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Monday, October 25, 2021

'Peace in Mindanao key to federalism'

THE Anak Mindanao (Amin) party-list urged the House of Representatives to pave the way for the implementation of the peace agreements with the Bangsamoro people through an enabling law as a preface to federalism.

Amin campaign and advocacy officer Norhaiya Macusang, in a statement emailed to the media on Saturday, December 10, said the realization of these agreements is an opportunity to end the roots of conflict in Mindanao.

Datu Malapandow Nestor Apas, of the Mindanao Indigenous People’s Council, said that for the peace process to be genuine, there must be participation of the lumad communities who comprise seven million population of Mindanao.

Apas said the historical roots of the conflict points to the 1898 Treaty of Paris whereby Spain ceded to the United States the Philippines at the sum of $20 million, even when Mindanao has not succumbed to Spain’s colonization.

Mindanao Advocacy and Social Communications managing director Candido Aparece said the treaty gave Americans the opportunity to colonize Mindanao, followed later by the Manila government.

“That agreement did not include us because it was on record that many Spanish missionaries were beheaded by our elders who opposed foreign presence,” Apas said.

Macusang also said that the treaty illegally took over Mindanao, which by then was governed by several sultanates.

In 1996, the government signed with the Moro National Liberation Front a final peace agreement that provided for an autonomous government for the Moro population.

In 2014, the government signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that provided for power-sharing and power-sharing and normalization process. Both were never implemented.

The unilateral implementation of the 1996 agreement by the government and a watered-down version of the law by Congress for its implementation led to its failure.

The 2014 agreement led to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law but did not prosper as a result of the Mamasapano incident.

Anak Mindanao secretary general Isa Tom del Monte said any peace agreement should be inclusive of the aspirations of all the peoples of Mindanao to include the Moro, the lumad, and the settlers. (ICT with PR)
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