WE ARE CHRISTIANS AND WE SUPPORT THE BANGSAMORO RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
Stop Military Operations, Pursue Genuine Peacetalk!
An Open Letter
Iligan City, October 2, 2008
In Behalf of the Christian and Lumad settlers in the Bangsamoro, we respectfully share with you our opinion in lieu of the GRP-MILF row and the escalation of violence in Mindanao.
We believe that the Bangsamoro Right to Self-Determination (RSD) is an irrefutable claim that should be afforded favorably by the government in the light of international legal standard and such is a healthy exercise of the universal declaration of the rights of people and states. Philippine history affirms Bangsamoro nationhood to exist all over the Philippine archipelago long before the Spanish conquest. The Bangsamoro was then a peaceful society of dynamic people rich in culture, enjoying economic sufficiency and significantly performing trade with neighboring countries. The Moro society having their casual community defense system was later subdued by the superior force of invading armies in Galleons of advance weaponry and war tactics of the world. The Moro cities and communities all over the archipelago was then engulfed one after the other by military and religious domination. Most were assimilated to Christianity but many have endured resistance. For more than four hundred years of subjugation, there still remain today a determined Bangsamoro. Yet her territories has been constricted to the ARMM, her Muslim law has been compromised, her freedom has been usurped, her development has been altered and her society has been corrupted, the Bangsamoro still thrives in Islam with its norms and practices generally distinct from the mainstream Filipinos. In allegory, the Moros are like oil inside a pail full of water to where the Philippine government have tried to dissolve through the centuries, but failed.
One should realize the fact that the principles of Bangsamoro existence lies on the ever-present elements of nationhood she attained. Furthermore, its religion of Islam has been serving wholesomely encompassing everything of a Moro from life till after death in detailed wisdom and practical value. Islam is feeding the Moros in a timeless warp the strength and resolve to remain Muslims from generations to generations, or the very least belong to a Moro tribe having roots and identity to bank on.
In a vernacular, Islam under the heat of the sun is indeed like oil in a pail full of water. The water may have overwhelming quantity will eventually evaporate in the atmosphere. Unlike the oil that remains stable in substance and quantity, the water under the heat will easily breakdown to separate elements and dries up leaving ashes of impurities.
The right to self-determination is vital to the Bangsamoro’s social system. Thereupon lay her essence of existence with dignity and pride. The Moros ,obviously distinct not only from the majority Christians in the country but more so, by being governed by religion in principle and practice entirely different and generally contradicts the norms and ways that rules all over the country sealed by a national Constitutional. In this light, we should accept what history has proven of the Moro. Unless annihilated altogether, their right of self-determination remains a quest that compels rebellion. With the current circus of economic and political crisis in the Philippines complicated by the US geopolitical interest in the region, these and all other issues in the Bangsamoro will spell deaths, endless conflicts, terrorism and worst, may an Afghanistan-like anti-terror devastation.
Not even an “expanded ARMM” or an improved Muslim Code could suffice Bangsamoro need of national freedom and self-determination. However, a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity could have lead to peaceful reconstruction of the Moro society co-existent with the rest in the Philippines. With it, Islamization will gradually transform Bangsamoro towards attaining their aspired development. These are in effect will overwhelm the social blights corrupting their society while in the process, the Shariah conveniently expands rule to institute regulations, advance the peoples rights and welfare and enforce social security for the Muslims and Christian or Lumad settlers alike. Moros will be good Moros with their own justice system and by the provision on Dhimmies afforded by the Shariah law, the non-Muslim communities inside Muslim territory can enjoy freedom of their chosen faith, ways and practices, free from harm, intervention or any form of injustice under a Muslim rule.
THEREFORE, we affirmed support for the Bangsamoro Right to Self-Determination to be realized the soonest possible time. Let not ignorance rule our society. Let us help one another to rectify the wicked course of Philippine history. By God’s will, we shall overcome these wars and reconstruct Mindanao in sustainable peace and development.
(Sgd) Nelson L. Mandiang
(Sgd) Christopher M. Lluch
For reaction, please contact Justice for Bangsamoro Movement: Jun (0919) 359-9058; email: firstname.lastname@example.org