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Thursday, April 3, 2014

On the Bangsa Moro Agreement....

By Rod P. Kapunan

The Bangsa Moro Agreement, Definition of Ancestral Homeland and its Effect to the Kingdom of the Sultanate of Sulo

If you will ask a Maranao and a Maguindanao where his ancestral homeland is, he will point to the whole of Mindanao, the Sulo Archipelago, Basilan and Palawan as the place. However, if you will ask a Tausug, the Sambal, and the Badjao where his ancestral homeland is, he will point to Sabah as the place. 

The logic in the argument of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in pointing to the whole of Mindanao, Sulo Archipelago, Basilan and Palawan as their ancestral homeland is to justify any and future decision to secede from the Visayas and Luzon because the Maranao and Maguindanao-dominated MILF have taken the position that they were independent even before the Philippines became a nation-state republic. 

On the other hand, the logic in the argument of the Moro National Liberation Front in pointing to Sabah as their ancestral homeland is because they insist that originally they came from Sabah, a huge territory located on the island of Borneo. The territory, they insist, remains a dominion of the Sultan of Sulo which he leased but was never returned to him even after he canceled the lease agreement. 

The anomaly in the current framework of the so-called Bangsa Moro autonomous areas is it includes the Sulo Archipelago, which means that the Sultan of Sulo would now stand as subordinate to the Malaysian-US created stooge called MILF which could now thwart and prohibit him from claiming Sabah, it not having been included in the framework agreement they signed with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). The agreement did not even mention Sabah as the ancestral homeland of the Tausugs, the Sambals, and thew Badjaos nor gave reference to the claim of the Sultan of Sulo. 

The agreement entered into by the MILF and the GRP has the legal effect of eradicating the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulo because it will be the new overlords, mostly coming from Lanao, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindnao, areas which historically have been been a part of the dominion of the Sultan of Sulo, that will decide the fate of the Sultanate whether to give him a degree of respect and authority, to listen to his plea of helping him recover his dominion called Sabah, or worse even decide to abolish the Sultanate of Sulo. 

In other words, the MILF's view of an ancestral homeland, which view is supported by the US, Malaysia, the British and some members of the European Union is to confine and circumscribe it only to within and not outside the territory of the Philippines. Should the people within the autonomous Bangsa Moro region now agreed in the signed document decide to secede, they would have every right to do so because they would only be bringing life to its real meaning by their proclamation of independence and self-determination. It will no longer be a definition of an ancestral homeland as the Tausug and the Sultan of Sulo and his followers would define it by way of recovering a territory where their tribe originally came from, and a territory which historically and legally forms part of the dominion of the Sultan of Sulo. 

Is there logic in what I am saying or the government committed a serious blunder by signing an agreement based on their illogical understanding, definition and application of ancestral homeland? Ngayon, sino ang gago? Think about it...

rpkapunan@gmail.com

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