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Bangsamoro Manifesto of Indignation for Pnoy

Bangsamoro Manifesto of Indignation for Pnoy

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Manifesto of Indignation signed by nineteen (19) active Bangsamoro organizations in Mindanao.

This open letter expresses resentment and disappointment of your failure to abide by the pledges you made in your inauguration on June 30, 2010. During your first 100 days of governance, a number of incidents transpired, rendering your sincerity for the peoples of Mindanao questionable.
Manifesto of Indignation signed by nineteen (19) active Bangsamoro organizations in Mindanao.

This open letter expresses resentment and disappointment of your failure to abide by the pledges you made in your inauguration on June 30, 2010. During your first 100 days of governance, a number of incidents transpired, rendering your sincerity for the peoples of Mindanao questionable.

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Published by: Moslemen M. Macarambon Jr. on Nov 01, 2010
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11/17/2010

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An Open Indignation LetterAddressed to Philippine President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III
Mr. President, in your inaugural speech at the Quirino Grandstand on June 30, 2010,you announced before the public that you “will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao”; thus, for this reason you pledged yourself to “a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian”.You also emphatically declared: “You (the people) are the boss so I cannot ignoreyour orders.” In Tagalog: “Kayo ang boss ko.”These pronouncements renewed in us that spirit of optimism oozing with hope that apeaceful and just political settlement of the conflict in the Bangsamoro will finally beresolved under your watch.At that moment, we thought that at last here was a Filipino president who meantserious business; a president who could empathize with the plight of the long-oppressedBangsamoro people because he, too, experienced the trauma of state oppression andpersecution; a president who, like many among our brethren, had lost his own father to theforces of evil that once governed this country.Mr. President, we feasted on your words of promise like starving men marooned on adesert of despair.Our spirits were further buoyed, thus, when you announced that the GRP Peace Panelnegotiating with the MILF had been reconstituted with a new set of members under a lawprofessor meticulously selected by you on the basis of their competence, knowledge,experience and sympathy for Mindanao.And when you likewise announced that peace talks would immediately resume afterRamadhan, we went ballistic with joy. We were beginning to see the light at the end of thedark tunnel. The pervasive darkness of war and conflict that blighted our Moro homeland,at last, was about to be dissipated by the light of freedom and justice. Elusive peace seemedno longer elusive.Or so we thought.For, suddenly things have changed. In the 100 days that you’ve assumed office, thefeeling of the people on the ground has progressively turned from hope to disenchantmentto anger. For, like an automobile on reverse gear, instead of moving forward the quest for
 
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peace and justice, your government has begun to move backwards at a faster accelerationthan what it promised to fulfill at the beginning of your administration.You have closed the door to constitutional amendment that would haveaccommodated any final political compact agreement with the MILF, which, for yourinformation in case you’ve not yet realized it, has already conceded to constitutionalremedy to allow the restoration of peace in our troubled land. Hence, by the verypronouncement of your government shutting down the avenues to constitutionalamendment even before the resumption of talks could begin, you have already dealt thedeath blow to any prospective peace agreement with the MILF by consigning it beforehandto the same fate as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in2008.Not satisfied with that, you have created conditions which lead to the nullification of the gains of the peace process. Your Department of Foreign Affairs has issued new orders toforeign governments, institutions and NGOs, including those actively providing assistance toour poverty-stricken people and our refugees, to seek prior clearance and approval fromyour government before engaging the MILF in dialogues or launching humanitarianactivities in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao and Sulu.You have also insisted that peace talks with the MILF should be in the Philippines, notin Malaysia or, for that matter, in any other neutral foreign venue as had been agreed uponby the MILF and the Philippine government in 2001.Alas, Mr. President, now we are beginning to realize that when you mentioned inyour speech before the joint Houses of Congress that the conflict in Mindanao is merely “asituation”, you really meant what you said. The hundreds of thousands of refugeesdislocated and the thousands of lives lost every time war breaks out in Mindanao and Suluare as trivial a “situation” to you as the bungled Manila hostage-taking incident.This sinister move that intends to isolate the MILF from the international communityand in the process control if not prevent the flow of humanitarian aid to the victims of waris an unconscionable act that makes you no different from your predecessors. It is sheerhambug on your part and your government to presume you can resolve and handle alonethe Internally Displaced People (IDP) problem in our homeland without foreignhumanitarian assistance. In case you have not read the papers, the World Food Program of the UN has just issued a public statement as posted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer datedOctober 12, 2010 that 250,000 people in Mindanao still displaced by war and naturaldisasters are starving and would need $26 million in food and other kinds of assistance. Thisassistance you cannot provide -nor were your predecessors able to – not only because of 
 
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entrenched corruption in government but more significantly because in your word theMindanao conflict is “a situation” which implies it is nothing to worry about. The truth is:the IDPs or the resolution of the conflict is not in the list of your national priorities.And now you want the international community to stop its humanitarian activities inMindanao and Sulu without your prior approval? Not only would this drive our peoplefurther into the deep bowels of poverty, misery and hopelessness, you are forcing them toabandon the ways of peace to redress legitimate grievances.Which means, Mr. President, that you are rekindling the embers of the armed conflictwhose flames had been reduced to a flicker by the peace negotiation and its promise of a just peace in our homeland.Are the bottomless pockets of your so-called peace advisers, who, we know, haveearned the infamous reputation for making fast bucks out of foreign aid assistance to therefugees in Mindanao and Sulu, more important to you than the welfare of the IDPs or thefuture of peace in Mindanao?Lest you forget, Mr. President, you announced in Ramadhan 2010 that the immediateresumption of peace talks with the MILF shall commence after the holy month.With great anticipation and eagerness, we waited for your words to come true. Thensuddenly, the news of the arrest of Brother Edward Guerra, a senior member of the CentralCommittee of the MILF in charge of foreign affairs, who was arrested by agents of the CIDG-PNP at the Davao International Airport in September 22 to attend a UN conference onhuman rights in Geneva, hit us like a thunderbolt. We also learned from his family andlawyer that he was tortured while in maximum security detention at Fort Bonifacio. BrotherEdward Guerra’s health is in a precarious state given his heart ailment, diabetes andhypertension.Your late father, for reasons that need not be explained, would have created havoc inhis grave if he were to learn that your government still uses torture on helpless politicalprisoners, especially on those afflicted by heart ailments.The depression that we felt upon learning this morphed into extreme apprehensionwhen news also brought to us the information that MILF members involved in peacemonitoring were arrested by your military and police in Maguindanao.We also learned that the arrest warrant for Brother Edward Guerra was issued by thecourt on September 1, 2010. This was well within the timeframe of your invitation, Mr.President, to the MILF to resume talks with your government!

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