Peace in our time?

Update: Well, well, well: SC stops MOA signing. Interesting because before the Supremes’ intervention was even reported, Ding Gagelonia was reporting MILF Sets Ancestral Domain Pact Signing on August 25, Not Tomorrow in his blog!

Without any explanation the Moro Islamic Liberation Fron is reporting on its web site, luwaran.com, that the controversial signing of what it says “is considered as the most significant and historic event that ever happened in the annals of the 11-year old GRP-MILF Peace Talks” is being held on August 25 and not tomorrow as earlier announced by Malacanang.

The MILF report goes on to say that “in term (sic) of significance, the MILF views this signing ceremony as at par with the signing of the Tripoli Agreement of 2001 in Tripoli, Libya.”

“Composing the MILF delegation are: 1) MILF Peace Panel; 2) Secretariat; 3) Technical Committee, whose membership were former members of the MILF Technical Working Group (TWG); 4) Back Staff of the MILF Peace Panel; and 5) representatives of MILF-nominated NGOs.

The group which originally broke away from Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front also says it has “sent some 50 persons including its peace panel, secretariat, technical committee, and representatives of its nominated non-government organizations (NGOs) to the formal signing ceremony of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) in Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia August 25.”

This unexplained postponement comes in the face of mounting opposition to the agreement which, although it is being downplayed by Malacanang, is also being challenged in thre Supreme Court and non-Muslim officials, among them Malacanang ally, North Cotabato vice governer Manny Pinol.

***

Last Thursday, my column, An undemocratic decorum , focused on the glitterati who inspired public revulsion during the President’s State of the Nation Address.

But the essential starting point is a remarkable entry in his blog by Jove Francisco, who provided background information on the preparation of the President’s speech, including some points that were dropped at the last minute: and how those preparations belied the Palace’s claims that it had merely shrugged off the devastating survey results released on the eve of the President’s address. The decision to focus on a catalog of achievements was a conscious effort to reclaim public opinion (he also has an intriguing portion on how the Palace may have commissioned its own survey in order to prop up Joseph Estrada as a straw man to help propel Charter Change: it reminds me of this diary entry by Ferdinand Marcos).

He also blogged that the President’s people all assumed a discreet go-ahead for constitutional amendments had been given (former Chief Justice Panganiban in recent columns discussed how such a change is neither constitutionally or legally impossible nor politically insurmountable):

As previously announced by the officials of the Presidential Management Staff, there will be no mention of Charter Change.

But conversations with sources from the political scene confirmed that Chacha may not have been heard in the halls of congress during the SONA, but it sure is being talked about by those concerned, “yun nga lang ay pabulong pa”.

Secretary Dureza, when I asked him about the President’s Mindanao plan, was evasive but, old pro that he is, immediately countered by saying the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process would be reporting to the House, but he probably knew by then that the real news would that House panel approves ARMM poll suspension.

Since then, of course, and rapidly (though Reuters reported about it on July 16, see Philippines, Muslim rebels reach deal on homeland), since the story has basically unfolded in about a week, the public has come to realize that it has very little time to grasp the full implications of the President’s comments on Mindanao and the peace deal with the MILF. While we don’t know whether the pros or cons did the leaking, details of the proposed agreement began to be reported over the weekend: Bangsomoro to get own state: Gov’t, MILF to sign ancestral domain pact Tuesday.

Public opinion, this early on, is divided -and even heated. It reminds me of this:

At first hailed as a conquering hero, by the outbreak of World War II, Neville Chamberlain was despised as an appeaser and Appeasement has been our political vocabulary as a negative thing since. In recent decades, though, historians have taken to proposing that what Chamberlain did was buy time, so that Britain could better rearm for the inevitable confrontation with Germany. In our case, the question is whether the public believes a peace deal with the MILF is in the national interest or not. Certain provinces tried to intervene in the Supreme Court, but the government told the Supreme Court the contents of the deal are covered by executive privilege. See SC starts deliberations on appeal vs MOA:

Shortly after the high court started its session, government, through Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, sent its comment to the petition filed by officials of North Cotabato province, asking the high court to dismiss their appeal for a disclosure of the contents of the MOA, Marquez said.

Marquez said the high court gave the government until 12 noon Monday to submit its document, which arrived shortly after the high court began its deliberations.

By invoking executive privilege, in its 26-page comment, the government said while negotiations with the MILF did not involve any foreign power, there were military and national concerns raised.

“This being so, the entire process, the negotiations involving the said MOA and the drafts, documents thereof resulting from said negotiations is covered by the doctrine of executive privilege, which prevents the disclosure of information that could subvert military or diplomatic objectives,” the solicitor general said.

But then again the draft of the agreement is already available on line. See the full text of the RP-MILF draft pact on Bangsamoro homeland. As for the agreement itself, two entries in Mon Casiple’s blog cover all the controversial bases in the agreement. See MILF decoy for cha-cha and Disturbing BJE questions. As it is, Casiple provides a chart put together by Bong Montesa, part of the government’s negotiating team, and so it’s safe to assume the chart is authoritative, and puts forward the official game plan (in his blog, colleague John Nery thinks the President is not giving out marching orders, but rather, making an appeal):

peace-is-possible-timeline2001.jpg

Now what, exactly, does the game plan cover, in terms of territory? first, let’s begin with this Wikipedia map, which shows the present ARMM in Green:

800px-Mindanao_regions.PNG

Then let’s refer to this:

BJE.jpg

The image above is taken from ABS-CBN’s scan of the draft agreement, and shows the areas proposed for inclusion in the expanded ARMM which would then constitute the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. You will notice that the areas in black, the areas where the government commits to holding a plebiscite, correspond pretty much, to these 19th Century maps of the old Sultanate of Sulu (from the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection)..

There is this German map from 1859, note the demarcation line for Spanish-controlled areas of the Philippines:

political_control_german_view_1859.jpg

Another map from the same year shows the demarcation line more clearly:

jedo_bay_1858.jpg

Another map this one, which is from an 1892 American encyclopedia map, also retains the basic delineation between areas under direct Spanish control and the territory of the old Sultanate of Sulu (in yellow):

asia_1892_amer_ency_brit.jpg

These maps cover a period that, based on one timeline put forward by , circumscribed the authority of the Sultan of Sulu and established the area as a Spanish protectorate:

March.1877 – The Sulu Protocol was signed between Spain, England, and Germany that recognized Spain’s rights over Sulu and, in consideration for the said lease of North Borneo, ended European hostilities in the area

July 22, 1878 – Sultan Jamal ul-Alam signed a treaty with the Spanish Crown making whole of Sulu a protectorate of Spain yet retained her autonomy and the privilege to fly own flag thus saved Jolo from further destruction.

1883 – Manila Spanish government established a customs house in Ciudad de Zamboanga to clear goods coming into the Sultanate of Sulu but, on the insistence of the British, Jolo was declared a free port and trade continued.

After which, of course, took place American efforts, by treaty and conquest, to establish American sovereignty over the Sultanate. That in itself calls for a separate, future entry, as it’s the American conquest of the old Sultanate of Sulu that leads, in turn, to the question of the Republic’s sovereignty over Muslim areas in Mindanao.

But for now, this blog entry in stuart-santiago, asks why should it even be that outright independence for Muslim areas isn’t a widely-acceptable option. To her, it is.

As for myself, my contention today is that The agreement itself is the prize. It does not matter if the whole thing doesn’t take off, what matters to the MILF is getting the government representatives to formally sign the memorandum. The Warrior Lawyer also seems to think so, tooL but says the agreement is a recipe for bloodshed. See a view from Davao in Alleba Politics:

I, among many here Mindanao, have been seeking out for the restoration of peace in the island.

My Muslim friend is optimistic that the agreement can bring peace to Mindanao, but he also fears it might lead to war. For one, he questions the sole representation of the entire Muslim population by MILF.

This MoA, I fear, reeks of insincerity, a strong decisive political move with many repercussions. I do not want to wait and see how it plays out because too many lives have been lost. And in the process, it has all become military and political. What our Muslim brothers want and need, in my opinion, cannot be simply answered by such military and political solutions.

A hawkish response, including a reproduction of Tony Abaya’s column quoting Bobi Tiglao’s visit to the MILF’s base of operations in the 1990s, appears in Tatay Pepes Restobar in General Santos City, Philippines. The announcement by the MILF that the agreement will be signed on August 25, also makes for interesting reading, giving a glimpse of those it considers its enemies.

221 comments

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    • justice league on August 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Jeg,

    Who do you exactly want to be sent to subdue a secessionist group who are at times better armed than the Philippine National Police?

    • justice league on August 6, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Bencard,

    You are obviously approaching the ghadzali jaafar angle from practically only a legal standpoint.

    A lot will depend on how the MILF markets/marketed the MOA to their armed followers.

    Those under him are likely to know NO better than what he does or what he says.

    If he says to his followers that this agreement is binding and the government doesn’t fulfill its part; how will it look to his followers?

    • mlp on August 6, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    No matter how we burn the blogsphere or make dakdak, the reality is our military and the executive is afraid of the milf, hence the concession. That is the bottomline. If our military is afraid to fight then we get the MOA-AD that we deserve. Now if anybody objects to that they better go to Mindanao and fight the MILF. The reason why so many of us are sore because we know the MOA is not fair and equitable to the stakeholders. If the government has the moral ascendancy and popularity it is easy to secure the committment of the people for a sustained fighting. The only way to fight secession is good governance and economic development which the present government lacks.The only reason why the milf and the npa survive and enjoy aresurgence are during those bad governance period.

    • WAN tester on August 7, 2008 at 12:05 am

    mlp: Actually, the MILF made serious concessions. 😉 About this time last year, the MILF was asking for full independence. They also wanted Malaysia to grant permanent residency status to Mindanawans (as long as these Mindanawans swear to being banigsamoro). The MILF wanted 100%; Malacanang wanted 50/50, so they settled on 75/25 . The MILF wanted all 😀 of Palawan, all of Cebu 👿 (plus two baranggays in Quiapo and 9 baranggays in Leyte).

    And they wanted University of Philippines to grant 100% scholarship for two hundred of their students each year (and another 50 to deLaSalle; another 50 to FEU).

    • cvj on August 7, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Looks like the MILF does not think much of Ateneo.

    • supremo on August 7, 2008 at 12:13 am

    The MILF forgot Greenhills.

    • supremo on August 7, 2008 at 12:14 am

    The MILF forgot Greenhills

    • cvj on August 7, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Sa Greenhills Shopping Center ang Embassy. Problema nga lang, from time to time, nasusunog.

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Mlp,

    I can’t say if the Trillanes group has a role in this but there seems to be a perceived big difference between the miltary under ex-Pres. Estrada (the several months before he got ousted) and the one under PGMA.

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Mlp,

    Revised.

    I can’t say if the Trillanes group has a role in this but there seems to be a perceived big difference between the miltary under ex-Pres. Estrada (the several months before he got ousted/resigned) and the one under PGMA.

    • Pilipinoparin on August 7, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Actually they were delighted because of TRO. Now, they will have time to revise the MOA. They forgot to include Mactan, the stronghold of Lapulapu and Boracay the favorite island for an R&R prior to Legaspi’s arrival in Cebu. I hope they forget Lakandula’s territory ( GMA will fight tooth and nail for this).

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Kris,

    I guess its too late now.

    • Bencard on August 7, 2008 at 12:36 am

    justice league, jaafar’s co-rebels in the milf will need no convincing from him. whatever he is saying is superfluity. the bellicose bangsamoro only has one and only one casus belli if they don’t get what they want, moa or no moa. and that is, its dubious “ancestral domain” claim. whether or not the executive branch of the government made a non-legally binding commitment for being incomplete, its ultimate rejection by the rest of the empowered entities will, unless the bangsamoro gets cold feet, lead to a bloody resumption of the armed rebellion. i just hope that we, as a people, are up to it.

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 12:37 am

    “dodong, which areas from the list given by mlq3 (August 5th, 2008 at 9:36 am) are under milf control?”

    grd – General Esperon made it simple when he told Vice Governor Pinol point blank that AFP will not defend you.

    MLQ’s list contains the 712 baranggays in 5 provinces to be added to the existing 6 provinces under BJE control. The military presence are in the camps surrounded by MILFs. The soldiers are like sitting ducks. So the general is speaking from pragmatic point of view.

  1. Evolutionary psychology would tend to tell us that we are school-able and trainable just like dogs and chimps. However the self awareness or self evident factor is key and sometimes well……………….

    Self ratification must come from within. The Objective criterion for truth comes from that.

    i didn’t know you had such a terrific sense of humor hvrds. lol. nice one.

    i think i had a rather long story about how the philippines would go on starting from when my prediction comes true.

    i believe cvj, with his amazing memory, be able to locate that post and put up the link here.

    it’s only now that i’m realizing it. but our country really is fit only to become small states ruled by warlords.

    when nationhood disintegrates, and the national coffers break up, that IRA every LGU slobbers for will be gone. and then, what will you have but every warlord-ruled state be forced to earn its keep?

    that or do what ancient armies did before.

    conquer and enslave others.

    • Pilipinoparin on August 7, 2008 at 12:55 am

    “Defensor said the MOA also violated the “inherent” powers of Congress when the legislature was not consulted on the agreement.”…….Inquirer

    I think case is not very different from other previous agreements, kinda like “RP-Japan” thingy. They might be able to get away with this, again and again and again, until when?

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Bencard,

    Most likely you are right. But then portraying the enemy in such negative light would be such a propaganda coup for the MILF, would it not?

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 1:02 am

    “really, milf’s not forcing it? you really think majority of Pinol’s constituents would say yes to BJE? is that based on facts or you’re just guessing?”

    The last plebiscite is only good as it was. Anything can change. Readers are too confined with the draft. But MILF has the take even for area like Zamboanga City which is overwhelmingly Christians-Chabacanos (descendants of Spaniards) and protected by SouthCom. Datu Kinoc serving in the MILF TWG told Subanens of Zamboanga that Zamboanga Peninsula is owned by Moros which is the heart of Ancestral Domain proviso.

    • cvj on August 7, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Manolo, i just read your PDI column, you outdid yourself this time.

    • PSI on August 7, 2008 at 1:21 am

    While Malacanang and the senators are again splitting hairs on the high politics (i.e. treason, impeachment, etc.), I believe the battle is being won by the messengers in the ground.

    The MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu seems to be scoring points with both Bangsa Moro people and Luzon and Visayas audiences, getting coverage from the major radio stations every morning at prime time.

    Also Cotabato Vice Governor Pinol who now seems to have morphed to be the spokesman of the anti-MOA is being heard every day.

    The national leadership should take heed. There could be no comebacks this time.

    • cvj on August 7, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Devils, here’s your civil war scenario. You sounded more upbeat at that time.

    • supremo on August 7, 2008 at 1:25 am

    dOdOng,

    ‘The last plebiscite is only good as it was. ‘

    You mean they will fight again when they lose in the next plebiscite?

    ‘Readers are too confined with the draft.’

    Jaafar said it’s a done deal. Na-initialized na raw ang draft. Ano pa ang hihintayin ng readers?

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Dodong,

    If the last plebiscite is only good as it was and anything can change; why does it appear that the Municipalities of Lanao Del Norte will be immediately taken away and incorporated into the ARMM without the benefit of a new plebiscite?

    • grd on August 7, 2008 at 1:47 am

    MLQ’s list contains the 712 baranggays in 5 provinces to be added to the existing 6 provinces under BJE control. The military presence are in the camps surrounded by MILFs. The soldiers are like sitting ducks. So the general is speaking from pragmatic point of view…. dodong

    dodong, i know about the 6 provinces under ARMM. let me make it clear, i am not against BJE if applied for those 6 provinces mentioned. what is being disputed here are the other provinces that twice rejected inclusion in the ARMM. what made you think the people will change their “No” votes to “Yes” this time? it will only happen if Gloria or whoever is the setting president will force her/his will against those people’s will but that would be unconstitutional. i say not even in our lifetime will this plan happen. i even think Balabac which is muslim populated will never agree to join BJE.

    sitting duck? you made me laugh. tell that to the marines. if the milf has that capability, they could have driven the military out of these areas already. remember what erap did during his time? the military could have easily overran all the milf’s camps if not for the intervention of the OIC and other peace advocates. and don’t talk about ancestral domain to me. if that should be the basis then there would be no limit to the milf’s claim. try to apply that in your adopted country (w/ the list mentioned by justice league).

    • grd on August 7, 2008 at 1:57 am

    justice,

    i wonder what made some people here think that muslim mindanao is more friendlier with the americans than people in the north. is it because of ely pamatong?

  2. cvj, no. it goes farther from that. i had a post predicting events that will happen after the civil war

    how the victors will fight between themselves, and chop up the country

    • grd on August 7, 2008 at 2:05 am

    opps correction, i mean more friendly than…

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Grd,

    Confining myself to the issue of the MILF (I actually have some Muslim friends); I wouldn’t know as I still think it is a stone to self’s head scenario as far as the Americans are concerned.

    Good night.

    • Bert on August 7, 2008 at 2:40 am

    “Defensor said the MOA also violated the “inherent” powers of Congress when the legislature was not consulted on the agreement.”…….Inquirer

    Just wait when glossy, glossy paper bags go the round at the guest house then we will see the difference.

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 2:55 am

    “don’t talk about ancestral domain to me. if that should be the basis then there would be no limit to the milf’s claim”

    Unfortunately, Estrada government is gone. You should be in the GRP panel. But the Arroyo government found it wise to give the Moros their ancestral domain in exchange of independence. And the general already told the vice governor that the AFP will not defend you.

    grd – what options do you have, other than the court?

    • Bert on August 7, 2008 at 3:02 am

    grd to justice:

    “i wonder what made some people here think that muslim mindanao is more friendlier with the americans than people in the north. is it because of ely pamatong?”

    No, grd, it has nothing to do with ely pamatong.

    Remember that Saddam and the Taleban in Afghanistan were friendlier with the American(and vice versa) during the early stages before the American changed their mind.

    The question to ask is ‘why the Americans are friendlier to Muslim Mindanao than to people in the north?’

    The answer is the same.

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 3:09 am

    grd – lets exaggerate this a little bit.

    Say the MILF is knocking your door and told you to move out because it is their ancestral domain supported by the government initialed MOA-AD. The justices in Padre Faura give you assurance that everything is on hold though hardly can be enforced when the military enforcer through its general is saying, sorry we cannot help you.

    That is something close to reality.

    • UP n student on August 7, 2008 at 3:10 am

    d0d0ng: It does not take much brainpower to realize that there are many options available.

    Interestingly, the Republic has many more options than the MILF.

    • supremo on August 7, 2008 at 4:49 am

    This MOA reminded me of the Indian nations in the United States and tribal sovereignty.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribal_sovereignty

    If the US has a hand in this MOA then they probably introduce the concept of tribal sovereignty during the peace talks. The problem is the GRP and MILF cannot properly explain the concept to the Filipinos because it is alien even to them.

    • UP n student on August 7, 2008 at 5:27 am

    supremo: more casinos!!!! yeh-bah!!!

    • UP n student on August 7, 2008 at 5:29 am

    supremo: more casinos!!!! yayyy!!!!

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Imagine VAT free goods, chocolates, blue seal cigarettes, cheap imported cars, etc….. the backbone of muslim trading industry.

    It will be the choice destination for shopping spree -BangsaMoro land. It will spur economic growth.

    • leytenian on August 7, 2008 at 7:15 am

    dodong,
    I agree with you.
    The MOA-AD will also apply to all Visayan and Mindanao regions.

    • KG on August 7, 2008 at 7:25 am

    kung halimbawa if it is true that one treasure hunter hid a treasure in a cave and it is now shared by many stakeholders, the military ,the police,the local gov and the MILF and keep it secret to everyone except for a few photo ops. would you like it to remain that way ,assuming it is no BS?
    if this is not BS,
    siguro part nito nasa ayala museum na(di ang daming dinaanan ng ayala bago ito makuha), even if those artifacts would be cheap if appraised by the different auction houses, it would remain priceless to us Filipinos.
    ========================================

    forget about the treasures for a while.

    back to mOA sa VFA ngkagulo din nung una pero para yata ang dahilan kaya nakalusot ito ay wala na daw magagawa dahil me initial na bawat page, at ito siguro ang basihan ng milf sa claim na done deal ito.
    Please correct me on this.
    ================================
    on why I believe that any term extension is a non issue:
    IF ever we all do the chacha before 2010.

    if there is a constituent assembly, papayag ba ang senate na kasali sila sa 2/3 ng body count ng congress; issue ito dati, I think it di pa din sila papayag na maging ganun ulit ang scenario.

    at sa plebiscite kailangan linawin muna natin kung ano ang laman ng bagong constitution at piliting alamin kung me term extension pag wala then go.

    pag matuloy plebiscite tutukan natin kung me magic na nagyayari.

    sa time constraint na one year plus,di matatapos yan

    so what are we afraid of?

    papayag ba ang mga presidentiables dyan?

    ================================
    on recent comments on survey results by Justice Scalia(past thread)

    nung nadinig ko si dureza pareho ang sinabi nya sa yo: to make 1.2 million appear like 80 million.

    So both sides no not believe in the science of sampling and statistics.

    NUng di tayo maniwala sa GDP results,katakut takot na bangayan na statistics and economics is a science and not magic,tapos sa surveys sampling is no longer a science magic na din.

    what if the results are all in favor of GMA,would the doubt about PULSE ASIA et al remain?

  3. d0d0ng:
    It will be the choice destination for shopping spree -BangsaMoro land. It will spur economic growth.

    Nah, it will only spur smuggling and IPR piracy and spell death to the local manufacturing, film and software industries. Do you believe SM Prime or Ayala Land will invest in Basilan or Sulu or Maguindanao?

    But it might enable Bangsamoroland KFR, Inc. to make the Forbes Top 500 if KFR beats BPO in revenues.

  4. BTW, the “initialed” Ancestral Domain doc is the biggest ransom payment ever for a KFR group that has held hostage a significant area of the south for several decades.

    ‘Nuff with “We do not deal with terrorists”. Right, Ms. Kenney?

    • leytenian on August 7, 2008 at 7:48 am

    America needs a President like Prime Minister John Howard of Australia.

    “Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

    Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques.
    Quote: ‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians’.

    ‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of
    struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom’. ‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!’

    ‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian,
    right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appr opriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

    ‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and
    peaceful enjoyment with us.’

    ‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,

    ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’
    ‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t
    force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Here is the one that I expected to come out because of the MOA-AD.

    According to Manila Standard today, “Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel said a debate on federalism would begin shortly”.

    There is always the thought that if you allow the executive to grant certain regional autonomy on development and revenue, then the Senate might as well do it, grab the initiative and level out the playing fields on areas that would be left behind.

    That is definitely a good sign.

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Senator Angara was fuming that BJE can conduct foreign relations (it needs to if they have to retain the Sabah interest under ancestral domain with support of central government) and can issue its own currency. Maybe a kampil or kris or gong would be on any of the side.

    • supremo on August 7, 2008 at 8:09 am

    UP n student,

    ‘more casinos!!!! yayyy!!!!’

    We were actually talking about going to Mohegan Sun when I connected the Indian nation concept to the BJE. If that’s how the BJE will work then I really see more bloodshed. The differences in interpretation of the MOA will just lead to more fighting. The MILF, Jaafar in particular, probably did not understand what they just signed.

    • d0d0ng on August 7, 2008 at 8:33 am

    “Nah, it will only spur smuggling and IPR piracy and spell death to the local manufacturing, film and software industries. Do you believe SM Prime or Ayala Land will invest in Basilan or Sulu or Maguindanao?”

    Smuggling (tax evasion) is gone when custom duties will be liberalized. Local production will increase and will be marketed outside. BangsaMoro can offer better incentives for businesses with less decision-time turnaround unlike the central government bogged down in huge bureaucracy.

    • leytenian on August 7, 2008 at 8:37 am

    The MILF, Jaafar agreed on
    “The Parties agree to invite a multinational third-party to observe and monitor the actual implementation of the comprehensive compact which will embody the details for the effective enforcement of this Agreement. The participation of the third-party shall not in any way affect the status of the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE.”

    I’m curious of the third party. Sounds like a military base

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Dodong,

    “Say the MILF is knocking your door and TOLD YOU TO MOVE OUT BECAUSE it is their ancestral domain supported by the government initialed MOA-AD.”

    A lot of the time I’d love to discuss an issue with someone whose views differ from mine.

    But this is getting too much.

    This line of argument is so bad for the MILF that any self respecting MILF sympathizer should be asking YOU which side are you really on!

    • justice league on August 7, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Dodong,

    “Say the MILF is knocking your door and TOLD YOU TO MOVE OUT BECAUSE it is their ancestral domain supported by the government initialed MOA-AD.”

    A lot of the time I’d love to discuss an issue with someone whose views differ from mine.

    But this is getting too much.

    This line of argument is so bad for the MILF that any self respecting MILF sympathizer should be asking YOU which side are you really on!

    • leytenian on August 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

    In addition to the Australian Prime Minister..

    This is basically the way Switzerland operates. After a minimum of 12 years of living in Switzerland, one can start the process of naturalization. The main requirements are: * You are integrated in the Swiss community. * You are accustomed to Swiss way of life and practices. * You comply with the Swiss legal system. * You in no way compromise the internal or external security of Switzerland.

    There was a story of a Turkish dentist who was denied Swiss citizenship. He applied after 18 years of practicing dentistry in the country. The reason for his denial was that he brought Turkish workers and material to construct his house in Switzerland. Not the Swiss way of doing things.

    Actually, this is the growing trend in western Europe. While in Amsterdam, one of the big stories was about a Muslim group upset that their building permit for a new mosque was denied. At the same meeting, a permit was issued for a new brothel. It speaks volumes especially since prostitution and pot are legal in Amsterdam and the Dutch society is very free and open.

    Now many groups want to halt “the Islamization” of European cities. Their reasons are that Muslims aren’t assimilating, don’t accept Western values and pose a threat to security.

    As it always happens, a few bad apples have to ruin it for everybody .

    It’s interesting…

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