We have done our part. We have signed a peace agreement; we have steadfast in adhering to the ceasefire agreement; we showed our commitment by undertaking a symbolic decommissioning of 75 weapons that included crew served weapons and of our combatants have been decommissioned; we have just been delisted by the UN from the List of organizations that allegedly employed child soldiers through our relentless pursuit of the UN- MILF Joint Action Plan on Child Soldiers.
And without a durable political solution, the southern Philippines looks likely to regress into pervasive insecurity, writes Zachary Abuza.
Since his 11 May election, Rodrigo Duterte has shocked the world with his calls for the killing of journalists, the posting of bounties for the extra judicial killings of drug lords, and his slew of sexist comments — to the point that his advisors are not letting him Bangsamoro a prospect for peace any more interviews with the media.
The lewd and bombastic Davao mayor Duterte wants to be seen as a tough guy, but comes off as a loose cannon. He has already displayed problematic inconsistencies in policy, including the Bangsamoro Peace Process.
The following month, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission submitted the draft BBL to the President, but their draft was largely re-written. The goal was to have it passed by the first quarter of at the latest, as it required a plebiscite, the establishment of an interim government, and the transformation of the MILF into a legal political party.
This all had to be accomplished by the elections, as the existing and deeply failed Autonomous Government of Muslim Mindanao would not stand for re-election, thus dissolving itself. A lack of political will The BBL was already facing hurdles in Congress when an uncoordinated attack by a police special forces unit entered MILF territory in pursuit of two wanted terrorists.
The Mamasapano incident, led to the death of 44 Special Action Forces, and the photographs of 44 flag-draped coffins made it all but impossible for the government to win both congressional and popular support.
Congressional hearings became even more toxic, ahead of presidential elections. Mamasapano was a tactical failure with strategic implications. That was no surprise as four of 24 senators either ran for president or vice-president and they used their assaults on the BBL to burnish their credentials.
The Aquino administration did try to assure the MILF that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro remained in place and was binding despite the failure to pass implementing legislation. While none of the presidential candidates were against the peace process, their support for it was highly qualified.
All other candidates pledged support for the peace process in principle, but were very short on details. The threat of federalism While Duterte spoke of injustices and his centerpiece of political devolution through the establishment of a federal system, his support for the peace process was contradictory.
In Julyhe was critical of congressmen not from Mindanao who failed to understand local issuesand pledged his support for the BBL.
This could have created a problem had it not been for the moderation of the Central Committee. But even here he said that he would only push for passage of the BBL if Congress embraced federalism.
The MILF, for its part, did not endorse a candidate. Duterte is famously anti-Manila, and has threatened to run the country from his home in Davao, while surrounding himself with advisors from Mindanao.
Traditional elites and technocrats from Manila and Makati have been largely shut out. Although Duterte has placed key allies from Mindanao in his cabinet, they are largely hostile to the MILF and the peace process.
Duterte immediately selected Jesus Duereza as his advisor on the peace process. Duereza, held the same position in the cabinet of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from to Duereza had a terrible reputation as a back-channel wheeler dealer.
North Cotabato has always been contested space between Christian dominated eastern Mindanao and lands claimed by the Bangsamoro. Finally, Duterte named Salvador Panelo, the former defense lawyer for the Ampatuan clanresponsible for the murder of 58 people, including 32 journalists inas his presidential spokesman.
That is telling in itself. It is more than their lack of commitment to the BBL or empathy with the plight of the Moros that has given the MILF leadership cause for concern, but the issue of federalism that has caused the greatest consternation.
But your territory will not be touched. But they always saw it as something that would augment the BBL and the establishment of the Bangsamoro, not supplant it.
He again defaulted to federalism.
Despite several attempts to amend the constitution, none have made it to the referendum phase. A precarious peace The MILF are very concerned that the future of the peace process was going to be dependent on such a fraught process, with little likelihood of success.
Even in terms of narrative, the Moros have their distinct history. And all that despite the fact that the CAB and BBL created a mechanism for the MNLF to have considerable political power in the Bangsamoro government through the establishment of a parliamentary system. From May, the respective peace panels met in Kuala Lumpur, where they issued a statement calling for the continuity of the peace process.
Though he did not attend the meeting, Jes Duereza sent a note to the respective panels.
While he did not explicitly state that the Duterte administration would push for congressional passage of the BBL, he said: The roadmap that we will traverse hereon will take policy guidance and direction from the new President when he assumes office on 30 June, This, in itself, will be a major irritant to the MILF leadership and their rank and file.
That is precisely the reason why you still have war in Mindanao.The Philippines: Renewing Prospects for Peace in Mindanao Crisis Group Asia Report N°, 6 July Page iii Recommendations To maintain the momentum of the peace process To the Philippines authorities: 1.
Use the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) as the basis of any future process. 2. MILF Chair Al Haj Murad: Prospects for Peace in the Country Especially Bangsamoro Appears Bright.
In his speech delivered in the annual event of the Foreign Correspondents of the Philippines (FOCAP) on the forum, “Prospects for Peace in the Country” held at Pan Pacific Hotel, Manila on February 20, , Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said, “The.
The Bangsamoro Separatist movement The Policy of Political Autonomy: A road towards national integration The Mindanao Peace Process: A path to success or The Status and Prospect of the “Bangsamoro Separatist Movement” in the Southern Philippines.
Essay on Bangsamoro: a Prospect for Peace Last semester, I attended the class of Soc Sci 5, a course which briefly tackled this sensitive topic. The curiosity that left me hanging made me interested to sit and be part of the forum which was fortunately held at the grounds of UPV. Currently, measured in term of the positive responses of the public, not to mention the MILF members and sympathizers and government officials, especially those in the provinces and municipalities, the prospects of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) appear great.
Mindanao and the Bangsamoro: Prospects for Peace. I. Historical Foundations of the Bangsamoro Struggle. Bangsamoro ("the Moro People") ethnolinguistic Muslim tribes in the Philippines Comprising about 5% of the Philippine population and around 20% of the population in Mindanao.