Peace Process In Mindanao


Bishop Donald Blog


Posted on September 12, 2011 by 

Bishops and priests from Kidapawan, Marbel and Cotabato met at Water Gran, Bawing,GeneralSantosCityon 5-6 September 2011.

Bishop Romulo de la Cruz (Kidapawan), Bp. Dinualdo Gutierrez (Marbel) and Bp. Colin Bagaforo (Cotabato).  Priests: Marbel – 40; Cotabato – 22; Kidapawan – 10.  The Deacon is from Marbel.

Theme: “Legal and Political Perspectives of the Sub-state in the Light of the Peace Process in Mindanao”.


September 5:  Biking/basketball, Vespers, socialization.

September 6:  Morning Praise, lectures, small group sharing, mass.

1st Talk: “The Mindanao Challenge”, Dr. Mario “Mayong” Joyo Aguja, Faculty of Sociology, MSU – GSC.

It is important to know past events to help solve the problems of the present.

Mindanaois a land of three peoples with different cultures and traditions, history and land – relations: the Lumads, the Moros and the Christian settlers.

They have different perspective on the land.  For the Moro, land is a symbol of powers.  It was where the power of sultanate could be found.  Thus, they always want to reclaim the land that belongs to the glorious days of the Sulu and Maguindanao Sultanates.

For the Christian settlers, land was the solution to the agrarian problem inLuzon.  Visayas followed.  Instead of resolving the problem of agrarian unrest, the Commonwealth government told the people to go toMindanao.  Thus, big migrations fromLuzon and Visayas.

For the Lumads, land is where the spirits of their ancestors dwell.  It is their ancestral land.

All three groups are victims of the colonial and post-colonial governments.

Mindanao: Land of contradictions

  • Land of plenty; plenty of poor people (ARMM and CARAGA).
  • Land of the Lords: political lords, landlords, warlords, drug lords
  • Land of the sick: physically, mentally.

A land of unfulfilled promises, massive poverty, collapse of education: many are not capable of active citizenships in ARMM and they have the competence of a grade three pupil.  Could hardly distinguish between right from wrong.  Abandoned for so long by government.

Back to the facts of History


In 1570 (Legaspi’s arrival in 1565) there was no Philippine Island, onlyMindanao.  No Moros nor Christians, all lumads.

Moro People:

1380                –  Islam arrived in Tawi-tawi.

1450                –  Emergence of the Sultanate of Sulu.

1515                –  Islam came to Maguindanao.

1619                –  Rise of the Sultanate of Maguindanao.

1898                –  Two sultanates were still existing.

Filipino Peoples:

1521                –  Magellan planted Christianity in the Visayas.

1565                – Philippineswas occupied by Legaspi.

1880-1895       –  Propaganda period/birth of a Filipino Nation.

1898                –  NationalIndependence.


1)      Two autonomous regions: Mareos’ time

2)      One autonomous region: Cory’s time

3)      One expanded autonomous region with SPCPD – Ramos’ time.

4)      MOA-AD – Arroyo’s time.  Aborted.  Against constitution.

5)      Sub-state – P.Noy’s time, demanded by MILF.

3 for 1 – Counter proposal of GPH:

(1)  massive economic development.

(2)  political settlement with the MILF.

(3)  cultural, historical acknowledgement.


We, the public, do not know the CONTENTS/SPECIFICS of this Sub-state.  The MILF says it is not independence; but genuine autonomy.

Second Talk: “Legal Perspective of the Sub-state”.  Atty.  Elpidio Peria.

Current Negotiation: 11 Points

1)      MILF.  Exhaustion of all democratic remedies to solve a home grown sovereignty based conflict.

1.  GPH – 3 for 1 for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

Comment: Both could be reconciled.

2)      MILF – correct imbalance of totality of relationship.

2.  GPH – 3 for 1 is founded on partnership.

Comment:  Reconcilable.

3)      MILF – Modest recognition and justice inMindanao, the ancestral homeland of the unconquered Moros.

3.  GPH – 3 for 1 is politically comprehensive.

Comment:  Let’s talk about social justice.

4)      MILF – Modest share in the remaining 7-9% of the lands.

4.  GPH – What is doable within the next few years.

Comment: How many years?

5)      MILF – Balances state’s sovereignty and people’s right to self-determination.

5.  GPH – Form of government for effective governance.

Comment: Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination may not be acceptable to MILF.

6)      MILF – Asymmetrical state-substate relationships.

GPH – Extent of the legal and political powers of President.

Comment:  MILF’s rejection of GPH draft: 3 for 1.

7)      MILF – separate national identity as Bangsamoro.

GPH – recognizes also the Bangsamoro’s identity.

8)      MILF – ties  with central government  intact.

GPH – System of cooperation to ensure sustainability.

Comment:  Is central same as national?

9)      MILF – People participate in running their affairs.

GPH – 3 for 1: process of normalization, restorative justice.

Comment: Congruence.

10)  MILF – Participation of international third party.

GPH – Genuine public consensus needed.

Comment: Complementary.

11)  MILF – Win-win formula (i.e., substate)

GPH – 3 for 1 –aims to retell true historical narratives.

Comment: Apparently, both are optimistic.


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