Friday, August 8, 2008

So, What's Wrong With Apartheid?

"APARTHEID" is pronounced "APART-HATE" and means pretty much the same thing! Anglicized, the word might be rendered as "APART-HOOD" -- a state of physical, social and political separation of the people in one country based on racial, ethnic, cultural and other differences. Since the bitter experience of South Africa, it is a hateful and hated concept that attempted to segregate people into "separate homelands" while hypocritically pretending they were "separate but equal."

Now, we must face the question: how different, really, is APARTHEID from the legal concepts and practical effects being promoted under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 and sought to be implemented in the recent Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines?

Manuel L. Quezon III takes note of the Wall Street Journal's August 7, 2008 editorial page article by Brett M. Decker, Gloria’s Terror Gambit, which addresses the ill-fated MOA-AD which distills a number of points Philippine American Commentary has been making in a large series of posts since this all started last year when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo first broached the idea of Bangsamorostan:

First, by carving up provinces into separate Muslim and Christian enclaves, the deal would surrender any hope that Filipinos can find a way to live together and instead falls back on the myth that countrymen can live healthy “separate but equal” lives in an apartheid-like arrangement. This would undo the decade of progress toward greater political integration since former House Speaker Jose de Venecia started welcoming Muslim representatives into his ruling congressional coalition.

Second, it would increase rather than decrease the likelihood of territorial disputes because the agreement concedes to claims that the region constitutes a traditional Islamic homeland. This would likely inflame Christians, who would be kicked off of land where they have lived for decades when Muslims make claim to their legally mandated “ancestral domain.”

Third, further removing Muslims from the rest of Philippine society and enabling them to shape an entirely separate culture would encourage the separatist mentality that dreams of carving out a pan-Islamic state from other existing countries in the region, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. This has been a MILF goal since its founders broke off from the Moro National Liberation Front in the 1980s after that group made peace with Manila.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for the outside world, greater Islamic independence and less Philippine control over the Islamic regions would invite even more terrorist activity in an area that already has strong ties to al Qaeda. With the deployment of U.S. Special Forces to the southern Philippines now in its seventh year, joint U.S.-Philippine operations have pacified the most lawless Muslim areas. Expanding the Islamist sphere of influence now threatens to undo this success.

In my opinion, "ANCESTRAL DOMAIN" -- is a twisted gnome of an idea in altruistic clothing with guilt-trippy psychedelic colors that emerged as the incestuous progeny of the 1997 Indigenous People's Rights Act and a December 2000 Supreme Court decision (Isagani Cruz vs. NCIP). The latter's main discursive ponencia is really a dark and scary fairy tale version of Philippine history. It begins in an idyllic, Eden-like setting where the ancient Filipinos, despite being divided into 160 recognizable tribes, lived in harmony and prosperity with nature and each other in a benign tropical paradise, until the Pacific winds and waves blew in with the Serpent of colonialism, who devilishly turns 50 of those tribes into Christianized traitors who may no longer be called indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Meanwhile, a list of 110 of them purportedly ran away into the forests and mountains where they valiantly resisted the new God of the White Men, kept up the old archipelagic ways and traditions, and are today deemed to be the genuine indigenous peoples of the Philippines who by the way own about one-third of the present territory as their private property:
"Ancestral domains and ancestral lands are the private property of indigenous peoples and do not constitute part of the land of the public domain."
Some previous posts that may be useful to those studying this matter in depth are the following:

Ancestral Domain Regime of Bangsamorostan (August 14, 2007) which quotes the following alarming statement by President Arroyo to some business leaders but which most people ignored:
"If it would not adversely affect the Philippine negotiating position and provoke alarm among Christians, a pilot implementation of the envisioned Muslim ancestral domain regime shall be undertaken, to demonstrate our sincerity to achieve peace,” Ms Arroyo said.

She said the government had declared many ancestral domains among indigenous peoples.

“I really don’t see why anybody should be scared if there is an ancestral domain declared for the Muslim people,” she added.

The issue of ancestral domain or territory is about the areas to be recognized as part of a Muslim homeland and which will be placed under a so-called Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), the probable name of the governing body of the new Moro homeland.

It is not clear how much autonomy the BJE will have. But the proposal is for the MILF to have full fiscal, political and religious authority in the BJE.

Several analyses of the IPRA Law and the Supreme Court Decision are to be found in this series of posts:

Are Ilocanos, Pampangos, Tagalogs, Batanguenos, Naguenos, Cebuanos "Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines?"

Laughable Textbook Errors in Crucial Supreme Court Decisions

Do You Think This Version of Ancient Philippine History Is Correct?

Chief Justice Puno on Terrorism--Sophomoric, Uninspiring, Self-Loathing"

Creation Myth of the Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines

Click on the tag labels below to get a full listing of related posts.


manuelbuencamino said...

Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

What then is the ceding of territory based on religion?

DJB Rizalist said...

I must tell you that I regret not giving you enough credit for various comments and posts you've made regarding the mischievous role of Malaysia in all of this. It is an aspect of the matter that I am only now making up for with more intensive study of it. Thanks!

manuelbuencamino said...


I know the Americans want peace in Mindanao but why are the they supporting this particular peace deal?

How is it in the US national interest to further the establishment of an MILF state?

I can see why the Malaysians would love a puppet buffer state but what do the Americans gain by it?

Is ther also mischief on the part of the Americans or do they not understand what is going on?

DJB Rizalist said...

I think it's basically Kristie Kenney (who is "State Dept") and not DOD. That and the implosion of the Bush White House. Also, we must face up to the fact that America cares very little about the Philippines, when you get right down to it. We are off the radar with little strategic value, always needing help that is difficult to give because of political resentments both baseless and well founded. We are on our own with few allies, MB, if any.

Pedestrian Observer GB said...

How about testing the resolve of Malaysia if they are really sincere in "brokering a peace deal" if they are willing to cede Sabah back to the Philippines and award the territory to the MILF as their Ancestral Domain...... Will they still act as a "neutral" broker if this issue is raised by the Philippine government and the MILF if it was really all about "self-determination"? So if the response is an outright no, will the MILF launch a military offensive to retake what rightfully belong to the Moro people?

danilo ignacio said...

Nice bargain PO-GB. But we should take note that the Philippines in reality has no historical nor legal basis to claim Sabah. Wasn’t it that Sabah was given to the Sultan of Sulu in 1658 as a gift of the Sultan of Borneo to him after having helped him of his wars? Then, HM Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram as the legitimate owner leased Sabah to a British company in 1878. But when Britain gave Independence to Malaysia in 1963, Sabah custody went too to Malaysia. Of course, that was illegal said the Sultan’s heirs. Now therefore, while Sulu Sultanate had been recognized as an independent state by European and American explorers that time, therefore not a part of any other states; Philippine state was not yet existent during that time. Now while Sulu was not in anyway part of the Philippine state (though Mindanao and Sulu were just immorally annexed to the Philippine territories by virtue of the Treaty of Paris, where Spaniards sold the Philippines to America including the unconquered Moro territories in the amount of $20m only) where does it get its face to claim Sabah? Unfortunately, when one of those later Sulu sultan’s heirs, Sultan Jamalul Kiram ran for senator under the Administration ticket during the 2007 national and local elections, he was not been aware, a tragedy indeed, that he virtually surrendered his kingdom to the Philippine government. That, among others, where the Philippines got its face to claim Sabah.

danilo ignacio said...

Dean, in what aspect of journalism, let alone scholarship, that you relate apartheid to indigenous people concept? While the former is racism-based perversion and the later is rights-based concept, where is the connection then? is that what you call a "physicist's semantic gymnastics?" or a "physicist's equivoating?" or simply a "physicist's playing with words?"

Anonymous said...

Don't look now, but the Bangsa Moros are crying war. Hay hay, here we go again. Death to Peace Agreements daw.

Eh, anong bago?

Eto kasi ang gusto nila:

DJB Rizalist said...

watch The Explainer this coming Tuesday. I shall be the guest and I will explain why the MOA-AD represents RELIGIOUS-ETHNIC-POLITICAL apart-hate. It is a surrender to the idea that we are so different and irreconcilable that we ought to live our lives as a nation in separate compartments.

It gives in to the worst religious discrimination against each other.

It is wicked, evil and tragic. It is worse than racist apartheid!

Pedestrian Observer GB said...

Dean, have it on youtube so I can post it on my blog too.

So Danilo, what is the difference between your secessionist agenda with the Philippines and our claim to Malaysia? It appears then that it was all about Islamofacist agenda and not the indigenous ancestral "claims" since you so easily gave up when it comes to Malaysia.

blackshama said...


DJB has the right to "physicist's semantic gymnastics?" or a "physicist's equivoating?" or simply a "physicist's playing with words?'

by virtue of having a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Traditionally by virtue of the University Council (BTW is in fact autonomous in many respects from the state) that granted him, the degree, PhDs have a larger scope of professional practice than Doctors of Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Optomtery etc. No wonder it is a terminal degree.

So unless you can present the same credentials as DJB, and instead of name calling, a PhD may have to take your words with the substance they deserve, about 0.000000000006 gm of sodium chloride.

I'm sure DJB has done much research. Now the Philosophiae doctor degree gives a licence to do research in any field he sees fit.

As for the Sabah claim, that Sulu was never part of Spanish Philippines and why the US annexed it, you have to present evidence (based on extensive research) that can answer the question

Will the real Sultan of Sulu please stand up?

Then we will know who was Sovereign!

One of these sultans ceded sovereignty to the Sovereign people of the Republic of the Philippines.

But as sovereignty theory goes, the heir apparent to the Insular territory of the Philippine Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Philippines is no other than the Republic of the Philippines.

Now does Bangsamoro really have a historical claim to sovereignty like the Sulu Sultan? Or is that sovereignty a newly minted fiction?

DJB Rizalist said...

I would be pleased if you adopted my opinions based on my authority. But I would be overjoyed if such a thing came about based on your own method of convincing yourself. For it is how I have come by my deepest convictions, not in awe of other's authority, but because it made perfect sense to me. The best arguments I've won, are definitely with myself!

The Nashman said...

If you were a citizen of Sabah, would you like to be part of the Philippines???

Those so-called 'heirs of the sultanate' are just lazy kids with a hyperinflated sense of entitlement. The sultanate is a DEAD concept. Why would the Sabahans who enjoy democracy want to go back to being a royal subject (of nutters like Kiram and his offspring no less)? These self-procalaimed Mindanao Royals should get real jobs instead of trying to extort money from this 'lease' eklat.