Wednesday, August 6, 2008

No More Deals Without Disarmament

I think that most Filipinos are sick and tired of watching the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) brandishing heavily armed fighters parading around and shouting insurgent slogans before news cameras and reporters while their spokesmen talk hypocritically of peace negotiations and memoranda of agreement as "done deals."

It is even more disgusting when government officials like Hermogenes Esperon (Adviser on the Peace Process) speak darkly of "consequences" that might result from not giving the MILF what it is demanding at gunpoint, and even tells local officials that the government might not defend them against retaliatory attacks by the MILF for that Supreme Court TRO stopping the Bangsamorostan deal. It's no wonder that a pinhead like Esperon would dare to say such things when "legal advisers" like Atty. Bong Montesa illogically claim that the Supreme Court could "kill" the peace process with the MILF when it is the latter that has been lobbing mortar shells at our armed forces, harrassing civilians and raring for a fight.

I don't think that any self-respecting nation ought to give in to armed thugs demanding that it carve out a homeland for their wanna-be sultans and rajahs. When folks like Ghazali Jafar, Eid Kabalu and their "partners in the peace process" like Jess Dureza and Rodolfo Garcia talk about "confidence building measures" Filipinos ought to shout back one word: DISARMAMENT.

I don't see why we should entertain any further negotiations without demanding that such negotiations only be done without the threat of the MILF fomenting violence and war. Whenever a group of people take up arms against a government, it is a sign that they really want out of the political and constitutional arrangement that gives that government any and all rights to exist in the first place.

So I think the MILF must choose: either it gives up separatism and their dream of a theocratic sultanate, or face up to the fact that the Filipino people will not, and cannot agree to anything that is forced upon them by an armed insurgency.

For their part, the Philippine government has to develop a spine with a brain attached to it. DISARMAMENT should be a precondition for any deal that requires changes to the Philippine Constitution.

That seems to me to be a fair and equitable give and take, otherwise no progress can actually be achieved. It is patently absurd for this nation to agree to anything at all under an armed threat. And it is simply treasonous (as well as Macchiavellian) for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to promise heaven and earth to these insurgent thugs with such a threat hanging over the Republic.

No more deals without disarmament!


Jego said...

It would be good to study how the IRA and the British worked out their peace deal. Disarmament is a first step IF we have a government that is worthy of trust. Let's get Adel Tamano elected president. If not in 2010 then in the next one. Im not kidding. Being a Muslim married to a Christian, I think he would seriously work for a truly secular government, not like the one we have now. He would have the clout to call for disarmament-first negotiation.

I have a question though DJB. Being an American citizen, Im sure you can see the contradiction between your disarmament call and the second amendment of the American constitution. In fact, being a believer in the principles of american constitution, I suppose you have serious objections to the military being used against citizens, (as indeed I assume you consider the Moros to be Filipino citizens). If I see the army coming after me and my tribe, you can be sure we're arming ourselves for self-defense. On principle, you dont sic the army on citizens. Crimes are handled by the police and the FBI.

My grade 4 science teacher who grew up in Mindanao recounted that as a child, his school was within earshot of artillery being used against the Moros. Artillery! He was in school there in the 60's and still theyre using artillery today. Tell me, where else in the democratic free world, of which we proudly proclaim we belong, is artillery used against citizens? So you see this mistrust has gone on for generations. Hence the arms. Disarmament is not really that simple. Our government has botched the handling of Mindanao for over 50 years.

DJB Rizalist said...

I'm not a Second Amendment fanatic, even if I am an American citizen. I also happen to be a Filipino citizen, and the part of the Philippines I come from does not have that martial tradition of bearing arms.

As for America, I do believe and firmly uphold the RIGHT to bear arms, but I don't believe that means we should always do so. When we do, it is with the clear need to do so and with the immediate intention of using such arms, either for defense or offense as the case may be.

In other words, the use of arms can only be justified (aside from their recreational use, which I consider primitive and not sportsmanlike vis a vis the animals!) for a definite and usually short term purpose.

What I don't accept is the insurgent's use of arms not to win independence but to coerce the govt to kowtow to their demands. I don't think that is legitimate.

Anonymous said...

Jego: you are speaking nonsensically. The MILF, because of their actions, need to be dealt with with M16's. When M16's not enough, then Pinas should escalate -- not to M16's with flowers and canned tuna, but to heavier weaponry. . . . escalate to M16's, SAW's, mortars, helicopters.

Anonymous said...

Dapat lipulin yang mga terorista! Pati na yang mga ipokritong, kunwari e mala demokrasya ngunit sa katotothanan e hinde alam ang tunay nilang damdamin. Clueless, mga kaibigan.

DJB, bakit walang larawan si Gloria M. Arroyo dito sa blog mo?

fellow brown-markano

Bren said...

Adel Tamano says :
This is one of the powerful aspects of the Bin Laden rhetoric: he is able to communicate in plain language the anger, angst, humiliation, and indignation that are felt in the Muslim world, particularly in the Middle East. More than this, he offers impoverished and marginalized Muslims an ideal world, in the Modern Islamic State as conceived by the Islamist, where they can escape to.

DJB Rizalist said...

brown markano nga ba si gma? de-hins! brown pilipino yun, bansot pati ang kaluluwa! kaya lang na-i-insulto yata mga kano at pinoy, hehe. clueless nga.

Anonymous said...

cut-and-paste from mlq3's site:

from WAN tester :

mlp: Actually, the MILF made serious concessions. :wink: About this time last year, the MILF was asking for full independence. They also wanted Malaysia to grant permanent residency status to Mindanawans (as long as these Mindanawans swear to being banigsamoro). The MILF wanted 100%; Malacanang wanted 50/50, so they settled on 75/25 . The MILF wanted all :grin: of Palawan, all of Cebu :evil: (plus two baranggays in Quiapo and 9 baranggays in Leyte).

And they wanted University of Philippines to grant 100% scholarship for two hundred of their students each year (and another 50 to deLaSalle; another 50 to FEU).

supremo :

The MILF forgot Greenhills

Amadeo said...

A new independent Muslim country in Mindanao?

I can only suggest that those directly involved first study the utter dependencies of present-day Muslim cities (or those predominantly Muslim) with cities that are Christian or predominantly so. Cities like Marawi and Iligan cities, separated only by some 30 kilometers of road traversing through almost desolately idle lands. Or we might even include in the comparison cities like Cagayan de Oro, some 80 kms from Iligan where Muslim caravans daily visit to shop, or where a good number eventually stay for good.

The question to ask then is: can we cite any one Muslim city that can survive without assistance or cooperation either from resident Christian businessmen and/or entrepreneurs, or from those in other outlying cities or towns? Or largesse from the national government? Or even just “lucrative” government employment?

The above economic factor separate and apart from the politics of it all, i.e., whether the majority of these Muslim brothers even want self-rule.

BTW, a side issue. What about us, my father’s family particularly, which can trace its Muslim ancestry in the late 1700s and early 1800s? Can we share in any ancestral domain redistribution?

DJB Rizalist said...

The answer to your last question appears to be Maybe. IN the MOA mention is made of people considered to be Bangsamoro if they are of "pure or mixed blood". Seems to be a "come on" hehe.

Tongue's Wrath said...

Dean, I've said this in other fora, the MOA-AD is the single biggest ransom payment ever made to a KFR group that holds hostage a significant part of the south for decades running. Yet the kidnappers get to keep both bounty and prisoner afterwards. WTF?

So much for we-don't-deal-with-terrorists crap!

Next question, what if Lakandula's descendants claim former Muslim Kingdom Manila as part of Bangsamoro Ancestral Domain and demand the same rights granted soon through legal precedence?

Finally, the existing MNLF-GRP Tripoli agreement is still in force, recognized no less by the OIC. The existing ARMM of 5 provinces and Marawi City will now also include a maximum of 721 villages after a proposed referendum. Doesn't this agreement render the Tripoli Accord inferior in terms of administrative reach and headcount? Overshadowing MNLF's leadership to become a "lesser" juridical entity! The question is: Is this agreement even a serious one? What do you think given the fact that the draft was first distributed to AGFO members, retired and active. What's that supposed to achieve?

I may sound very demanding but I trust you can tie em all up in one neat package.

Great that you pointed out the issue of disarmament, which many pundits seem to have disregarded.

Jego said...

What I don't accept is the insurgent's use of arms not to win independence but to coerce the govt to kowtow to their demands. I don't think that is legitimate.

I agree. Arms for defense of hearth, home, tribe. Those are legitimate.

Bren, so ano? Sama ka na? Tamano for President? :-D

Bren said...

amadeo: you can share in ancestral domain redistribution. Ingat ka lang sa magiging kapitbahay mo.

danilo ignacio said...

Amadeo, your contrast is wrong. Where can you find in the Philippines a Musli-populated community that enjoys lavish pampering of government development funds? Or, if the national government finds itself hypocrite enough and simulates pouring financial resources to any Muslim areas, that is just too negligible to notice compared to what it gives to those Christian populated areas, i.e. the ratio ever since is just 1:99! Even graver is the fact when such 1% or just a portion of it is given to corrupt traditional Moro politicians to administer development projects who are but vassals of the government to exploit their own people. This is the very reason why Muslim areas lagged behind Christian areas since Mindanao has been grabbed immorally by the Philippine government. Note: Muslim reverts are growing fast in Manila, Quezon City, etc., nowadays. I bet these metropolitans shall eventually lose their big financial allocations from the government next.

Dean, how do you qualify an insurgent’s demand to be illegitimate? Say, when the Native Indians who are the First Nation and native inhabitants of America take up arms against the US Government and demand that their usurped indigenous rights over their native land be returned to them as they are discontented over being just resettled in reservation areas, would that be illegitimate? How do you differentiate terrorism from self-defence? In American dictionary, when Palestinians bear stones to defend themselves against heavy tanks of Israel’s occupation army, it is terrorism; when Iraqis take up arms against US occupation army, it is terrorism. Here, when the Moro people resurrect their rightful claim over their usurped lands, they are terrorists.

If you are a revolutionary leader Dean, say you’re sick and tired of the government’s corruption, will you surrender your arms without seeing to it and assuring yourself beforehand that the government will comply religiously with what it signs with you? What will be your recourse just in case the government will choose to prolong the war against you in the guise of peace by not complying with what it all signed with you? Will you rather beg the government?