More questions than answers in new Moro peace pact

Oct. 09, 2012

Besides, “this is the same autonomous entity promised to MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) in the 1996 final peace agreement and to PNoy’s Moro party mates in the Liberal Party” — Suara Bangsamoro

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — It said it is ironic that while the government is signing peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), it continues to suppress the Moro people through anti-terror laws and curtail their civil and political rights.

This was the contention of the Suara Bangsamoro, a militant Moro organization based in Zamboanga City.

Suara further stated it questions the sincerity of the Aquino government on the issue of creating the new agreement as tool to divide the Moro people.

Besides, “this is the same autonomous entity promised to MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) in the 1996 final peace agreement and to PNoy’s Moro party mates in the Liberal Party,” Suara added.

Moreover, United Church of Christ in the Philippines Bishop Modesto Villasanta, the convener of the Exodus for Justice and Peace, in a message sent to, said the peace that we have been waiting for the people of Mindanao should be peace based on justice.

Peace based on justice, Villasanta explained, means land for the landless Moro farmers and just wages for the Moro workers.

“Hinaot ang kasabotan sa kalinaw sa GPH ug MILF motubag niining basic nga mga problema ug hinaot kini nga kasabotan maghatag ug kalig-on sa soberenya sa nasud batok sa pagpanghilabot sa mga langyaw sa nasud (It is hoped that the peace process between the GPH and the MILF will answer to the basic problems and strengthen the country’s sovereignty against foreign aggression),” the Bishop concluded.

ACT Teachers Party-list Representative Antonio Tinio also sent a message to stating “it remains to be seen whether the proposed Bangsamoro political entity will truly address the long-standing economic, political and cultural aspirations of the poor and the oppressed majority” of the Moro people.

The progressive solon also do not discount the possibility that the proposed political entity might also become “an expanded ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) dominated by a different set of local elites pliable to the agenda of the national ruling clique and the United States, whose role and influence in Muslim Mindanao cannot be downplayed.”

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 6th Infantry Division also welcomed the forge agreement.  In a message sent to, Col. Prudencio Asto said the cessation of atrocities through the framework agreement will directly benefit the soldiers.

The MILF on Sunday issued a statement saying the forged agreement was the “fruit of the 16-year long peace negotiation between the MILF and the GPH that now lays down the firm foundation of a just and enduring peace formula designed to address the root cause of the Bangsamoro Question.”

It also announced the replacement of the ARMM “by a new institution of self-governance defined by the asymmetrical relationship between the Central Government and the Bangsamoro people.”

The statement, signed by MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim , added that the forging of the framework agreement “does not mean the end of the struggle for it ushers in a new and more challenging stage.”

Murad also said the MILF shares the result of the struggle with other sectors in Mindanao including the indigenous communities.  (Alex D. Lopez/

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