Sleeping with terrorists: Why we should abandon any further work on the Bangsamoro Basic Law

We can wax poetic about the history behind how the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) came to be and analyse to death every letter of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). But the answer to whether or not any further work and public resources should be invested in progressing the BBL does not lie in history stories nor in legal black-and-white. The answer lies in how we respond to just three hard questions:

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(1) Do the MILF represent Filipino Muslims?

The hard question: Is this a handshake between equals?
The hard question: Is this a handshake between equals?
That is a question only the Filipino Muslim community can answer. Indeed, doing just that, in principle, an easy exercise. All Filipinos, after all, are represented in Congress at a district level. So all Congress need to do is to file a resolution categorically stating whether or not the MILF can speak for Filipino Muslims or, for that matter, all Filipinos who will be directly affected by the creation of the Bangsamoro “nation”.

Were Filipino Muslims, or their representatives in Congres, consulted when this whole Bangsamoro deal was conceived? It is worth asking now what the affected peoples’ duly-elected “representatives” think.

(2) Is the MILF an Islamic terrorist group?

Answering this question is a two-step process. The first step is to ascertain whether or not the MILF is a terrorist organisation. Most Filipinos think so. There is no compelling argument to convince an intelligent person otherwise. What legitimate reason can MILF members offer to justify their bearing arms without the right licenses issued by the Philippine government? Only criminals and terrorists will continue to bear arms in defiance of an order to lay them down.

The second step is to determine whether said terrorism is Islamic in nature. Well, really, this is a no-brainer. The “I” in MILF, stands for “Islamic” after all.

Islamic terrorist.

What else are they, considering they are so both in action and in name.

(3) Are the MILF sincere about cooperating with the investigation?

Not likely. If the MILF were truly sincere about cooperating with on-going investigations surrounding the massacre of 44 police officers, the obvious first step they would have taken by now is to surrender to Philippine authorities the commanders of the units directly involved in butchering our cops. So far that obvious first step had not been taken, and there is scant indication that the MILF ever will.

* * *

In short, (1) the MILF as representative of Filipino Muslims is hopelessly debatable, (2) they are undoubtedly an Islamic terrorist organisation, and (3) they cannot be trusted to honour Philippine law.

If outlaws being given an opportunity to go legit cannot even be trusted to do as they are told, one can easily imagine what they could be like when given legitimate “autonomy”. The scariest part of the deal, as Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao pointed out in the past is their being given authority over their own police force. That means these bandits will be sharing with the “Central Government” a capability to apply state-sanctioned violence on its citizens. Consider that, even without that authority, they already see themsevles as possessing that right to effect violence on innocent civilians. Scary indeed!

Offering the MILF “autonomy” to govern and “keep the peace” over a big chunk of Mindanao is like giving a blowtorch to a two year old to play with and then leaving him to watch over your house alone. It just does not make sense. The Bangsamoro Basic Law just does not make sense — not when you step back from the distracting detail and look at it from outside the square that imprisons the Filipino mind.

It’s time we abandon President BS Aquino’s delusional vanity-fueled fantasy and get back to regarding the MILF for what it is — a bunch of murderous terrorists who had found a sucker of a government to hoodwink into thinking their “demands” are worthy of a seat in a table of equals that includes the office of the the Philippine president no less.

[Photo courtesy The Malaysian Insider.]


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24 Comments on "Sleeping with terrorists: Why we should abandon any further work on the Bangsamoro Basic Law"

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“Traidor ma na ang mga Muslim.” is a common sentiment where I’m from at least.

The MILF haven’t given me any reason to trust them. They have no problem using violence; it even seems like a first option to them. They’ve been an obstacle to growth and development in Mindanao and its painfully obvious they don’t give a shit about the rest of the country or anyone else.

Tricky one I should say. Let me try if I can give some clarity if not an exact answer to the questions. (1) On the issue of representation, I don’t think the MILF falls in that category considering that they are rebels or insurgents or armed group who opposes the government policy towards the Moros. In other words, they are illegal; not bound by the law or Constitution. Congress has no authority over them to determine if whether they represent the Muslims or not. Yes, there are elected Filipino Muslims (FilMus) in Congress but they cannot be consulted on something,… Read more »
I’m from Mindanao, and I can tell you for a fact that most Mindanaoans aren’t Muslim. So many people here in Mindanao aren’t happy with the BBL because the whole thing was created without our being consulted. The people of Mindanao are divided into christians, muslims and lumads (non-muslim tribes.) The muslim claim that Mindanao was once all-muslim before the Spanish came is not acceptable to the lumads because they were here first. They outnumbered the muslims then, and they still outnumber them now. When the muslims came to Mindanao, they drove the lumads out of their lands and into… Read more »

The MILF is afilliated with the ISIS and Al Queda. Their religious/political ideology is Islamic Radicalism and fundamentalism. The presence of that “Murwan” , in their midst is a clear indication, that they want to terrorize , anybody, against them.

In the Islamic Koran; it states, that dealing with non Muslim or infidels; you must us deception, to win over them…

MILF does not represent all the people of Mindanao. And Mindanao is not all Muslim…

The only solution, is to scrap the deal; and win an all out victory…Russia’s Putin style in Checkniya, Russia…

If history has something to teach us, leaders who do not value human life are not exactly the best leaders. Just look at the countries that are governed by leaders who are predisposed to extreme religious fundamentalism, most of them are poverty stricken, human rights deprived hell holes. The MILF wishes to govern their own part of Mindanao but I doubt they can do so properly – and I’m saying that with all the restraint that I could muster. I’m atheist and I think religion is indeed the “opium of the people” but I would rather live in a Christian… Read more »
neil tristan yabut

eh kasi nga individual filipinos do not make full use of their elected ‘representatives’. only lobbyists with vested interests take the trouble to hike over the senate building or batasan to push cases that hopefully will make them richer

Tangina yang MILF at iba pang mga terorista. Sila pa ang makapal ang mukha na magdemand para sa peace process? Kung ayaw nilang sumunod sa Philippine constitution, umalis sila ng bansa. Gayahin nila yung gago at sira ulong si Joma Sison na walang ginusto kundi maging magulo ang pilipinas at ipilit yung gago niyang paniniwala sa komunismo. Pinipilit pa rin ng mga tarantadong MILF at BIFF na makahawak sila ng baril kahit di naman sila pulis o militar dapat sa kanila kinakasuhan ng illegal possession of firearms. Wala talagang bayag si Ngoyngoy, sleeping with the enemy talaga ang ginagawa. Mga… Read more »

Terrorist indeed same with their bff BIFF, I don’t believe in their story not knowing Marwan in their territory, that guy is being hunted globally and have a lot of bounty in his head, no wonder he choose to hide with them because he knew they will not forsaken him.

captain mindanao
Thank you for an essay that so succinctly captures what I was thinking, and in better words than I can say. I’m not sure whether people know this, but in fact our muslim brothers from some muslim areas in Lanao staged rallies protesting the BBL. Why? because they very well know that it will be the MILF leadership that will call the shots if and when the BBL passes. Iligan City, for example, which is 30min from marawi city (proposed part of BBL) and a little less from Balo-i (also proposed BBL territory) is home to many Christians, as well… Read more »
“Were Filipino Muslims, or their representatives in Congres, consulted when this whole Bangsamoro deal was conceived? “ The private sectors, representatives of indigenous people, other Filipino Muslims and Christians in Mindanao were not present to most of the BBL proceedings. Not even representatives of other Muslim rebel groups are present (MNLF, BIFF given that they are no different to MILF being “revolutionary group”). It seems the Central Government is acknowledging the MILF to govern not just Muslim Mindanao but the whole of Mindanao given that Bangsamoro people accdg. to BBL draft stated “Those who at the time of conquest and… Read more »
Octopus Hands
The irritating thing is that people from luzon do not know the true colors of muslims. As a person who grew up in mindanao, i am very much against BBL. It is very dangerous for us living nearby. in my place, we fear muslims because they have this hideout place lanao del sur where they could hide and retreat everytime they cause you crime or injury. muslims are untouchable by law, they would be even more after BBL. After BBL, the christian majority will feel helpless to seek justice if the offender is a muslim. the muslim minority will be… Read more »

Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.

pearl bethany
I think, on this issue, we should listen more to the sentiments of those living in Mindanao themselves. As I see, what they are saying here are true. Not all of Mindanao is Muslim, and not all Muslim is MILF, so it’s unfair for the Central Govt. to somehow force this BBL on them, as they at the Central Govt. could not totally foresee how this BBL will affect them (Mindanaoanons) in more ways than one. For one, should we leave these people (our Filipino brothers) and their fate in the hands of terrorists? That would be too dangerous and… Read more »
sandi dolor

If you want a genuine peace in Mindanao you shouldnt have made peace deals with the MILF alone. They should have spoken first to the Sultan and later with the warlords or chieftains (MILF, MNLF, BIFF, etc.) for peace. It all works like the early barangay system which enclosed with the sultanate. Its like running a headless goverment as we speak, you pacified the MILF territory but whats the guarantee that you can pacify others. Blood will still continue to spill in Muslim Mindanao.