ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: The Minoritization of the Indigenous Communities of Mindanaw and Sulu (16). Epilogue 3

16 of 16 parts
Epilogue 3

(Done in 1992 at Iligan City, published initially as two versions. First as the abbreviated edition published by The Minority Rights Group, London entitled The Lumad and Moro of Mindanaw, July 1993. The Philippine edition carrying the full draft was printed by AFRIM in Davao City 1994. This was later updated in 2003, summarized in an epilogue. This is the third revision, now with an expanded Epilogue.)


Update 2020 Epilogue – III: Panagtagbo A  One Big Event 2004 to 2020


BARMM is historic!

Not only for Bangsamoro.

Also for Mindanaw-Sulu

Definitely for the Republic of the Philippines.


After seven presidents (Ferdinand Marcos, Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Benigno “Pnoy” Aquino, Digong Duterte – still in place)…


After 19 Government Negotiating Panels (from 1975 to 2014) talking with the Bangsamoro Fronts, mainly the MNLF and the MILF…


After the Tripoli Agreement, the Final Peace Agreement, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro unto BARMM (the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)…


After three decades of experience with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)…


Viewing the quick sequences of Ten Decisions in April 2012,  Framework Agreement in October 2012, then Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro  in 2014. Finally, the BARMM in 2018, … ratified in a plebiscite on 21 January 2019 and 6 February 2019… 


My sensing… as a Mindanawon historian, as part of the negotiation process part of the way… as an advocate… the peace talks’ responses to painful conflicts, every step, including backward step and forward step, there are no failures, not even MOA-AD in my experience, the SAF-44 at Mamasapano, Maguindanao… there are always positive learnings. The emergence of our humanity comes at its own time. Call it ripening. Call it realization.


In the 44 years of peace negotiations, 21 years from January 1975 to 2 September 1996;  22 years from January 1997 to 27 March 2014, followed by the Bangsamoro Organic Law  processing by Congress and signed by President Digong Duterte on 27 July 2018, and ratified in a plebiscite on 21 January and 6 February 2019 …  still ongoing … 


It took both parties to agree on what is the problem they were trying to solve. Technically the disagreements were always between the Constitution and the dream of self-determination among the Bangsamoro.  But in reality, there other emotions we try to hold back to give way to rationality. The small pieces, the agreements, step by step, came into place, despite disruptions, including armed engagements, sometimes called impasses.  Then, forward again… and the final agreements.


Feel the global dimensions… recall…The GRP-MNLF was always with the participation of the OIC via the Quadripartite Ministerial Committee, started with four, then expanded to six. Libya and Indonesia played crucial roles. The GRP/GPH-MILF peace talks was always done in Malaysia…. Which expanded with the participation of other states, mainly the International Monitoring Team (IMT) led by Malaysia, followed by Brunei Darussalam,  then Indonesia, Japan, Libya, Norway and the European Union.


Looking Forward via Education


Education is naturally an integral part of the mission of BARMM.  Hitting the creation of the new generation at the heart… This is reflected in the PROPOSED BANGSAMORO EDUCATION CODE (draft as of 18 September 2020, already filed in October 2020 as a bill for deliberation in the parliament) for the establishment of a complete integrated system within the Bangsamoro. It accurately reflects the seeds of the new Bangsamoro Organic Law.


I am particularly touched by the sensitiveness of the leaders…grounded indeed … it is wholistic but there is this conscious focus on the curriculum of the indigenous peoples… and it is being futuristic…


·      operate around indigenous culture, knowledge, systems, and practices existing in the Bangsamoro region… include mental and psychological and environmental contexts of the learners.

·      Language medium. Teaching and learning shall be the mother tongue for Kindergarten and Grade 1 to 3 learners. Primary medium of instruction and learning beginning Grade 4, shall be English…Filipino and mother tongue may also be used

·      Ministry support for the creation of a tribal university system to address the higher educational needs of non-Moro indigenous peoples.

Peace Education

Peace education for all shall also be an integral part of the Basic Education Curriculum of the learners nurturing them in the life of nonviolent culture, social justice, and respect for human rights, freedom, and inclusivity.

Among the Lumad

I was there and felt deeply this event of Re-affirmation of Kinship of the Moro and Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao at Talaandig Ancestral Territory at Tulugan, Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon, 7-8 March 2012, participated by delegates from the tri-peoples. I call this another peace process in itself (more indigenous to use the word husay), a panagtagbo, a convergence of those affected by conflict.  This was this message, embossed in bronze, prominently displayed:


The Indigenous Peoples and the Moro of Mindanao hereby acknowledge the following principles and doctrines of Kinship as basis of their cooperation, understanding and unity as descendants of the early inhabitants in the island of Mindanao:

Principle 1. Kilalaha (Mutual Recognition and Respect)

Principle 2. Sayuda (Mutual Sharing of Information)

Principle 3. Buliga (Cooperation)

Principle 4. Uyaga (Mutual Protection & Preservation of Life)

Principle 5. Pabatunbatuna (Mutual Obligation to Help the Needy)


Signed this 8th day of March 2012 in the heart of the Talaandig Ancestral Territory

at Tulugan, Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon.


Now we are ready for a new chapter. Together.


Husay and panagsuon.


Kalinaw Mindanaw!     


(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. A peace specialist, Rudy Buhay Rodil is an active Mindanao historian and peace advocate)