Spanish authorities their walking papers. The Americans gave the Spaniards a mock battle and the Treaty of Paris while the Moros enjoyed routing the Spaniards cloistered in their fortresses scattered all over Moroland.
During the American Occupation, all Moro nations — the Tausug, the Maguindanaons, the Buayanens, the Mranaos — expressed their desire for independence from American and/or separation from the Filipino administration.
However, the Indios-turned-Filipinos led by Quezon and Osmena convinced a handful of Moro leaders to support Philippine (including Moroland) independence. They also campaigned vigorously in Manila and in Washington not to separate Mindanao from the Philippines. They argued that the Moros were not "civilized" enough to form their own government.
With their European background, the new Filipinos portrayed themselves as the inheritors of Western civilization, unlike the Moro "savages" who were described in images befitting the Westerners’ "Other".
Various US investigative Commissions (like the Wood-Forbes Commission) favored separation of Mindanao and Sulu from the rest of the Philippines. The Bacon Bill of 1926 demanded such separation. US President Hoover vetoed the Philippine Independence Act of 1931 because of Moro protests.
But the Filipino leaders merely doubled / tripled their efforts. Regular missions to the US were sent to convince American leadership about the folly of trusting the Moros. The Filipinos only had to remind the Americans of the deaths and destruction the Moros had done to American army personnel in Mindanao and the report of US officials that "a good Moro is a dead Moro."
The eloquence, charm and strong personalities of Quezon, Osmena, Roxas and their colleagues were all put to good use. No Moro leader went to the US to counter Filipino charges. And so the Tydings- McDuffie Law was passed in 1936 promising independence to the Philippine Islands, including Mindanao and Sulu.
In 1946, the US handed over the Moro nations to the Indios-cum-Filipinos and formed a new nation-state to be called the Republic of the Philippines.
But the Moros, defending themselves from genocide, rose again in the early 1970s. The Moro fight has been officially recognized by the Organization of Islamic Conference with the MNLF having an observer status.
The various international agreements (Tripoli, Jakarta) signed by the Philippine government and the MNLF were honored more in the breach than in implementation.
In sum, from the 15th century, the Moros were masters of their destinies while the Indios were a subjugated people under the Spanish. It was only in the 20th century when the Moros finally accepted foreign (American) domination in exchange for the right to practice their religion and way of life. Later, they were co-opted by the Indios into a new nation called the “Filipino” nation and a new stated called Philippine Republic. Some thirty years after their experiment with being Filipinos, the Moros rose again and asserted a new ethnic identity — the Moro nation(Bangsa Moro) . But the Moros were no match for Marcos’s diplomatic and political genius.
With the new century / millennium starting with an American War Against Terrorism, which many Muslims the world over see as the War against Islam, the prospect of a renewed Moro War is quite bright. (The lapsus linguae of US President Bush when he declared a “Crusade” against his enemies did not escape the Muslims’ attention).
Once again, the Indios-cum-Filipinos have called on "Mother America" to help them fight the Moro "savages" now called "terrorists.
One hundred years ago, America unilaterally abrogated the Bates Treaty with the Sultanate of Sulu and illegally annexed the whole of Moroland. In 1946, America, without any basis, handed the Moro nations to the Indios-cum-Filipinos.
Today, America is here again, upon the call of the Indios-cum-Filipinos to fight the "terrorists" — the new adjective for Moros.
We call on America not to be blinded again by the sweet words and promises of the Indios — like a new military base. We call on America not to add another injustice to the Moro people. We call on America to right the wrong it had done to the Moro people. Our fathers and forefathers had asked America for protection against the Indios-Filipinos. Instead, America fed them to the lions, as it were.
In 1910, in a conference with US Secretary of War Jacob Dickinson, Datu Mandi said, "As I look around, I see more Moros than Filipinos. That is why it’s called the Moro Province. If the American government does not want the Moro Province anymore, it should give it back to us. It is a Moro Province, it belongs to us."
Another Moro leader, Hadji Nuno said, "The Secretary of War must look the matter in the face. We have a different race, a different religion… If we should be given over to the Filipinos, how much more would they treat us badly, when they treated even the Spanish badly? The Spanish were their own mothers and their own fathers for generations."
Today, as we look around the former Moro Province, we see there are now more Indios. That is why they want to limit ARMM to just a few provinces. Have they treated the Moros badly? They only killed and tortured tens of thousands of Moros during the Marcos regime, waged an all-out war against MILF during Estrada’s presidency and now have called on the US Marines for help. This is not to mention the marginalization and extreme poverty of the Moro people.
We ask America to uphold the right of the Moro people to freedom and to self-determination. Like our forefathers, we would rather be free under American neocolonial rule rather than marginalized under Indio-cum-Filipino rule. Ever since World War II, the Moros, unlike the Indios, never killed any Amercian, especially American soldiers. Unlike the Indios, there are no illegal Moros in the US. There are no Moro communists. The Moros have not done any harm to the U.S.
The Americans have no reason to fight the Moros. But it has the moral obligation to undo what it did before. The US gave the Moros and Moroland to the Indios cum Filipinos. Perhaps it is about time to give the Moros back their freedom. It is never too late to undo a harm done — even if it is one hundred years late.
October 17, 2011
Bangsa Moro, Jihad and Other Terms and Meanings | # |
excerpts from IS A BANGSA MORO STATE
WITHIN A FEDERATION THE SOLUTION?
BY PROFESSOR MACAPANTON Y. ABBAS, JR
(published in the Ateneo Law Journal Vol. 48 Sept 2003)
(Macapanton Rashid Yahya Abbas, Jr, was Full Professor
at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the mid to late 1970s)
TERMS AND MEANINGS
Let us define the terms that we are using particularly Moro or Bangsa Moro and Filipino because the “Hermeneutic Interpretation” of the Bangsa Moro issue is as important as the substantial issues regarding the conflict and how to solve it. The author’s younger brother Engr. Jamal Ashley Y. Abbas, the first citizen of this country to become a Petroleum Engineer and who is now completing his master’s degree in Communications at University of the Philippines wrote in his article:(18)
“But according to philosophical hermeneutics, History is not separated from the present. We are always simultaneously part of the past, in the present, and anticipating the future. In other words, the past operates on us now in the present, and affects our conception of what is yet to come. At the same time, our present notions of reality affect how we view the past.“Moro leaders and intellectuals maintain that if the Philippine government truly wants to solve the so-called Moro Problem, it must exert an honest-to-goodness effort to understand the feelings, sentiments, biases, ideals, prejudices, customs, traditions and historical experience of the Bangsa Moro as enunciated or articulated by the Moros themselves.
* * *
“Hermeneutics must necessarily come into play if one were serious in solving the “communication gap” between the Muslim and Christian Filipino communities. There must be a real effort in cultural interpretation.
“The Moro problem is even exacerbated by the textual interpretation of both groups to important documents like the Philippine Constitution and the Tripoli Agreement.
“Many people in the government and the academe try to view the Moro Problem within the framework of social constructionist communication theories or Marxist critical theories. Some Moro intellectuals believe that postcolonial discourse theories cannot be used because the Moros are still under colonial rule; i.e., Filipino colonial rule. It is absolutely useless to blame the Americans or multinationals or globalization for the plight of the Moros, as what the leftists are wont to do. If there’s anyone to blame, it is the colonial power, i.e. the Filipino government.
“The MNLF, MILF, BMLO and other Moro groups have petitioned the United Nations to resolve that the Bangsa Moro nation be de-colonized. Today’s Filipino historians, writers, or intellectual do not mention the fact that the great Filipino nationalist himself, Claro M. Recto, authored the bill called “Colonization of Mindanao Act.”
“Hermeneutics phenomenology or philosophical hermeneutics could be the framework needed to help solve this socio-political problem. Using critical theories, which focus on ideology and power, might simply aggravate the problem. As Paul Ricoeur wrote:
“what is at stake can be expressed in terms of an alternative: either a hermeneutical or a critical consciousness… In contrast with the positive assessment of hermeneutics, the theory of ideology adopts a suspicious approach, seeing tradition as merely the systematically distorted expression of communication under unacknowledged conditions of violence.”
It is important that we should have the proper understanding of the recognition given by Philippine Law and Jurisprudence, as well as, by the Philippine government in its agreements with the MNLF and the MILF and the Resolutions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that the Indigenous Muslim Communities of Mindanao, Basilan, Tawi-tawi and Palawan are to be known as the “Bangsa Moro People” and that their culture, religion, history and civilization are distinct from the Filipinos who were colonized and christianized by Spain and later by America. Such distinct ethnic nationality does not make them separate or enemies of the Filipinos or the Philippine state but “equal historic communities” that must co-exist and work together to strengthen a common state or even separate states within a federal or confederal system of government.
In the United Kingdom, the Scots, the Welsh or the Irish of North Ireland are not called British or English but they remain a strong state as a United Kingdom and was once an empire. The Corsicans of France as well as the Britons are not called French or the Basques of Spain are not called Spaniards or the Wallons and Flemings of Belgium are two separate peoples in one state or the Montenegrens and the Serbs in the Federation of the former Yugoslavia or the Chechens or the Cossacks or Dagastanis and many nationalities in the Russian Federation or the Tibetans or Uighurs of China are not called Chinese or Han for they are separate nations or the Ainos of Japan and so many other cases in the world were you have many nationalities in a single Federal or Con-Federal state like the United States of America.
When the Bangsa Moro asserts its historic right as a national ethnic community, it is not being separatist or secessionist but rather asserting a historical truth that must be acknowledged otherwise there will be no solution to the conflict in Mindanao. In this connection Father Eliseo Mercado, PhD and former President of Notre Dame University of Cotabato City, in an interview in the United States last May 2, 2003 with the EIR, were he is presently undergoing scholarship at the Georgetown University stated categorically that:
“I believe the Philippine government and for that matter, the Filipino nation, must open up to the reality that we are not a mono-nation-state and that we are poly-ethnic groups and we are a poly-nation-state. It is possible to have many ethnic groups, and many nations, and still form one country, one republic that is the first thing. The second thing is to see the root causes of insurgency and rebellions over the problem of separatism.” (19)
The Bangsa Moro Question can have a genuine, just and comprehensive political solution if its distinct historical claim as states before U.S. illegally annexed them into the Philippines by virtue of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, as the basis of the solution.
THE MUSLIM LAW OF NATIONS
In order to reconstruct the Islamic theory of international relations, we should bear in mind that Islam offers a social system based on divine revelations and immutable and inalienable rights as part of a political community endowed with a system of laws designed to protect the collective interest of Muslims as well as to regulate their relations with the outside world. The basic principle of Islamic governance in external relations with other nations is that only the Muslim Nation is the subject of the Islamic legal system, while all other systems are the object of these systems, although the non-Muslim nations are not denied certain advantages of the Muslim Law of nations. The ultimate goal of Muslim Law of Nations was to establish peace within the territory brought under the pale of its public order and, theoretically, to include the whole world in obedience to Allah’s commandment to govern in accordance with Islam.
“Before Islam could achieve that ultimate objective, it had to enter into relations with communities that had not yet submitted to its control in accordance with a set of rules and practices. Conformity to Islam’s legal and ethical standards was required not only of the believers whose territory had not yet expanded beyond the frontiers of the state but also of believers who owed their legal – though not necessarily their political – allegiance to Islam. An illustration of this principle can be found in Muslim minorities in China, Russia, Yugoslavia, Thailand, Philippines, etc.
“However, the non-Muslims who resided within the Islamic community, although they were regarded as the subjects or citizens of the state (though not members of the religious community), were not bound by all the Islamic, ethical; and legal rules. Islamic authority however, had to deal with the problems arising from their inter-relationships with Muslims.“In the ancient near East, Greece and Rome, Islamdom and Western Christendom, a distinct civilization flourished in each of these “worlds”. Within each civilization a body of rules and practices developed for the purposes of regulating the conduct of each entity with the others in peace and war.
“Former systems of the law of nations, in contrast to the modern International Law of nations, were not universal in character since each system was primarily concerned with regulating the relations of entities and nations within a limited area and within one (though often more than one) civilization. Furthermore, each past system of the law of nations, in contrast to the modern law, was entirely exclusive, since it did not recognize the principle of legal equality of nations which is the basis of the modern law of nations." (20)
Prof. Masjid Khadduri clearly expressed this legal theory that, the Muslim Law of Nations was based on the theory of a universal state. The binding force of the said law was not based on consent of reciprocity, but on their own interpretation of their political, moral and religious interests, as they regarded their principles of morality and religion derived mainly from the commandments of ALLAH. With the entry of the Muslim states in the United Nations (UN), it is a safe assumption that this principle has been relaxed and the legal equality of all nations is gaining acceptance in the Islamic world.
“The Muslim law was ordinarily binding upon individuals rather than territorial groups. It was only in modern times, especially under the material and cultural pressure of modern civilizations that the observance of law has been attached to people in relation to the territory they live in, rather than in relations to the group they belong to.“The Muslim law of nations is not a separate body of Muslim laws; it is merely an extension of the laws designed to govern the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, whether inside or outside the world of Islam. Strictly speaking, there is no Muslim Municipal (National) Law and International Law based on different sources and maintained by different sanctions because the Shari’ah makes no distinction.” (21)
AL-SIJAR (LAW OF NATIONS)
The early Muslim jurist either dealt with the conduct of foreign relations in the general law corpora under such headings as “Jihad”, “Spoils of War” and the “Aman” or “Al-Kharaj”. Later on, all of these were discussed under a technical term “Al-Sijar”.
“In practice the Muslim Law of Nations (Al-Sijar) is taken to mean the sum total of the rules and practices of Islam’s intercourse with other peoples. The sources are the treaties, utterances and instructions of the Caliph to the commanders in the field, opinions and interpretations of publicist and jurists. Analyzed in terms of the modern law of nations, the sources are of the same categories defined by modern jurists and the statutes of the International Court of Justice, namely, agreement, custom, reason and authority.” (22)
In Islamic legal theory, the world was therefore divided in two divisions: Dar Assalam (The Abode of Peace) comprising of Islamic and non-Islamic territories held under Islamic sovereignty, and the rest of the world, called Dar Al-Harb or the Territory of War. The first included the community of believers as well as those who entered into an alliance with Islam. The inhabitants of those territories were either Muslims, who formed the community of believers, or non-Muslims, those who belonged to tolerated religions who paid the Protection Tax (Jiizah) to Muslim authority.
The world surrounding the Islamic political community was known as Dar Al-Harb, because it remained beyond the pale of Dar Al-Islam. It lacked the legal competence to enter into intercourse with Islam on the basis of equality and reciprocity. Such territory may be regarded as “state of nature”, because it ruled to conform to Islamic legal and ethical standards. Some Muslim publicists, especially Shaffi Jurists, devised a third temporary division of the world, called Dar Al-Sulh (Territory of Peaceful Arrangement) or Dar Al-Ahd (Territory of Covenant), giving qualified recognition to non-Islamic communities if they entered into treaty relations with Islam, on conditions agreed upon between the two parties. The Hanafi Jurists, however, never recognized the existence of a third division of the world, arguing that the inhabitants of a territory concluded a peace treaty and paid a tribute, it became part of Dar Al-Islam and its people were entitled to the protection of Islam, because otherwise it would be part of the Dar al-Harb and object of Islam. (23)
DEFINITION OF JIHAD
The word JIHAD is derived from JAHD or JUDH meaning “ability and exertion”. Jihad means the exertions of one’s power in repelling evil. Jihad also means the using or exertion of one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavors or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation and this is of three kinds: the visible enemy, evil and one’s self. Jihad is therefore far from synonymous from war. However, Jihad is also mistakenly used to mean holy war or defensive war by western or even westernized Muslims as the only bellum justum in Islam. This was shown as a misconception by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive (Jihad) with might and main, in God’s cause with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank, in the sight of God.
They are the people who will achieve salvation.” (9:20) (24)
Sir Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary observed:
“Here is a good description of Jihad. It may require fighting in God’s cause, as a form of self sacrifice. But its essence consists in (1) true and sincere faith, which so fixes its gaze on God, that all selfish or worldly motives seem paltry and fade away, and (2) an earnest and ceaseless activity, involving the sacrifice (if need be) of life, person or property, in the service of God. Mere brutal fighting is opposed to the whole spirit of Jihad, while the sincere scholar’s pen or preacher’s voice or wealthy man’s contributions may be the most valuable forms of Jihad.” (25)
Fight (Jihad) in the cause of God
Those who Fight (Jihad) you
But do not transgress limits
For God loveth not transgressors
And slay them wherever ye catch them
From where they have turned you out;
For tumult and oppression
Are worse than slaughter
And fight them on
Until there is no more tumult or oppression
And there prevail Justice and Faith in God;
But if they cease, Let there be no hostility
Except to those who practice oppression. (11:190-193) (26)
Sir Yusuf Ali again commented on this verse that:
“War is only permissible in self-defense, under well-defined limits. When undertaken, it must be pushed with vigor, but not relentlessly, but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of God. In any case strict limits must not be transgressed; women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested, no trees and crops cut down, nor place withheld when the enemy comes to terms”. (27)
He explained the universal practice of Muslims and their governments on the matter of war and peace.
“In general, it may be said that Islam is the religion of peace, goodwill, mutual understanding and good faith. But it will not acquiesce in wrong doing of its men will hold their lives cheap in defense of honor, justice and religion which they hold sacred. Their ideal is that of heroic virtue combined with unselfish gentleness and tenderness, such as is exemplified by the life of the Prophet. They believe in courage, obedience, discipline, duty and a consonant striving by all means in their power, physical, moral, intellectual, spiritual, for the establishment of truth and righteousness.“They know that war is an evil, but they will not flourish from it if their honor demands it and a righteous Imam command it, for then they know they are not serving carnal end. In other cases, war has nothing to do with their faith, except that it will always be regulated by its humane precepts.” (28)
The verses of the Holy Quran on Jihad aside from the two cited above which numbers more than thirty (30) verses never used the word “Harb” or war but only “fighting.”
In my paper, I observed, that the whole breadth of Islamic history will prove that Jihad was never used as an instrument of conversion for truly, mankind has never witnessed religious tolerance as displayed by Islamic rulers.
The Holy Quran enjoins religious tolerance when, it commanded “There is no compulsion in religion, truth stands manifest from error.”
Historians and writers like J.M. Haydman, Joseph Schart, Nathaniel Shcmidt, Lamartine, Lipson, Dozy, Renan, Sir Allan Burns to name a few, credits Islam and its reign with the flourishing of intellectual and religious freedom for all. No less than Arnold Tynbee, the greatest historian of our times said:
“Today the modern world stands in need of Islamic tolerance and universal brotherhood and the Muslim world has to play its role in the shaping of a harmonious and peaceful and happy destiny for the war-weary, tension tossed and ideology-torn world.” (29)
MODERN DOCTRINE OF JIHAD
The first and most revolutionary change was the adoption of peaceful relationships among nations of different religions, modifying the classical principle of Jihad or a permanent state of war between Islamic and non-Islamic nations. Muslims rulers started making treaties establishing peace with non-Muslim states extending beyond the ten year period provided under the sacred law.
The most notable instrument that formalized the peaceful relationship between Islam and non-Muslim states was the Treaty of 1535. It not only laid down the principle of peace and mutual respect between Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent and the King of France but also offered it to other Christian princes who were willing to adhere to the treaty (Articles 1 and 15). (30)
The second fundamental change was the acceptance of the principle of the separation of religious doctrine from the conduct of external relations. In Islam there was a separation of doctrinal differences from the conduct of external relations and to regulate external relations on a secular basis. This was later adopted in Christendom thereby giving rise to the principle of cuious regio, eius religo, first adopted at the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, which became the basis of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 and which governed the relationship of the Christian states in Europe and later among the different faiths of the world. (31)
The third principle was the adoption by Islam of the principles of territorial sovereignty and territorial law necessitated by territorial segregation. When the universal monocracy of Islam suffered a split in its body politic under changing conditions of modern life, the constituent entities emerged as fully sovereign and each sovereign tended to divert the mode of loyalty of men from universal to territorial concepts. As a result, territorial segregation constituted an underlying factor for the gradual transformation of the nature of sovereignty from universal to territorial as well of the law from personal to territorial. (32)
JIHAD AND MODERN CONCEPT OF WAR
In my thesis for the Bachelor of Laws Degree at the College of Law of the University of the Philippines in 1967 I stated that:
“Neither the League of Nations charter nor the Kellog-Briand Pact which renounced war as instrument of national policy or a defensive war substantially altered the classic doctrine of war that the states had an inherent right to go to war.“The charter of the United Nations has introduced a new doctrine on the use of force. The preamble proclaim “that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest.” And one of its purposes is “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end, take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace” – Article I (1). These statements imply the abolition of war in a legal sense. The only entity possessed of a legitimate power to use force is the Security Council which is authorized under the charter to “take such action by air, sea or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore peace and security. Art. 42.
“The inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in case of an armed attack is preserved in the charter. However, the exercise of the right of self-defense is merely in preliminary measure pending the exercise by the security council of its authority and responsibility to maintain or restore international peace and security. Article 51.” (33)
“The Muslim States having entered membership in the UN are bound legally by the charter. From the point of view of Islam, there is no substantial conflict with the Islamic doctrine of Jihad because the purpose of Jihad is the establishment of peace and if peace is established by the UN then the purpose of Jihad is served. Secondly, if aggression is committed on the Muslim state or states then the UN must enforce collective action or the Muslim states may declare Jihad on the aggressor. Thirdly, the requisites for justum bellum under Islamic doctrines are satisfied by its Charter.
“Another modern illustration of Jihad was in 1947 when the UN created the state of Israel and partitioned Palestine. The Mufti of Palestine declared Jihad and the Arab states supported Palestine in the Palestine War. The intervention of the UN resulted in a truce and the rights of the Palestinians are still to be settled in the UN. There is shooting war as of the moment and there is a state of war between the Arab states and Israel and tensions results in a continuing cycle of violence. As of the moment no Muslim state has extended recognition to Israel except Egypt.
“Again, the India-Pakistan war resulted to the declaration of Jihad by Pakistan against India. During the war between these two states, the Muslim states either financially, morally or actively supported Pakistan in her war efforts against India.
“The secularization of Muslim states have led to the secularization of Jihad and the acceptance of the UN concept of war as justum bellum under “modern” Islamic legal and ethical standards. Muslim States submit disputes with other states to the UN for arbitration and mediation in accordance with its Charter for peace being the ultimate objective, Muslim states are bound to honor the covenant. The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by US aided by the UK without Security Council approval is changing international law which effectively prohibits war under the UN charter except as a collective measure with the approval of the Security Council. The US military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan will change international law on war.
However, the modern concept of total war which disregards distinctions between civilians and combatants and rendered the Hague Convention of 1907 irrelevant, is still not acceptable to Islamic legal theory. This modern theory of war saw its application in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Under Islamic legal theory, the conduct of war is based on that noble principle forbidding the extension of warfare to harming non-combatants. The rules decree against the killing of the aged, the young women, the handicapped, those who have withdrawn from life to worship and meditate, and those who have refrained from participating in battle. The mass of workers, farmers, and tradesman-in other words, the civilians. It is not lawful to kill civilians. There should be cessation of hostilities should those whose death is not permitted be exposed to death between the ranks of the fighting forces. However, this limitation on war action has been violated repeatedly by US and UK and justified under the pretext of collateral damage. The use of massive bombings beyond enemy lines using guided missiles and bombs as the basic US strategy to maximize damage to enemy forces, utilities, transport facilities, radar and satellite systems, with the minimum loss of lives has changed the rules o warfare and caused more injuries and death civilian populations than the soldiers as seen in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.” (34)
The establishment of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1971 operationalized the unification of the Muslim World initially constituting the Muslim States but with declared intention to support the Muslim Communities or Minorities who constitute over 400 million of the 1.2 billion Muslim World populations. Some of these Muslim Minority Communities are ancient nations and Kingdoms like those in the U.S.S.R., China, Eritrea, Thailand, Cyprus and the Philippines and their respective populations and territory are much bigger than many Muslim states.
In 1972, this author attended the 2nd OIC Foreign Ministers Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, submitted the petition of the Bangsa Moro against the genocide by the Marcos regime. He also had long discussions with H.E. Tenghu Abdulrahman Putra, First Secretary General of the OIC and the late Libyan Foreign Minister Saleh Bouyaser, one of the drafters of the OIC charter.
In these talks, the said leaders revealed that the late King Faisal Bin Abdulazziz of Saudi Arabia worked for the establishment of the OIC to promote the unity of the Muslims to act as a world force and the Islamization of the Muslim States in order to safeguard the purity of Islam and its institutions and to encourage Muslim societies to modernize within the framework of Islam. The struggle of Islam against Zionism, Fascism, Colonialism and Anti-Islamic ideologies can only be won through the unity of the Ummah based on Islam. Further, the Muslim States collectively can protect and support the rights of Muslim Minorities. This has been consistently confirmed by the Islamic Summit of Heads of States. However, it has been short on implementation because of disunity among Muslim States caused by superpowers domination of some Muslim States.
It established the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, Red Crescent, the Islamic New Agency, and the Institute for Technical Cooperation, the Federation of Muslim Chambers of Commerce and Industries, etc. It has also formulated a common stand in world issues before the United Nations, the non-aligned movement, the Organization of African Unity, ASEAN and the Arab League. The Muslim States have emerged as one of the most powerful bloc in the UN and the world as shown by their unity on the oil embargo of 1973; the support for PLO and Palestine; the support for the Afghan Mujahiddin; the boycott on South Africa; North South Dialogue, the New World Economic Order and other major issues.
The OIC has also declared strong support for the Muslims in Eritrea, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and particularly the Bangsa Moro in the Philippines. They have given humanitarian assistance to all Muslim Communities and made representation to USSR, Europe, U.S.A., Canada, China on the rights of Muslim minorities. Its position is that, “violation of the rights of Muslims anywhere in the world is a legitimate concern of the Muslim States”, representing the collective will of the Muslim World through the OIC.
In the Iran-Iraq war, the OIC heads of states and governments created a committee of head of states to mediate between the parties and they continued these efforts in all forms up to the UN Security Council until finally, the cessation of hostilities was achieved.
In the present crisis in the Gulf States when Iraq invaded Kuwait and annexed it, the OIC condemned Iraq’s action and conforms to UN Security Council resolutions. However, it did not support US actions in sending forces to Saudi Arabia. It supported an Arab multi-national force and mediation by Muslim States between Iraq and Kuwait – Saudi-Arabia. The OIC also did not support the war against Afghanistan and Iraq. The acts of US are beyond the Security Council’s resolutions.
The OIC became marginalized in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the war in Palestine. The Acts of US are beyond the RP-US Security Council Resolutions. This situation led to militancy and birth of the Muslim Jihadist movements in the Muslim world as a reaction to the failure of OIC and Muslim states to be defenders of the Ummah and the Muslims.
18 Abbas, Datu Jamal Ashely Hermeneutic Interpretation for the Bangsa Moro Issue
Bangsa Moro Review Internet Magazine, December 2002
19 Mercado, Eliseo, Interview by Economic Intelligence Review, MindaNews Website, May 4, 2003
20 Abbas, Macapanton, Jr. International Relations in Islam, Institute of Islamic Studies, UP, Diliman, Roundtable Discussions on Islamic Studies, UP, August 19, 1990
21 Khadduri, Masjid, War and Peace in Law of Islam, 1962
22 Ibid. Khadduri
23 Ibid. Khaduri
24 The Holy Qur’an, Chap.9 verse 20
25 Ali, Abdulah Yusuf Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qu’ran, Parachi Press,
26 Op-cit. Chapter 11, Verse 190-193
27 Op-cit. Comments of Yusuf Ali English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran,
28 Op-cit. Yusuf Ali
29 Op cit Abbas, Macapanton Jr.
30 Proctor, Harris, Islam and International Relations, London: Pall Mall Press, 1965
31 Ibid. Proctor
32 Ibud.. Proctor
33 Abad Santos, Cases in International Law, 1966
34 Abbas, Macapanton, Jr., “Jihad and International Law”; Thesis, College of Law, University of
the Philippines, 1967
WAR IN MORO LAND (Last Phase) — by Jun Abbas