Group blames Aquino’s ‘divisive’ peace policy for continued conflict in Moro lands

Soldiers and armored personnel carrier posted in Dapyawan village, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao (FILE PHOTO by Kilab Multimedia)
Soldiers and armored personnel carrier posted in Dapyawan village, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao during the “All-out Offensive in 2015. (FILE PHOTO by Kilab Multimedia)

“The Moro people in the past five years under President BS Aquino had only seen aggravating war, poverty, human rights violations and discrimination.”

By DEE AYROSO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – President Aquino failed to help bring peace to the Bangsamoro Homeland, as his regime “shook hands” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), but “wielded a gun” at Moro communities and other armed groups seeking change, the Moro-Christian Peoples Alliance (MCPA) said.

It added that the Aquino administration merely followed the failed peace policy of previous administrations, which resulted into a “worsening state of war.” This had endangered and violated the rights, not only of Moro communities, but also of Aquino’s very own government troops, said the group.

“The BS Aquino regime has been unmasked as a treacherous regime that has followed a divisive peace policy that aimed only to contain and pacify armed resistance in the Bangsamoro land,” said Antonio Liongson, MCPA spokesperson, in a statement.

’Double-dealing’

The MCPA called the Aquino regime “a double-dealer” that “has perpetuated the same laws, policies and social system that has oppressed and exploited the Moro people and violated their human rights and right to self-determination.”

“It never intended to resolve the poverty of the Moro people rooted in the unequal distribution of wealth and control of resources,” the paper said.

Recently, government troops reported to have quelled the armed group that reportedly attacked a Phil. Army detachment in Butig, Lanao del Sur. The slain Maute brothers, Matti and Omar, were reportedly leading the younger generation of Moro revolutionaries who does not believe in political negotiations. A third brother, Abdullah, has reportedly survived the clashes.

Early this year, Congress failed to enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was supposed to be the charter of the new Bangsamoro political entity. The MILF and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) – which drafted the BBL – had protested the dilution of certain provisions in House Bill 5811, which made the BBL “worse than the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).”

“Aquino cannot even unite Congress to pass its own Malacañang-diluted version of BBL, let alone one that is truly reflective of Moro right to self-determination and will resolve a century of injustice in the Moro lands,” the MCPA report said.

The MCPA report entitled “The BS Aquino legacy: A worsening state of war and treachery in the Bangsamoro” was released early this week.

Mamasapano civilian: Badrudin Langalan, 18, was found hogtied and dead (Photo from Suara Bangsamoro)
Mamasapano civilian: Badrudin Langalan, 18, was found hogtied and dead (Photo from Suara Bangsamoro)

Troops put at risk in government-initiated offensives

The report said the Mamasapano fiasco, which left 44 police commandoes dead, is but one of four major military offensives in Moro lands in Aquino’s past five years, amid the government peace process with the MILF. Of these, three offensive operations violated the GPH-MILF ceasefire mechanisms and led to the deaths of government troops and MILF fighters.

The paper cited the following incidents in which Aquino ordered a military resolution: “All-out Justice” military operations in Al Barka, Basilan and Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay in 2011; the Sabah stand-off in Feb. 2013, the Zamboanga city siege, also that year later in September, which targeted the mainstream faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by its founding chairman, Prof. Nur Misuari; the Mamasapano fiasco in Jan. 2015, and the subsequent “All-out Offensive” operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Mamasapano-2nd month-byja-1
BULATLAT FILE PHOTO: A call for truth and accountability in the Mamasapano tragic encounter (Photo by J. Ellao/Bulatlat)

In the case of Al Barka, on Oct. 18, 2011, Phil. Army Special Forces were sent on an operation deep into MILF territory in Al Barka, Basilan, supposedly to get a wanted MILF official. The ensuing clashes left 19 soldiers and six MILF fighters. Aquino subsequently ordered “All-out justice” military operations in Basilan, and also in Zamboanga Sibugay, where four soldiers and three policemen were reportedly ambushed.

The MCPA report also noted the US government’s continued presence and intervention in the Moro areas, and suspicious involvement in Oplan Exodus, which targeted suspected terrorists wanted by the US.

In their parents’ footsteps

The group lambasted both Aquino and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for continuing the legacy of their parents – Corazon Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos Sr., respectively – who, in their own time as president, bungled the peace process with Moro rebels, the group said.

“Just as the late President Corazon Aquino circumvented the peace talks and signed into law the ARMM’s creation, the younger Aquino tried to rush its replacement, the Bangsamoro political entity, with its governing law now decimated beyond recognition by those who drafted it. Just as how the Marcos Dictator constricted the 1976 Tripoli Agreement into the framework of the Philippine Constitution, the younger Marcos, as if having the moral authority, rejected the proposed BBL and singlehandedly drafted and filed a contorted substitute bill, devoid of whatever provisions it had in favor of the Moro people,” said the MCPA report.

Continuing Moro resistance

The MCPA said in spite of the decommissioning of firearms started by MILF, in its place remains the MNLF, as well as new Moro armed groups, which “all reflect the Moro people’s discontent and desire to resolve the worsening poverty and national oppression.”

“Aside from the MILF, MNLF and the BIFF, other revolutionary armed groups carry on the struggle in the Moro lands, such as the Moro Revolutionary Liberation Organization (MRLO), an allied underground mass organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP),” the report said. ()

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