October 15, 2008
He criticized President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s government for backing out of the deal after 11 years of negotiations, and said militants within the rebel ranks who are opposed to the peace process may stage fresh attacks.
“After long years, we came to a point that seemed to bolster what the anti-negotiation groups are saying: that the government could not be trusted,” Iqbal said. >>>>>
October 14, 2008
The Philippine Supreme Court threw out on Tuesday a proposed accord to grant minority Muslims expanded autonomy after Christian protests and renewed fighting convinced the government to abandon the deal. >>>>>
This renewed fighting is exactly what was wanted. To label them as Christian protests, instead of Philipino protests shows exactly the direction they are intending this to move toward – a war against Muslims. Philippines is a secular nation. But it is easy to pit each other against religious ideologies in order to safeguard the weak substance of a so-called Western-styled democracy. The U.S. actually has more to gain, contrary to what the article says, if there was conflict in the region. It tends to weaken Philippines own government’s disagreements and overall independence from the U.S., and naturally justifies having more a military, albeit advisor, presence in the Philippines.
Why is it that when Christian-populated East Timor wanted to separate from the democratically elected, majority-Muslim populated Indonesia, it was portrayed as something good in secular newspapers. When Muslim-populated Mindanao wants separation from majority-populated Catholic Philippines, it is not good. The same question can be raised about Chechnya, Palestine, Mauritania, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria and Egypt, amongst other nations — democracy is not factored in by those who champion democracy.
It’s is only used as a pep-rally cheer to bring forth the cause of the powerful. Yes, the powerful seek ‘democracy’, when it is usually a corruption of democratic values and rule of the fundamental laws that gave them the power to begin with.
If those Muslims in Mindanoa were carrying a red, white and blue banner, and had white skin, and carrying crosses and the Bible; then them seeking autonomy would be heard around the world as a legitimate cause….even if they yelled from the top of the lungs, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Since this isn’t the case, they are mere rebels who should not want autonomy.
September 27, 2008
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights’ initial investigation into the deaths of six civilians in an aerial attack by Philippine Air Force planes in Datu Piang, Maguindanao, last August 15 showed the attack was not provoked by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the commission’s head said Saturday.
This contradicted the military’s claim that the MILF fired at their plane, an SF-260, leading the plane’s pilot to fire back, killing the civilians. Earlier reports said helicopter gun ships were also involved in the attack. >>>>>
It seems that ‘democracies’ around the world have the greatest public-relations campaigns, post tragedies, than the opposing forces; and somehow effectively calm down attacks against them — while they inching away from culpability in the eyes of the masses. More disturbingly, it also allows the oppressors to further encroach, and “justifiably so.” The fact that the mainstream media helps them with this, by reporting less fact and more hype for the ‘official version’ makes them conspirators to these war crimes.
September 25, 2008
The attacks came after the Supreme Court suspended a draft agreement on August 4 that was intended to pave the way for a formal peace accord between the government and the rebel group.
Although the violence has led to a halt in the peace talks, President Gloria Arroyo said in her address to the United Nations earlier this week that she was committed to negotiations with the Muslim rebel group. >>>>>
September 6, 2008
But what interests have the USIP, the US military, and the other US government agencies been advancing? Analysts have advanced two possibilities. The US is now supporting moves toward the creation of a more autonomous – or even an independent – pro-US Bangsamoro state as a hedge against a more pro-China Philippines. Or the United States has only been manipulating the peace talks to deliberately foment and prolong conflict between Filipinos and Moros in order to justify its sustained intervention in Mindanao. Both assume common underlying geostrategic objectives: access to natural resources, including potential oil reserves, as well as military basing. >>>>>
September 5, 2008
President Arroyo this week scrapped the government panel handling the negotiations, a move analysts say ended any hopes of settling the four-decades-old Muslim insurgency before she leaves office in 2010.
They fear the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had been negotiating for a Muslim homeland on the revolt-hit southern Mindanao island, may now splinter into smaller and more radical groups. >>>>>
September 3, 2008
Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF’s chief peace negotiator, said Arroyo’s move signalled the government was preparing to intensify its military attacks to include the entire rebel force and not just the two commanders.
“I don’t want to imagine that happening, but the MILF is prepared for any offensive,” Iqbal told AFP. “We have to invoke our right to self defence.” >>>>>