Politics is a numbers game. The propaganda team and supporters of President Duterte keep on repeating that 16.6 million people voted for him for president. But that is NOT even a majority vote. Mr. Duterte got only 39.01% of the electoral votes. MORE people voted AGAINST him. Ex-President Aquino got a much bigger percentage — 42.08%– of the people’s votes. And he won on a bigger spread over his rival ex Pres. Estrada – 42.08% over 26.25% – as compared to Duterte’s win over Mar Roxas: 39.01% over 23.45%. The two presidents previous to Mr. Aquino also got more percentage votes than Mr. Duterte. Ex-President Arroyo got 39.99% and ex-Pres. Estrada got 39.86%. So what in the world is Mr. Duterte so proud of???!!!
And his peace and security policies? After only one year in office, he created a lot of havoc — tens of thousands killed and wounded and hundreds of thousands displaced. And of course, nothing can top the Rape of Marawi — the destruction of a city, billions of dollars worth of buildings and infrastructure destroyed, and billions of pesos looted by the soldiers from the houses of the residents of the city who were forced to leave their homes due to the proclamation of Martial Law, the orders of the provincial leaders and the threat of aerial bombing.
The economic numbers are not good, too.
And the value of the peso keeps on sliding down relative to the US dollar (the value of the US dollar keeps on going up):
Yet other Asian currencies are doing very well against the US dollar!
So who are those people saying that Philippine economy is doing great?! With the prices of goods and services going up due to the new tax regime, the poorer fans of Mr. Duterte might just abandon their idol if they can’t make both ends meet for their families.
Would you negotiate with a pushover? Yes, but only to get even more advantages. The Spaniards only negotiated with the Moro sultanates when they realized they couldn’t defeat them. The Americans signed treaties with the Sulu Sultanate when their hands were full with the Philippine revolution in Luzon. Afterwards, they massacred the people of Sulu in Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak, among others. During the Philippine Republic, the government dealt with Moro rebellions with an iron hand like in the Kamlon rebellion and the various massacres in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
It was only in 1976 when the MNLF were giving the Philippine Armed Forces a very rough time that the government sued for peace. It was the Philippines who begged for a peace agreement in 1976, which resulted in the Tripoli Agreement. But the diabolical Marcos reneged on the agreement on the excuse of “constitutional processes”.
With the expulsion of Marcos and the national enthusiasm for renewed peace and democracy in a new constitution, an Organic Act for an Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was created. But again, the craftiness of Filipino political leaders, with the collusion of the Supreme Court, the ARMM became a totally powerless and inutile institution. It is certainly not what the thousands of martyred Moros, and tens of thousands of mujahideens fought for and millions of Moros dreamed of.
In 1996, President Ramos wanted to have peace in Mindanao. With the help of USA and Libya’s Qaddafi, MNLF’s Nur Misuari was strong-armed to accept a “Final Peace Agreement”. Again, it was a dud.
Meanwhile the MILF gathered strength and showed its might once in a while. President Arroyo, in order to co-opt the MILF leaders, held long-term negotiations while supplying arms and materiel to the warlord Ampatuan, who was her leverage against the MILF.
The MOA-AD between Arroyo’s government and the MILF was turned down by the Filipino people, including the Supreme Court.
President Aquino followed Ms. Aquino’s tactics. He tied up the MILF to long-term negotiations only to have its BBL turned upside down by Congress/Senate and the Filipino people.
President Duterte, who claims to be pro-Moro, promised a BBL and two Moro federal states – one each for MNLF and MILF. But before all that, he bombed Marawi to kingdom come on the pretext that a couple hundred of Mranaos, mostly from the Maute clan, are actually ISIS fighters and had taken over the city.
The MNLF and MILF supported the Philippine government. Otherwise, they could lose the promised federal states. And the Moro political leaders all kowtowed to Mr. Duterte.
The Islamic City of Marawi was totally bombed out by military jets and howitzer cannons and tanks and what-not, including drones from dear old USA, supposedly an enemy of Mr. Duterte. And the houses were looted. The Rape of Marawi continued for months. And even after the government declared victory, the residents were not allowed to return. So many innocent civilians died at the hands of th military.
The government now plans to have its military occupy the city and dispossess further the residents of their lands by proclaiming most of the city as public domain.
Yet, in spite of all these, some Moros are still hoping that the government will give them a good, powerful BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) that would create an autonomous sub-state or even a federal state.
Now, how could the Moros or Muslim Filipinos or Muslims in the Philippines expect or hope that the Philippine government, Congress /Senate and the Christian Filipino people give them REAL autonomy or REAL sub-state status or REAL Federal state rights or a powerful BBL??
Why in the world will the Philippine government, Congress and the Christian Filipino people give them anything when they think (and because of the Rape of Marawi, they think they KNOW for sure) that they can just bomb the Moro cities and provinces into oblivion any time they want!!! And so-called Moro revolutionary groups and so-called Moro political leaders and their non-(critical) thinking supporters will even applaud them for it!!!
The Bangsa Moro revolutionary leaders, of what is left of them, have forgotten that one must negotiate out of strength, not out of weakness.
A UP Journalism student doing her thesis on the Marawi “Siege” interviewed me on my thoughts about it. (I use quotation marks because I am not sure who the media refers to as those doing the siege and those being besieged.)
Weeks after the personal interview, she emailed me additional questions. These are her emailed questions and my answers:
UP Journ Student: What are your thoughts on how media portrayed the events that transpired in Marawi? In your opinion, where do you think media lacked in covering these events? Why?
ME: The essence of journalism is VERIFICATION. On the very first day of the Crisis, the mass media interviewed the military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla and other military officers. They all said that there were no ISIS members in Mindanao or in the Philippines. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año himself assured everyone that Marawi was “under control” and that the Maute group numbered around 50 only. (Note: The CNN link -http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/05/24/marawi-crisis-timeline.html – has been updated and the quote from Gen. Año was deleted. Why?? See Changing Marawi Narratives for the quote.)
And just a few hours after the announcements of the generals, Duterte, who was in Russia, suddenly declared that ISIS was in the Philippines and he declared Martial Law all over Mindanao.
A responsible media would have grilled the generals who told all and sundry that there was no ISIS presence in the Philippines. Did the President know better than the generals? And later, when then Cong. Harry Roque was interviewed on TV, he said that just an hour or so before Duterte’s declaration, he was with all the military and intelligence advisers of Duterte and they all said that there was no ISIS in the Philippines and that everything was under control. Roque was also in Russia as part of Duterte’s entourage.
Accdg. to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, the Elements of Journalism, among others, are:
Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
Its first loyalty is to citizens.
Its essence is a discipline of verification.
Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
Re: Marawi coverage, all these elements of Journalism were/are missing. Although, I am not sure about the last one.
I saw an interview of George Cariño. He was interviewed on his experience in covering Marawi. He even cried. He said something which intrigued me. He said that they were not allowed to use some words or phrases in their coverage. What was that? Self-censorship? Is that related to last element above?
If what happened to Marawi were to happen in a Christian-populated city? Would the Philippine media do the same thing as they did in Marawi?
UP Journ Student: How does the news coverage of the Marawi siege affect the public’s perception on it? What do you think are the other issues that will be affected because of the media’s news coverage of the Marawi conflict? What do you think are the factors that affect the packaging of news?
ME: The public’s – esp. The Christian majority’s – knowledge of Marawi came / comes from the media. Their perception of the Rape of Marawi was seen through the spectacles of media. The narratives the public got were all crafted by the government and disseminated through the media.
FRAMING is one BIG factor that affects the packaging of news.
The framing is terribly skewed in favor of the government’s narrative.
CONTEXTUALIZING. The context is terribly WRONG. From the media’s narrative, the context is as follows:
Marawi and the residents of Marawi are just like any Filipino, with the same shared history. All of a sudden, a group who represents a foreign-based jihadist terrorist group called ISIS, appeared and took hostage a whole city. The residents fled, Duterte declared Martial Law and massive military forces came in to the rescue, like the cavalry of the old US of A. And the people of Marawi applauded and were/are ever thankful for the Philippine government and soldiers. (This is so nauseating to most Mranaos…)
The public does not know the REAL CONTEXT. Marawi and Mranaos are not of the ordinary Filipino variety. The Mranaos are part of the Bangsa Moro who have been fighting the Philippine Republic since 1970 – for 48 years!!! And they fought the Americans for more than 20 years and the Spaniards for 350 years.
Given a choice between the Philippine government and a Muslim group, the average Moro would choose the Muslim group.
The reason for the Jabidah Massacre in 1968 was that the young Moros recruited by the Philippine military refused to go to Sabah to fight their fellow Muslims. They chose to side with their fellow Muslims than with the Philippine government.
The Moros are not Filipinos, in many sense of the term.
And what is the CONTEXT of ISIS? And the Caliphate? (Note: All of a sudden, a group of Al-Qaeda supporters proclaimed themselves to be a worldwide Caliphate in 2014 and called itself, the Islamic State or ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah. The Caliphate is the government of the whole Muslim World or Ummah. The last Caliph was Abdulmecid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who was deposed by Kemal Attaturk in 1924. – editor).
ISIS means Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It doesn’t include Mindanao or Marawi. If it does, it would be ISMIS!!!
ISIS, esp. during the time of the Rape of Marawi, was being bombed out in Iraq and Syria. They couldn’t possibly have any care about Marawi, thousands of miles away. The Mranaos are not even Arabs.
And what is the Caliphate? There has been a Caliphate (Khilafa) movement in the Islamic world since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and with it, the last Caliph.
But not just any idiot can claim to be a Caliph, like not any idiot can claim to be the Pope or the King/Queen of the British Commonwealth (formerly, British Empire).
The Hashemite Kings of Jordan and Morocco would be the first in line to be the new Caliph, not idiots put up by the US CIA. And not any idiot can be declared an Emir or Prince of a province of the Caliphate. (Hapilon of Abu Sayyaf was supposed to be the Emir of Philippines or Southeast Asia, accdg. to the government. Hahahahahaha!!!!!!)
Several years ago, American and European intelligence agencies started rumors about Muslims wanting to establish the Caliphate. But they were demonizing the Caliphate.
I thought then that the Westerners must be soooo dumb. Didn’t they know anything about the Caliphate (khilafa) movement, which has been around since 1918 or thereabouts? Little did I know that they were laying the predicate for ISIS.
EQUALIZING. The Media equalizes the strength of 50 or so Maute supporters, mostly kids, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines – with heavy weaponry, dozens of tanks, armored vehicles, airplane bombers and thousands of troops plus drones from the Americans.
SANITIZING. There were many reports of civilian deaths, but none were focused on by the media. And there was MASSIVE LOOTING but hardly any reports by the media.
UP Journ Student: In your opinion, what issues do you think the media should prioritize and should cover more during their coverage? Why?
ME: HUMAN RIGHTS is a foremost issue. Right now, there should be focus on REPARATIONS — the Mranaos should be paid for the damage brought to their homes and properties.
MILITARIZATION – It looks like the government is intent on building more military camps in Marawi and thus become an Occupying power.
LAND GRABBING. The government seems intent on stealing Moro lands, again.
The Americans, and later, the Philippine government, delcared ALL MORO LANDS as PUBLIC DOMAIN. And since titling of Lands is not customary among Mranaos, most lands in Lanao are not titled. The government wants to steal them all over again.
And what is the QUID PRO QUO with the MILF and MNLF? The fact that MILF and MNLF supported the government means that they already made a deal with them. Why is the MEDIA mum on that? Whatever the deal is with both groups must have a great impact on the whole country.
UP Journ Student: What should be the media’s role in the conflict? What are the ways the media can do to live up to its role?
ME: The Philippine Media personnel, esp. the journalists, should adhere to the Elements of Journalism as espoused by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. (see ther first answer)
Later, I emailed her one more point. I wrote:
“When ISIS hq abroad claimed that the lone gunman in the Resorts World casino shooting was their member, the media ignored the claim.
Yet the same media immediately believed the president when he declared that ISIS was in Marawi with no evidence and contrary to the assertions of AFP generals who, just a few hours earlier than Duterte’s allegation, assured the public on national media that there were no ISIS in the Philippines.
————– end of Question and Answers —————–
I would like to add more points.
In Marawi, a report that about 50 supporters – untrained civilians, mostly kids – of the Maute family, allegedly linked to ISIS, were roaming around Marawi City, was enough for the President to order the immediate evacuation of Marawi City and to declare Martial Law all over Mindanao and then to bring the might of the Armed Forces of the Philippines plus American drones and advisers to bomb the Islamic City of Marawi (or parts thereof) to kingdom come!
During the Cory Aquino administration, a group of highly-trained military troops headed by Col. Honasan, took over the Ayala Avenue area of Makati. The Cory Aquino government did not declare Martial Law or mercilessly bombed the highly urbanized Makati business district.
MARTIAL LAW DECLARATION
The Philippine Constitution states: “In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”
In May last year, when Martial Law was declared, there was NEITHER INVASION NOR REBELLION in Mindanao. According to military officers — the AFP Chief of Staff no less and the AFP spokesman — there were only about 50 MAUTE clan members in Marawi and NO ISIS presence in Marawi, Mindanao or the Philippines.
Only idiots and morons and occupying powers (who think Moros are their enemies and need to be subjected to their powers) can justify the declaration of Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao!
The fact that Congress and the Supreme Court believe that there should be Martial Law in Mindanao (forever, if needed) only means that the Christian majority are playing along with the government. While there is Martial Law officially all over Mindanao, everything is business-as-usual in Christian-dominated provinces. Martial Law is just in full effect in Muslim-dominated provinces, esp. Lanao del Sur, incl. Marawi City.
MARAWI EVACUATION DUE TO EXPECTED BOMBING
The primary cause for the evacuation of Marawi was not the people’s fear of the Maute clan. Most Mranao families are well-armed. They are not afraid of just one armed family or clan. But they are afraid of being bombed by government forces.
Just a few months previous to the Rape of Marawi, the government bombed Butig, the stronghold of the Mautes. The residents of Marawi were afraid of government bombs, not Maute guns. In fact, about a few hours before the declaration of Martial Law, one Mranao woman was interviewed via phone by Karen Davila. The woman pleaded to the military, through the news program, not to bomb Marawi. She said that they did not want to suffer the same fate as the people of Butig.
And what forced the residents to flee was the declaration of Martial Law. With Martial Law, the local elected officials would be powerless. The military would reign supreme. And the Mranaos, like most Moros, do not love the Philippine military.
And if a Marawi resident was still not convinced to evacuate, the order by the Office of the Governor/Vice Governor to leave made the reluctant Marawi resident no choice.
The Marawi evacuation was the most important ingredient in the Rape of Marawi. The bombing of Marawi would not cause a lot of deaths. There would be no genocide to complain of. Apparently, the world could not care less about destruction of buildings, houses and mosques and roads and bridges. The massive looting by the soldiers and the unnecessary killings of some civilians on the side could easily be overlooked by the world’s media, who would focus on the government’s meta-narrative.
Jamal Ashley Abbas is a Media Studies specialist, writer and Professorial Lecturer at FEU and FEATI University, teaching Communication and Media Studies.
As expected, the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, as well as world leaders like American President Donald Trump, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were silent on the just concluded Rape of Marawi as well as the genocide of Rohingyas and the Extrajudicial Killings in Manila and nearby provinces.
Marawi City was ravaged by the Philippine government for more than 6 months with heavy aerial bombings and tank and artillery attacks. The city’s buildings, houses, and mosques were totally destroyed. And the houses and buildings were looted. And many civilians were killed.
On May 23, 2017, the government of President Duterte declared Martial Law in Marawi and the whole island of Mindanao. Duterte, with the collusion of the political leaders of Marawi and the governor and vice governor of Lanao del Sur, demanded that the city dwellers leave their city for other places. An exodus was immediately organized.
The reason for the evacuation of the whole city and the declaration of Martial Law was the presence of some 50 armed people of the Maute clan claiming to be ISIS soldiers.
After the evacuation of the city, the military still did not enter Marawi. Instead, they gave the Maute supporters time to deploy themselves all over the city, choosing the choicest spots for snipers. After 3 days or so, the government entered Marawi with hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles and thousands of soldiers. And the bombings started. Every day. For six months.
The media, local and foreign, dubbed the Rape of Marawi as the “Marawi Siege”, with the Maute family and supporters doing the siege. The Cambridge dictionary online defines siege as “the surrounding of a place by an armed force in order to defeat those defending it.”
The Philippine Armed Forces surrounded Marawi City and the ones defending their positions inside the city were the Maute family and their supporters. But the media made it appear that the Mautes were the ones doing the siege.
And now, with the “war” officially over, the government and the military still control Marawi. Marawi is now a garrison city. The government announced a team composed of Christian Filipino officials to “rehabilitate” Marawi. Reportedly, there are plans to put a large military base in the city.
President Duterte proclaimed the end of the war on Oct. 17, but up to today, most residents of Marawi are still not allowed to return to their homes. Everything is under the control of the military. Residents’ movements are controlled and they all must present IDs.
Martial Law is still in place and it is expected that it will continue to be in place, esp. in Marawi City.
The supposed representatives of the Bangsa Moro, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are totally quiet. Both groups’ leaders expect themselves to be made rulers of two Moro federal states that will be created by President Duterte. The MILF is predominantly Maguindanaon while MNLF is predominantly TauSug. Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province are inhabited by the Mranaos, a distinct nation of more than a million people with a history and culture quite different from other Moro groups
FILIPINO SOLDIERS NOT HEROES
Contrary to government propaganda, the Filipino soldiers who destroyed and looted Marawi, aside from killing civilians, are not heroes. The Mranaos themselves could have easily fought off the Maute family – without destroying the city. In fact, Mranao top government officials supposedly told President Duterte that the Mranaos can handle the Mautes themselves, but Duterte insisted on letting his military do it.
The Mranaw and Moro political leaders are partly to blame. They somehow lost their balls.
As one Facebook Page admin wrote: “Marawi did not fall before the might of the Spanish Empire. But it fell before the tanks and aerial bombings of the Philippine government (with the help of US drones and military advisers) playing war games with a ragtag “army” of Moro fundamentalists belonging to one clan, while Marawi inhabitants evacuated to nearby places, abandoning their homes and territory and thus losing soooo much more..”
Hopefully, the Mranaos and the rest of the Bangsa Moro have learned their lessons. First, never trust the Philippine government. Second, never trust the so-called representatives of the Bangsa Moro to the Peace Talks, the MILF and the MNLF. They are there for their vested interests. Third, a handful of Mranaos, including a lot of children, can take on the full might of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for 6 months. There’s no telling what an organized Mranao army, or even a Bangsa Moro army can do.
The Rape of Marawi is a game changer. The Mranaos have a long memory. This will never be forgotten.
Sultan Abbas told EU officials: “There must be something wrong” on the Peace Process
MANILA, October 17 — Sultan Firdausi Ismail Yahya Abbas, Sultan of Lanao and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Bangsa Mranaw Congress (BMC) met last October 13, 2017 with officials of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium headed by Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, after meeting the President of the State Parliament of Landstag in Dusseldorf, Germany and visiting the Bundestag, the upper chamber of the German Parliament the week before.
Sultan Abbas, who is the Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed the MNLF delegation.
He told the EU officials that despite the millions of Euros poured by them and after several years, the peace process is still ongoing and the conflict in Mindanao is still unresolved. “There must be something wrong,” Sultan Abbas told the EU.
He also told them about the tragedy in Marawi and lamented that not a single European Union country expressed sympathy or concern.
The tragedy, Abbas said, is not a political or governmental issue but a human concern – concern for more than 300,000 individuals rendered homeless, 20,000 in shelters in public schools and gymnasiums, 180,000 living outside the shelters without medical checkup, that 2 of every 10 have been diagnosed to have cholera, that so many have been diagnosed to have mental ailments, that 258 children have died, that 58 have died while in the shelter, that so many have been murdered, the homes looted and Marawi City reduced to a pile of ashes by the mortar shells from the howitzers and bombs dropped by the jet planes.
Abbas also condemned the USA, China, and Australia for offering to send troops to Marawi which Abbas called intervention and lambasted these countries “for their shameless adventurism and irresponsible and contemptible actuations which would be a magnet for foreign fighters to fight and create another Beirut in Asia.” When they will begin to send their soldiers home in bags then they will know how Mranaws fight as they fought the Americans before who had to invent the Cal. 45 to stop an attacking Mranaw which did not work, Abbas said.
Director Gunnar thanked Sultan Abbas for his honest, direct and very vivid presentation. That same day the EU officials met and decided to visit Marawi this January though some wanted to go next month and may give financial assistance according to one of the officials.
A renowned brilliant lawyer, a Senior Professorial Lecturer at the Graduate School in U.P. Diliman, being a Ph. D. holder and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society aside from his traditional title and leadership among the MNLF as well as being a Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Sultan Abbas commands tremendous respect from the Bangsa Moro.
The BMC, he said, will assist the EU officials when they come. He said that as Chairman, he will convene the 2nd BMC but the other officers of the BMC shall be determined in the elections which will be held. Presently he is the only active officer. The other officers he said will be elected pursuant to the Constitution and By-Laws which the BMC will pass and approve. Only the participants in the first Congress who will be issued IDs can vote.
Sultan Abbas will proceed to the Hague at the Netherlands which is the venue of the International Criminal Court. (MNY/RSP)
The American colonials still kept hoping that there would be peace in America. But Delegate Patrick Henry knew that the British masters would never give the colonials freedom. In the Second Virginia Convention on March 20, 1775, Mr. Patrick Henry delivered this immortal speech:
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary.
But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year?
Will it be when we are totally disarmed,
and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?
Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance,
by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope,
until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means
which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty,
and in such a country as that which we possess,
are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations;
and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
Besides, sir, we have no election.
If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest.
There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged!
Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
The war is inevitable²and let it come!
I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace.
The war is actually begun!
The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
Our brethren are already in the field!
Why stand we here idle?
What is it that gentlemen wish?
What would they have?
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take;
but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death!
With the utter destruction of Marawi City, the proposed further extension of Martial Law, the calling up of Filipino reservists to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the exile of police scalawags to Marawi, the issuance of IDs for Muslims only in Central Luzon and the proposed Muslim IDs all over the Philippines, then perhaps the Muslims / Moros of the Philippines should read this speech by Patrick Henry and be inspired by him. Before it’s too late.
The Moros must now really think things over. Minorities decay exponentially. Their number is being reduced by the day — not only by killings but by poverty. And some members of the younger generation are being integrated into the Indio-Filipino lifestyle and moral values. Some of them have forgotten or have lost their heritage and cultural values.
They, the Bangsa Moro, should listen well to the words of Patrick Henry:
“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary.
But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year?
Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and
when a British guard (read: Indio-Filipino) shall be stationed in every house?”
That is exactly what is going on in Marawi. In the land of our forefathers, the Indios reign supreme. They ask for IDs, they frisk and grope our bodies looking for weapons. They enter our homes, loot our properties, … all in the name of protecting the country from Terrorists!
Many of our leaders are quiet and still praying for Peace.
“Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?
Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance,
by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope,
until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?”
America is back in Mindanao – right smack in the middle of a war against a Mranao family, the Mautes and the full force of the Philippine Armed forces. Ostensibly, the Americans are providing intelligence and surveillance planes.
Today, July 4, 2017, we should reflect back on July 4, 1946 when America gave Moroland — the Pat a Pangampong ko Ranao, the Sultanate of Maguidanao, the Rajahnate of Buayan and the Sultanate of Sulu — to the Indios-Filipinos in a newly created Republic of the Philippines.
As a consequence of that action, England immediately proclaimed Sabah, which was a territory of the Sulu Sultanate, into a Crown Colony and later gave Sabah to Malaya which became Malaysia.
England gave back Hong Kong to China in 1997 after 150 years of possession and Portugal gave back Macau to China in 1999 after around 450 years occupancy. America can still give back Moroland to its real owners — the Bangsa Moro. America can still undo what it had done on July 4, 1946 – only some 71 years ago…
In 2002, one hundred years after the official end of the Filipino-American war and the beginning of the Moro-American war, I wrote an editorial in my online journal, The Moro Review. In 2008, at the height of the MOA-AD brouhaha – when a great majority of the Indios clamored for the scrapping of the MOA-AD – there were accusations that the American government was pressuring the Philippine government to sign the agreement.
Now, in 2015, history seems to be repeating itself. In lieu of the the MOA-AD, the Noynoy Aquino government forged a new agreement with the MILF. While almost the same as the MOA-AD, the newly-elected Aquino was seemingly able to convince the majority of the Indio-Filipinos to support the new agreement. But the Filipinos were just biding their time and when the opportune time came (the Mamasapano incident), there was a hue and cry against the proposed Bangsamoro…
The President has such an idiotic Maute/ISIS narrative. In the first place, nobody let the Mautes in Lanao. They live there. They are real Maranaos not like the President who claims to be a Maranao, too.
Most Moros do not love the Philippines. They have been living under endless tyranny, as one popular book on Moros has for its title. To have an ideology that is pro-Islam and anti-Filipino nationhood is quite common in Mindanao. MILF and MNLF are both pro-Islam and anti-Filipino nationhood, just like the Abu Sayyaf Group, if they have any ideology at all.
How and why the Mautes managed to get a lot of arms and ammunition, without the strict military knowing them is another question. Most probably, he bought those ammo from the military. Didn’t the Oakwood putsch leaders said that the military was selling arms to the Moro groups?
Why did the Mautes need to arm themselves? Could it be because they have personal quarrel with the soldiers in Marawi? It is not easy to have quarrel with soldiers. They had to protect themselves.
Are they ISIS? They want to be. They probably applied, in order to protect themselves from the soldiers. But even during the first day of this Crisis, the military spokesman kept on repeating that there was no ISIS in Mindanao and everything was UNDER CONTROL.
Atty, now Congressman, Harry Roque said in a TV interview, that he was in Russia with the Philippine team when the Marawi Crisis happened. He was in a bar or restaurant with all the Military / Intelligence team of the President before the President had an emergency meeting with them. Cong. Roque said that all these military/intelligence top officials affirmed that there was NO ISIS in the Philippines, and everything was UNDER CONTROL. After the President’s meeting with them, Duterte declared that ISIS attacked Marawi. He then declared Martial Law.
Did the President have information unknown to the top brass of the military and intelligence corps?
With the Martial Law declaration, the Marawi and Lanao provincial officials became inutile, They were powerless. Even if they could fight off the Maute, as one Marawi official claimed, they could not do so because the military might fire on them.
The people of Marawi, fearing that aerial strikes like the one in Butig might be done in Marawi, they ran for lives lives — evacuated Marawi. The Maranaos did not know that they fell right into the Evil Plan of the government.
A group of a dozen or so snipers can very well hold a territory for days on end, esp. if they know the territory much better than the enemy.
And sacrificing its own soldiers, the Philippine government reduced Marawi City to smithereens.
They put up narratives after narratives. The Abu Sayyaf Group led by Hapilon, the old friend of the military, was supposed to have formed an alliance with the Maute family to form ISIS, with Hapilon as the “Amir”.
There’s even a video of Hapilon and the Mautes discussing their plan to attack Marawi. The video was good enough to be a scene from a Pinoy telenovela. But only idiots will believe that terrorists will record on video their plans to attack a city. And of course, that video should be easily discoverable by the military.
And what happened to the old friend of the military, Kumander Hapilon? He was supposed to have left Marawi, and then returned to Marawi. How could he do that when Marawi was and still is under siege by the military? And where is he now?
Oh by the way, by all news accounts on the first day of this crisis, there were just around 50 Maute members in Marawi. Now, there are hundreds of them. Pretty soon, there will be thousands and thousands of them.
Oh, by the way, Mr. Duterte said that he and the Presidential Security Guard saw a group of his relatives on their way to Marawi to help the Mautes. THEY WERE NOT ARRESTED! They even talked to their relative, Mr. President himself!
So, what narrative was that then? Is the President creating the narrative that there are more people coming to Marawi to help the Mautes? But wait, they can only enter Marawi with the consent/ help of the military! Even Marawi officials themselves could not enter Marawi!
The MILF and the Abu Sayyaf had attacked the military before, killed a lot of soldiers, some were even beheaded. But no Moro city was destroyed.
At the start of this Crisis, no one was killed except for one of the Mautes, as claimed by the military. The military through their spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, claimed that they started the conflict with their attempt to arrest Hapilion. The AFP claimed that the Maute gang’s activity was just a “diversion” to distract the military operation against Hapilon. AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Año said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines was “in full control of Marawi, adding there are less than 50 Maute members scattered in the city” (from CNN Philippines). (Note: Looks like the page from CNN Philippines has been updated and the quote was removed, probably to agree more with the Philippine government/media narrative. – Editor)
THERE WAS NO LOGICAL REASON TO DESTROY A CITY. There was even no reason to declare Martial Law. A group of 50 thugs, even with high-powered guns, could not be considered rebellion. The Philippines already recognize two legitimate Moro rebel groups, the MNLF and MILF and one Communist rebel group, the CPP/NDF/NPA. And then there’s the kidnap-for-ransom gang, CIA/AFP-created Abu Sayyaf Group. Why didn’t the Philippine government declared Martial Law when these rebels attacked?
The FAULT IN THE DESTRUCTION OF MARAWI LIES SOLELY ON DUTERTE AND HIS GOVERNMENT.