GRP-MILF Peace Talks – progressive?

Last Feb. 6, 2006 the resumption of Peace Talks between the GRP-MILF at Kuala Lumpur Malaysia after been stalled by unresolve issue on ancestral domain, the controversy over the “leaking” document of the consensus points on ancestral domain and also the appointment of former GRP chief peace negotiator – Secretary Jesus Dureza as the new Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistance on the Peace Process (OPAPP). Sec. Dureza was been criticized with several controversies like the unilaterally changed or annotated some provissions or articles of the minutes of March 28, 2003 exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur.

It’s a positive development since they still want to negotiate peacefully and not going back on another expensive all out war in Mindanao where the civilians suffered most. Though i’m trying hard to be optimistic on the current situation of peace process but still i can’t help myself being pessimistic sometimes.

I hope and dream of having a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace in Mindanao and in the Philippines. Notwithstanding to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people against the Filipino Gov’t. and our sacred fundamental rights to determine our own future and political status. Our jihad (struggle) for self-determination and independence cannot just be easily VETO by any Politicians in Mindanao. Is this country proudly claimed and uphold Democracy? We ask for Referendum and Independence but they give us Bombs, Bullets and War instead.

I remember one quote in the book of Salah Jubair’s 3rd Edition “BANGSAMORO A Nation Under Endless Tyranny”:

“It’s better to build two States and Be friends, than build one and become Enemies for the rest of our lives.” – Simon Peres (PDI, September 10, 1998)

I can’t help resist to point out that i’m not comfortable being called as Filipino (Indios). When the Spaniards arrived there are two distinct people categorized, the Moro – Islamized or the Muslim people and the unconquered people from the time of Spain, American, Japanese and now Filipino and the Indios – now Filipino the christianized and been conquered and been a subject of the Empire of Spain, American and Japanese. Why call us Filipinos? we are not been conquered by Spain and we are not Indios! we are Moro!
In one forum of the Mindanao People Caucus: STATE OF THE TALKS and the GRP Peace Panel sits as the guest speakers and panels. I remember saying this line infront of Sec. Afable Chair of the panel, Prof. Rudy Rodil, Gen. Garcia and heard by other delegates:

“Sir, Im NOT a Filipino – I’m a Proud MORO!”

During the forum i argued and states that how can the Filipinos understand us (Moro) when the history textbook using in the educational system of the philippines from grade school to college/universities are teaching us wrong/false and partial information of our great history. It can’t be help because the one who write this textbook is a Filipino Historian which they are biased to their own identity. I believe this maligned information about us (Moros) hinders a sustainable peace development in the region. How can there will be a reconciliation between the Moro-Filipino people when until now the Philippine Educational System still used this below quality and NOT standard textbook.

The Filipino Manila colonial gov’t. prioritize most the modernization of their Military equipment and leaving behind the budget of the Education into a blackhole. Don’t be surprised if the number quality of students this country producing are now drainining. Instead they upgrade the quality of education of the people to liberate them from poverty and colonial brain they acquire sophisticated military equipment to satisfy the Military to keep them away from uprising another junta.

Back on the crappy history books this country teaching us, it’s a fact that they win on trying to believe us we are Filipino and i for myself believe during my primary and secondary education. I remember in my primary education when i’m so proud to sing it loud and states the Pambansang Awit – Bayang Magiliw? and the Panatang Makabayan? heck! if you ask me if i still sing those words now – in mind and heart and putting the right hands in the heart area? HELL NO! I just stand to respect my Filipino classmates, teachers and friends.

In the peace talks and in their final peace agreement there should be condition stating for the STOP using of history textbook who has erroneous facts and information about the history and identify of the proud and unconquered people – Bangsamoro people. Until this error will not be addressed the Filipino people will continually to believe we are this that we are not. The reconciliation of hatred and conflict between the Moro-Filipino people will be just be a dream if the current status of the peace process of GRP-MILF sincerely and genuinely addressed the root cause and the call of re-affirmation of the Moro people for self-determination and independence.

The peace talks is progressive? if they heeds the call of the people and not to appease the politicians. I think having an early peace agreement this year is not sustainable and it’s more vulnerable to more clashes and conflicts if we don’t educate the masses – the majority. We have educated/professional people in the government and private institutions but still some or most of them are very arrogant about the issue of Mindanao conflict and the Bangsamoro problem. The elusive dream of peace in Mindanao is far at reach without progressive education.

Authors note: If you want reply and comment, you need to register here. I don’t need cowards comment lurking anonymously. I required registration for this reason.