COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/20 May) — This presumptuous guy, Pantaleon Alvarez is suggesting the Duterte administration will simply scrap all peace agreements – with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with and that there is no need for a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
What needs to be understood clearly by the Moro people as well as some morons is that that the lens for Bangsamoro self determination as espoused in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the BBL is correcting historical injustice and not merely decentralization as espoused in federalism. It is an affirmation of the historical fact of a distinct identity for the Moros and the fact that they were independent states even before a Philippine state was ever conceived.
That a historical injustice was committed by the Filipinos and the Philippine state by depriving the Moros both of their identity and freedom to chart their own destiny. The only way to address this, as correctly pointed out by Duterte in his campaign, is to correct this historical injustice.
A step towards this is to grant them self rule thru the BBL and a recognition of their identity as a distinct people.
Federalism need not be founded on a historical claim and which is why it is possible to create states for people in the Visayas or some other part of Mindanao.
Federalism is decentralization and governance lens that opines that development would come faster in the periphery if decision-making are brought closer to the ground and of dispersing powers rather than centralizing it.
While there are convergences in this movement, let us always remember that ours is about correcting historical injustice and a recognition of the fact that while most everyone else in what is now the Philippines succumbed to colonialists, we stood our ground against colonialism even if we did pay a heavy price for it. The Filipinos may only honor that sacrifice by acknowledging and restoring our freedom and identity.
Let Our Voices Be Heard Again. No To Pantaleon Alvarez As House Speaker!
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo of the Bangsamoro Study Group (BSG) is a member of the GPH-MILF Joint Normalization Committee and part of the technical team of the MILF peace panel that negotiated the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro).