Philippine Muslim rebels to take case to UN

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.  >>>>>

Top Philippine court rejects Muslim autonomy deal

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.

US Forces Join Combat Operations In Southern Philippines

September 28, 2008

An alliance of militant Filipino teachers opposed to the continued stay of US forces in the Philippines urged the Philippine Senate to investigate the involvement of the American military in combat operations in Mindanao.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers said the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement should investigate the US role in the operation that killed Abu Sayyaf leader Aldam Tilao, also known as Abu Sabaya.  >>>>>

MILF did not provoke military air strikes — CHR

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.

Fighting in southern Philippines kills 19 Muslim rebels: military

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.  >>>>>

Philippines set conditions for peace with Moro Muslims

September 24, 2008

After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement illegal on August 4, which caused the conflict to resume. During the ongoing clashes over Muslims were killed and over 250,000 were displaced. The displaced families are staying in tents pitched on marshlands and are trying to practice the fasting of Ramadan.  >>>>>

Ramadan Offensive: Philippine Military Planes Blast Small Boat, Kills 7 Civilians In Mindanao

September 8, 2008

President Gloria Arroyo has already scrapped the Muslim territorial deal that peace negotiators initially signed in July and disbanded the government team talking peace with the MILF because of the rebel attacks.

Arroyo insisted the rebels to lay down their arms before peace talks could resume, but the MILF flatly rejected this, saying, it should settle first the issue on the ancestral domain deal.

The rebels said it would not return to the negotiating table unless Manila honors it commitment to the accord that would grant about four million Muslims their own homeland in more than 700 villages across the troubled, but mineral-rich region on Mindanao.  >>>>>