QUN FAYA QUN: Is it really a declaration of unity?

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 March) — On March 18, 2014, in commemoration of the 1968 Jabidah Massacre, members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who claim to be “the pioneer members” headed by Vice Chair Abul Khayr Alonto released a one-page “declaration of unity” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer which was signed earlier, on March 3.

The signatories to this declaration are said to be the pioneer members (and hence, mainstream) of the MNLF. This is mainly because of the fact that they belong to the top 90 and top 300 Freedom Fighters or the first two batches of the MNLF that went abroad (i.e. Malaysia and Middle East) for military training.

In the previous months after the Zamboanga Siege of last year, Al Qalam Institute of the Ateneo de Davao University had been monitoring the series of meetings of the MNLF-Misuari faction. A consultative meeting was conducted last October 5 and 6, 2013 in Barangay Waan, Davao City. The said consultative meeting had Vice Chair Jimmy Labawan as the presiding officer and in attendance were Atty. Bong Parcasio, former mayor Omar Solitario, Randy Karon, and MNLF members and officers coming from Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi Tawi areas.

A copy of the minutes of the meeting was distributed to concerned Bangsamoro advocates and Mindanawon peace advocates. In the minutes of the meeting the following were the key issues that the MNLF discussed: a.) Organizational Leadership, Consolidation/unity; b.) Peace Process (Implementation of Peace Agreement/Tripartite Review) c.) Peace, Development & Security d. Engaging with GPH, Civilian authority, Military. It was clear among the participants, as reiterated by Vice Chair Jimmy Labawan, that they will not create another faction of the MNLF.

Other meetings were also held attended by officials of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process who were able to hear the sentiments of the MNLF Misuari faction.

Based on the statement of the MNLF Alonto group, it now seems that the MNLF has metamorphosed into several factions. We have the Reformist group of Dimas Pundato; the MNLF Council of 15, the MNLF Misuari group, and the MNLF Mainstream (which may also be divided into Alonto group and Labawan group).

Many groups and peace advocates of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) welcome this “declaration of unity”. It gives us the strong impression that Muslim Filipinos and Bangsamoro people are united in working for peace and development in the region. It also gives hope that peace is within our reach and that the many years of conflict will soon be over.

However, questions remain unanswered. The declaration hints at a grand design of making all sectors, all Muslim Filipinos, and people under the proposed Bangasmoro territory, to get ready for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which is scheduled on March 27, 2014. The CAB is the final peace agreement to be signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government. It includes the Framework Agreement, the Four Annexes, and the important documents pertaining to water boundaries.

Yet, why use the specific identity-ridden epithet “Moro Malay Muslims in the Philippines” in the entire declaration? Why insist on using the exclusive word “Moro” as an identity marker? How was “Malay” used in conjunction with the more seemingly territorial word “Philippines”? The Al Qalam Institute has time and again insisted the need to see the different identities and layers of different peoples in Mindanao and specifically in the ARMM which include the indigenous peoples (IPs) and the “settlers”. We also stress the need to make this proposed “Bangsa” as inclusive as possible, to include not just the Moro but also the indigenous peoples like the Teduray, Manobo and Subanen who trace their genealogy to the same ancestors as the Islamized ethnic groups or “Moro”.

Also, putting all the blame on Nur Misuari does not solve the problems of the Bangsamoro people. It isolates more people who are also peace advocates that belong to the Misuari faction. The 1996 Peace Accord gave us a chance to organize several CSOs and NGOs coming from the MNLF combatants who are now active peace and development advocates in their respective PDCs.

The local and international agencies and nongovernment organizations have an obligation to conduct thorough discernment on the processes that we are applying in the peace agreement with the MILF. We do support the CAB. But we cannot make the peace process a one-shot deal leaving many doubts, wounds open, and a play on politics for the 2016 elections. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Qun Faya Qun means “‘Be! and it is”. When Allah (subhanwatala) thinks of anything that He wants to create, He just says Qun Faya Qun and the things come into existence. Mussolini Lidasan, an Iranun from Maguindanao, is executive director of the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia, based at the Ateneo de Davao University where he is also pursuing his MA Anthropology. For questions/feedback please email: mslidasan@outlook.com.)

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  1. MNLF RIGHT OF REPLY to “QUN FAYA QUN: Is it really a declaration of unity?”

    – Let the public be informed that DatuHj. AbulKhayr D. Alonto was expelled from the MNLF effective 10 March 2014 for factionalism, specifically gross violation of the One MNLF Doctrine. The MNLF is still trying to identify the names of Alonto’s followers. The MNLF shall not recognize the transactions and shall not cooperate in the activities of the Alonto group. Please refer to the Masterlist of Expelled MNLFs in the notes of FB/MNLFpage.

    – Please be informed that Nur Misuari, the leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a United nations Peace Prize Awardee and a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. The MNLF follows the peaceful process of attaining political objectives set by the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM). The MIM prospectus and brochure is available online, just ask for the URL by sending a message in MNLFpage in facebook. The MNLF condemns and does not subscribe to all forms of terrorism because we don’t want to establish a new nation that uses terrorism as a means of achieving political change.

    – We, the MNLFs, are not interested to dip our finger into the MILF-GPH FAB. So that you will not guess about MNLF’s position about this, please read the Notes in FB/MNLFpage, particularly the note with title “The Two Results of a Peace Process.

    John R. Petalcorin
    Director for Communications, MNLF
    Executive Director, Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM)
    Admin, FB/MNLFpage.

    • wala ng maniniwala jan, kayo ang nakinabang sa peace nyo sa goberno, million million na pere ang nakuha nyo ni isang mosque wala man lang kayong nagawa sa maguindanao, ewan ko lang sa Jolo baka meron.

    • wala ng maniniwala jan, kayo ang nakinabang sa peace nyo sa goberno, million million na pere ang nakuha nyo ni isang mosque wala man lang kayong nagawa sa maguindanao, ewan ko lang sa Jolo baka meron.

  2. Tama po yan. dapat mag declare tayo ng Peace dahil ginagamit po ng mga non-muslima ng gyera upang ipag kanulo sa atin ang ating karapatan sa mundo.. wag tayo pautak sa regimin ng americano dahil gusto po americano ay magulo para lahat ng paghahabol nila sa culprits ng gyera ay ma justify.. Ang sabi po ni Ninoy Aquino, ang ama ni President Pnoy ay ganito : SI MARCOS DAW AY MAHILIG HUMAWA NG DAHAS, KAPAG MAGLABAN KA AT MAGBALOS AY YON ANG JUSTIFICATION NA ANG NAGBALOS AY SIYANG NAUNANG MANGGULO.. Utak po yan ng Americano.. Sa americano natotonan ni President Marcos ang ganon Utak..Kapag ang tao ay Rebelde,, ay kalaban ka ng Batas.. Eh kung certified na kalaban ka ng Batas ay Wala ka nang masabi na Maganda dahil kalaban ka ng Batas.. Kung may nangyaring barilan, ang sabi ng Governo ay ikaw ang gumawa dahil ikaw ang certified na Rebelde,, diba..Ngayon di na nila ma utakan ang mga Muslim dahil majority na sa mga Muslims_Filipino ay mga Educado na ngayon, di na tulad noong unang panahon.. Meee..Tapos na ang panlilinlang ng mga Anti Muslims sa mga Muslim ng Mindanao.. Muslim ang Native ng pilipinas.. na convert lang po kayo mga non-muslims ng Spaniol para maging Kristiano.. Di po kayo Kristiano.. kayo po ay mga kapatid na Muslims.. Balik na po kayo sa Islam Religion, mga kapatid namin Kristiano sa Mindanao pa e subsidy na ng Saudia ang inyon pangkabuhayan araw araw.. Kayo kayo buhayin ng mga Saudia kapag babalik po kayo sa Islam religion.. salamat


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