Promises ‘Betrayed’, Peace For The Moro Muslim Is Just An Illusion
The Philippines’s court suddenly aborted the pact between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). In the end it is just broken promises that remained.
Peace for the Muslims in the six autonomous provinces in the southern part of Mindanao is still unclear, it seems. On Sunday (3rd Aug), the government and the Moro Muslim agreed to sign a deal regarding the issues of territory and the right to autonomy for the Muslims, but suddenly the Philippines' Supreme Court issued a ruling to cancel the signing ceremony.
Originally, the deal which was agreed last month, contained a proposal for an expansion of six autonomous majority Muslim provinces in the southern part of Mindanao as an effort by the government to end the bloody conflict in the territory. The agreement, when signed, would give MILF powers over an autonomous area that would have its own legal, banking and education systems, civil service and internal security force and had been seen as paving the way for a formal peace deals with the front. The 12,000-strong MILF has been fighting since 1978 to set up an Islamic state in the southern region.
The plan was that the Philippines Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would sign the agreement on Tuesday (5th August) in Malaysia. However the plan evoked a protest from the majority group.
MILF have been doing the “fighting” for decades. A spokesman for the president Jesus Dureza said that there would be no signing on Tuesday, even though the cancellation was announced to be as only temporary.
A number of issues still need to be cleared, even though the agreement was considered to be as a thrust for stopping the conflict which had killed around a hundred thousand people.
Midaz Marquez, the spokesman for judicial institution said, the Supreme Court decided to postpone it after a number of the majority group’s politician in the province of North Cotabato opposed the signing because the government did not clarify the contents of the agreement. A politician from Zamboanga for example, presented a similar petition.
All of the fifteen Supreme Court judges unanimously ordered the majority group’s politicians and the government to explain their arguments on the 15th of August. Meanwhile the supreme prosecuting attorney was asked to submit a copy of the agreement.
"The court will look into the issue thoroughly before making a decision. So, we at the moment prefer to stick with the status quo," Marquez said in a press conference.
The Moro Muslims have always been accused of founding the groundwork for rebellions and are always connected with Al-Qaeda or Jamaah Islamiyah, even though they have repeatedly denied the allegations.
It is generally known that the Moro Muslims have been at war to defend their faith and identity as well as to claim back the independence which had been stolen from them, for 469 years. The Muslim in the southern region of the Philippines, being the majority, have since 1972, claimed for independence and wanted to decide their own future. However, the local government answered them with arms.
Hundred of mosques have been destroyed by the military attacks, thousands of Muslims have become victims. According to reports, more than 120,000 Muslims have been killed. With this one-sided cancellation, the peace agreement for the Muslims to obtain the peaceful “tanah air Bangsa Moro” (the Moro people’s homeland), might only an illusion.
Submitted by a Mujahid