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Betrayal of the Filipino People (Part 2) by Antonio ‘Butch’ Valdes

Betrayal of the Filipino People (Part 2) by Antonio ‘Butch’ Valdes

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THAT DOES IT by Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) August 31, 2008
Originally published online and on print at The Freeman, Korina Sanchez’s THAT DOES IT column on August 31, 2008.

Betrayal of the Filipino People (Part 2) By Antonio ‘Butch’ Valdes
THAT DOES IT By Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) Updated August 31, 2008

This is the second part of a series of articles of Antonio ‘Butch’ Valdes on the controversial and, now, temporarily shelved Memorandum of Agreement between the Philippine Government and the MILF. I invited Mr.Valdes to write about what has been presented by different other groups and individuals who are like-minded about his theories. I believe in being open to ideas out-of-the-proverbial-box. As I wrote in my last introduction to this series of articles, listening to whatever anyone has to say on anything is how we, journalists, often get to the truth.
As I recall, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as a representative organization of the Muslim population in Mindanao, although founded by Hashim Salamat in 1977, was not officially recognized until 1987 by the Aquino administration and subsequently President Fidel Ramos.
What seemed apparent was that it was the leadership then, which helped support and endorse the larger, yet less militant organization, to counter and marginalize the belligerent and ideological MNLF led by Nur Misuari. Since the time of President Marcos, only the MNLF was recognized by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), as that which represents the Muslim population in Mindanao. The war which ensued at that time resulted in Misuari’s going on voluntary exile but gaining support from the OIC, more specifically, Libya’s Gaddafi.
Having won the battle of Jolo and neighboring islands, Marcos sent his special envoy, Imelda to Libya which resulted in the Tripoli Agreement in December, 1976; an agreement paving the way for an autonomous Muslim region. Not wanting to be left out, the MILF was rather hastily organized by rival Muslim factions so its leaders may also benefit from the agreement. Upon the overthrow of Marcos, it became obvious that the pursuance of the Tripoli Agreement was not the subsequent government’s intention…which led to the official recognition of the MILF. Furthermore, with the strong lobby and support by the Aquino/Ramos regime, the MILF soon gained recognition status with the OIC.
Although in hindsight, one can make a case about the strategic errors made by Ramos and advisers, it is useful to know the conditions which may have led us to this complex problem. Moreover, its even more useful to compare the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement with the recent MOA, to give us an appreciation of the difference between an “Autonomous Region,” as it should be, and the “Bangsamoro Juridical Identity,” as it should not be.
The Central Government’s role, through the President of the Republic is to uphold the integrity of our Nation-State. This is both explicit and inherent in the Oath of Office of the President. To willfully and surreptitiously create the conditions of enmity, and chaos, among the Filipino people, for whatever end and personal preference, can never be justified. It is a betrayal of all the people, and an attack on the sovereignty of Republic of the Philippines. It is our right, it is our duty, to stop anyone who abuses the implicit trust granted to them by virtue of the office they hold.
(To be concluded) Part 1 Part 3

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