The conflict in Mindanao especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM (now Bangsamoro Land under the Bangsamoro Organic Law or BBL) is multi-layered and defies simple narrative. Its origin can be revisited back to the 16th century when Moro population resisted invading Spanish forces.
“We have never been colonized”, a Moro would say by reason of history. It explains then why many, if not all, Moro historians would suggest that Bangsamoro Land is never part of the Philippines. This claim coupled with the freedom to practice the Moro religion, Islam, and elevated by the diversity and uniqueness of its culture and tradition resulted to the struggle to independence by MILF, MNLF and other rebel groups. Realizing that it would be impossible for the Bangsamoro Land to take its independence from the Philippines, Moro then reduced it to the most plausible remedy – self-determination.
From the outsider points of view, people may ask, are Moro people entitled for self-determination? Much as this question requires answers in both the insider and outsider points of views, is of the same essence to answer whether they are ready for self-determination.
No. Moros are not ready for self-determination. Considering the contemporaries and the pristine culture of Moro people it is highly susceptible for vulnerability of unity and leadership. The enthronement of Datus and Baes (the kings and queens) from different places in Bangsamoro Land has become a habitual activity. This would suggest that today Moros are even more becoming clannish as they are known to give so much value to their kin. Furthermore, politics is now chained in the society of Moro people. They are becoming more divided which is the result of bad governance and leadership.
Truly, the Moro population is united in the struggle to self-determination and pursuit of peace and development; however, after having self-determination comes the greatest and the hardest battle to slay – the battle inside. The battle of choosing their leader. Who will lead them? Which of the tribes would assume dominion?
However, even if they are not ready or otherwise, and as hopeful as humans are, it is of no reason why we couldn’t trust them to govern themselves according to their culture and religion and be successful, not because it is constitutional for that issue is reserved to the Supreme Court to determine, but because they have earned it for the bloods that were spilled, the bones that turned to ashes, and the lands that witnessed how Filipinos killed each other, and in general for the social injustice they have been experiencing
Now, let us ask ourselves. How many of these do we need to observe, experience, endure and bear to pave the way for peace, development, and justice?
- Are Moros Ready For BOL? - November 30, 2018
- Sa ‘Yo na Hindi Kami Sapat - August 8, 2017
- We Want Home - July 28, 2017
- No To Aerial Attacks - May 29, 2017
- Aspirant Teacher Scrutiny to the K-12 Education Program in the Philippines - February 14, 2017
- Why Filipinos Love Korean Dramas - January 18, 2017
- For the Broken - January 10, 2017
- The Villain buried in the Cemetery of Heroes - November 22, 2016
- Bukas na liham para sa Amerika - November 3, 2016
- Learn the Lumad of Mindanao, their Culture and Condition - September 8, 2016