Is the BBL Intent made clear by the MNLF “story” of a Bangsamoro Republik?

Is the BBL Intent Made Clear
by the MNLF “story” of a Bangsamoro Republik?
By Apolinario Villalobos

Ever since MILF came out with its BBL proposal that shall pave the ground for the establishment of the Bangsamoro, some Filipinos did not believe its sincerity as for them, the MNLF and BIFF are not really excluded from the picture. For the suspicious, even the death of the bomb maker, Basit Usman was caused only by a petty misunderstanding between the low-ranking members of the MILF and his (Usman) party that led to provocation and later, the deadly altercation. As for the MNLF, some parties believe that it has a mutual understanding with MILF that stands until the passing of the unrevised BBL. Fortunately, lawmakers discovered that some of BBL’s provisions are leading towards the establishment of a separate state.

When the delay for the passing of the BBL was delayed, there was an immediate reaction from the MNLF. Even Malaysia was alarmed, a questionable reaction as it was just expected to be an observer…and the only one that reacted. The delay is in view of the government’s intention to ensure that the BBL will maintain the status of Bangsamoro as an integral part of the country. Malaysia even warned of trouble, an uncalled for remark….but why? What is its interest in the ongoing process?

Now, the MNLF is saying that its plan is to establish a Bangsamoro Republik that would include the whole of Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi islands, Palawan, Sarawak and Sabah, with Malaysia, supposedly behind this effort. Is this the reason why the Sulu sultanate is not supportive of BBL? Why did MNLF come out with such statement only now when there is a problem with the passing of the BBL? Is this not a ploy to force the lawmakers to double time the passing of the BBL, so that they can proceed to the next stage which is the compromise between the MILF, MNLF, and BIFF for the eventual establishment of the republic, a feat which will not require much sweat as the Bangsamoro of MILF, based on the unrevised BBL is a virtual separate state, so leaders can do as they wish? Meanwhile, the BIFF may come in as the republic’s military arm.

If the Bangsamoro Republik will push through, it can easily join Malaysia’s federation as a federal state.

Ethnically, the light-skinned Filipinos without trace of white people’s blood, can trace their ancestry to the Malays. Though disputed, the story of the Ten Bornean Datus who came to the shores of the Philippines to escape the tyranny of their sultan, Makatunaw, tells some. The ten Bornean datus purportedly first landed in the Visayas, particularly Panay, and negotiated with Marikudo, the chieftain of the black-skinned pygmies locally called “ati”, for the purchase of land which they successfully did using a “sadok” (hat) made of gold for the chieftain and a long necklace of gold for his wife, Maniwantiwan or Maniwangtiwang. In another legend, the payment included a basin of gold. From Panay island, some datus sailed down to Mindanao, and some to Luzon where they settled. That is why when the Spaniards came, they found settlements of Mohammedans in Manila and some islands ruled by the “lakans” and “datus”.

As regards Mindanao, briefly, this is how its Islamization and peopling by those from Malaysia, came about: In 1380, Islam was introduced in Sulu via Malacca, by Mudum (Makdum?); followed by Rajah Baginda of Menangkabaw, Sumatra in 1390; and further, followed by Abu Bakr (Bakar) who left Palembang for Sulu in 1450 and married Rajah Baginda’s daughter, Paramisuli. On mainland Mindanao, Serif (Sharif) Kabungsuan, arrived from Johore and also laid down the foundation of Islam. He eventually became the first Sultan of Mindanao, from where, it rapidly spread to Visayas and Luzon. The arrival of the Spaniards made the Muslims retreat to the hinterlands. Their presence in Luzon was confirmed by the Spaniards who called them “Moros” which was intentionally used for its bad repute, but later cleansed by Filipino Muslims with much effort and success.

Another group of settlers, known as Orang Dampuans, came to Mindanao from the south of Annam with the sole purpose of establishing a trading post. The Sulu people when they came were then, called Buranun. The Orang Dampuans were followed by the traders from Banjarmasin and Brunei, important states of the Sri Vijaya Empire. The people of Banjarmasin were called Banjar who brought their beautiful princess to Sulu, and was offered for marriage to the Buranun ruler. With the marriage, Sulu came under the influence of Banjarmasin and from the union, came the rulers of Sulu.

As gleaned from the pages of history, there was a two-pronged movement of people from the Malaysian archipelago, with one that settled first in Panay, in the central Philippines, from where they spread to other islands, and with the massive one that also introduced Islam, that settled first in Sulu and mainland Mindanao, and eventually spread to Visayas and Luzon, until the arrival of the colonizing Spaniards.

The conversion of the majority of Filipinos into Christianity by the colonizing Spaniards made the archipelago “the only Christian-dominated” country in Asia. Unfortunately, despite such spiritual status, many if not most of its officials, do not live up to it, as they proved to be corrupt which is very un-Christian.

On the other hand, Malaysia has a lot to explain if indeed, what the MNLF claims is true. It will come out that they betrayed the trust of the Philippine government when it was asked to sit as observer in its negotiation with MILF. The betrayal is in their cuddling of Nur Misuari and his Bangsamoro Republik advocacy, all the while, that the peace process is going on. Malaysia should vehemently deny it publicly if only to prove that it can still be trusted by the Philippine government. Its silence could mean something which may have a negative implication.

If the people of the whole of Mindanao and Palawan will be made to understand the whole situation that leans heavily on ethnic history of the country, a lot of patience is needed as Christianity has been deeply imbedded in their heart and mind. If the Bangsamoro Republik will materialiaze, definitely, those who live within the territory will no longer be called“Filipino” but “Moro”, as the state will be called “Bangsamoro” or “land of the Moro”.

On solid lands where states or countries are situated, thin demarcation lines that indicate territorial boundary separate them from each other, guarded by foot patrols. If the Bangsamoro Republic materializes, Mindanao and Palawan will be separated from Luzon and Visayas by significantly wide body of water and channels.

The Philippines as an archipelago is “united” by the commercial airlines and roll on-roll off ferries, but not well secured because of the inadequate navy and military facilities. These security contingents use second hand equipment, which are either purchased at bargain prices using measly budget provided by the government or donated by sympathizing countries. And, even the purchases were not spared by evil minded officials as they reeked of corruption. The negligence and corruption in the Philippine government in this regard have caused the immense suffering of the Filipinos in general.

Finally, I do not think the zealous Muslim Filipinos would have thought of the separation, if only the Philippine government has been fair to all the citizens. Corrupt Muslim government officials, on the other hand, should not be blamed solely for their neglect of Mindanao, as the same neglect is also prevalent in the Visayas and Luzon regions, committed by Christian officials. In other words, corruption is prevalent in the whole system of the Philippine republic. And there are even more of these corrupt Christian officials in the central government, so these hypocrite better stop their finger pointing while the innocent ordinary Filipinos, both Muslims and Chrisitians, are left desperately apprehensive, confused, and helpless, as their beloved country is at the verge of being dissected!

Malaki ang Problema ng Usapin sa Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)

Malaki ang Problema ng Usapin
Sa Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)
ni Apolinario Villalobos

Dahil sa nangyaring “misencounter” daw sa pagitan ng MILF at mga pulis sa Maguindanao kamakailan lamang, ay tila magkakaroon ng problema sa usapin ng Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Sa pagpasok sa eksena ng BIFF na ‘breakaway” group ng MILF, marami ang nagtatanong kung talaga bang mapagkakatiwalaan ang MILF sa pagsiguro na hindi bubulabugin ng BIFF ang mga bayang kasama sa Bangsamoro, dahil tutol ito (BIFF) sa usaping pangkapayapaan. Kung hindi nakontrol ng MILF ang BIFF na magkaroon ito ng sariling adhikain kaya tumiwalag sa samahan, may garantiya ba na hindi ito maghahasik ng perwisyo upang ipahiya ang BBL?

Noon pa man ay nabanggit ko na sa nauna kong pananaw na ang inuna dapat ng gobyerno at MILF ay i-neutralize at dis-armahan ang MNLF at BIFF na kumokontra sa usaping pangkayapaan na nakaangkla sa integration, na taliwas naman sa gusto ng mga naunang nabanggit na ang gusto ay humiwalay sa bansang Pilipinas at magkaroon ng sariling gobyerno. Subalit nagmadali ang peace talk committee na isa sa mga arbiter ay Malaysia. Sa kabila ng nakaambang banta ng dalawang nabanggit na grupo ay pinipilit ng MILF na tapusin na ang usapan.

Hindi na-neutralize ang MNLF at BIFF sa kabila ng katotohanang tukoy ng sandatahang hukbo ng Pilipinas ang kinaroroonan ng mga ito. Ang ginawa lamang ay lumusob at nagpaulan ng mga bomba sa mga tukoy nang kuta, ilang araw lang at pagkatapos ay wala na. Para lang nagpa-presscon….nagpakita na kunwari ay may ginawa.

Ang pinagtaguan ng foreign terrorist na gumagawa ng bomba sa Maguindanao ay matagal na rin palang tukoy. Bakit hindi hiningi ang tulong ng MILF sa pagdakip dito, upang makapagpakita naman ang huling nabanggit ng taos-pusong kaseryosohan na magkaroon ng katahimikan sa Mindanao? Ang pagkakataong ito ay hindi dapat pinalampas ng peace talk committee bilang pagpapakitang-gilas. Kung sakali, doble pa ang magagawa sana nila dahil matutumbok din nila ang pinagkukutaan pala ng BIFF na itinuturing na ring bandido.

Kung nakayang magkaroon ng malaking SAF contingent na binubuo ng mga pulis upang magsilbi ng warrant of arrest, bakit wala man lang abiso sa sandatahang hukbo ng Pilipinas upang makapagtalaga ito ng air support, sa OIC ng PNP, at lalo na sa kalihim ng DILG na si Mar Roxas? Ano ang hinahabol ng kapulisan sa pagsasariling- kilos? Ayaw nilang makibahagi ng tagumpay, kung sakali, upang masabing sila ay magaling?

Ang sinasabi ay si Purisima daw ang gumawa ng plano at kung nagtagumpay, pambawi daw niya ito sa nasira niyang imahe. At dahil si Purisima ang may plano, dapat alam ng pangulo dahil BFF sila. Nakapagtataka lang dahil kahit suspendido na siya ay kung bakit nakakagawa pa rin ng desisyon. Kung totoo nga ang balita, dagdag sampal na naman ang kapalpakang ito kay Pnoy….na sobra ang pagkabilib kay Purisima. Lumalabas pa na dahil hindi pala alam ni Roxas ang plano, parang binastos siya ng pangulo!…ganoon na ba ka-dispalinghado ang administrasyon ni Pnoy…batbat ng bastusan at kawalan ng tiwala sa isa’t-isa??!!!

Ang isang agam-agam ay baka itimbre lang daw ng MILF ang operation para makatakas ang terorista, dahil mga kamag-anak din nila ang mga miyembro ng BIFF. Sa ganyang agam-agam, malaking problema nga ang usaping pangkapayapaan dahil hindi magkakaroon ng katapusan ang problema na idudulot ng BIFF kahit mapirmahan na ang kasunduan, dahil baka umiral ang ugaling pagsasawalang-balikat.

Dahil malaking poder ang maibibigay sa MILF, na nakapaloob sa usaping pangkapayapaan, hindi kaya gamitin nila (MILF) ito upang makipag-areglo sa MNLF at BIFF upang magkaroon din sila ng malaking bahagi sa pagpapatakbo ng Bangsamoro? Siguradong maraming butas ang kasunduan, tulad ng aspeto sa pagmintina ng hukbong sandatahan, at lalo na sa mga hakbang na gagawin ng Bangsamoro sa pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno nito na ngayon pa lang ay medyo nababanaagan na ng ilang mambabatas.

Magkakamag-anak ang mga miyembro ng MNLF, MILF, at BIFF, kaya hindi maiiwasan ang “pagbibigayan” pansamantala upang matuloy lang ang pagkakasundo sa usaping ng Bangsamoro Basic Law. At, pagkatapos, ano ang garantiya na hindi matatalo ang MILF kung magsanib- puwersa ang MNLF at BIFF upang mag-take over kung sakali? …dapat alalahaning mas matimbang ang dugo kaysa ideyolohiya o pulitika….hindi pa kasama diyan ang Abu Sayyaf na ang pinagmulang ugat ay dating pinagkakatiwalang civilian support group ng sandatahang hukbo ng Pilipinas.

Bilang panghuli, hindi patatalo ang MNLF na pinanggalingan ng MILF, na siya namang pinanggalingan ng BIFF. Kung itinuturing ng MILF na breakaway group nila ang BIFF, sila naman ay itinuturing na breakaway group ng MNLF na siyang original Moro group na may pinaglalabang adbokasiyang para sa kapakanan ng mga taga-Mindanao, na sa kasamaang-palad ay hindi naman kinikilala ng lahat ng pilit nitong sinasakop na bayan at lunsod.