Bangsmoro: No revolution, no peace in the Philippines
On the Bangsmoro negotiations: No revolution, no peace in the Philippines
It has been reported that a preliminary peace deal has been worked out between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Aquino regime in the Philippines. Several groups, including the Islamic Front, have been fighting against national oppression in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. There is a long history of violence by imperialists against Filipino masses as a whole, but Muslim communities have been specifically targeted at times. Muslim communities have not only suffered from imperialism, but also as minorities in the Philippines. President Benigno Aquino III, who represents the interests of imperialism, stated that “This framework agreement paves the way for final and enduring peace in Mindanao.”
The framework is a set of general principles for the creation of “Bangsamoro,” a new autonomous region in the Muslim region of the south Mindanao. The agreement discusses topics such as the power of the new autonomous region, revenues, borders, etc. Bangsamoro is suppose to replace the old Muslim autonomous region that was created in 1989. The previous autonomous region was only created after negotiations in Libya between Moro National Liberation Front, which the Islamic Front split from, and the regime. The old region did not solve the problems of national oppression and poverty there. Even Aquino described it as a “failed experiment.” It is uncertain that a new region will actually be created. The current agreement could end up as the last attempt, especially since imperialists and their comprador agents have an interest in denying the self-determination of oppressed peoples.
According to the framework, the Filipino state will continue to have exclusive power over defense and security, foreign and monetary policy in the new autonomous region. Aquino stated that the Muslims will receive an “equitable share of taxation, revenues, and the fruits of national patrimony … and equal protection of laws and access to impartial justice.” In exchange, the Islamic Front is to decommission its forces. Thus, according to the framework, key power retains in the hands of the imperialist-backed state. With this agreement, the Islamic Front assures that they no longer aim to secede from the country.
It is being reported that the Islamic Front has now “renounced terrorism” in the media. The United States welcomed the agreement. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stated that, “This agreement is a testament to the commitment of all sides for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the southern Philippines.”
The reality is that there is no peace between capitalism and the masses. South Mindanao is one of the most impoverished regions. The Philippines as a whole is dominated by imperialism, especially US imperialism. Poverty and underdevelopment of the Muslim regions will continue whether they have limited autonomy or not. National oppression will also continue. Even if the Muslims gain some concessions from the Aquino regime, they will still be under the jackboot of the imperialists as the rest of the Filipino masses are. “Without a people’s army, the people have nothing.” The Muslim masses should not lay down their weapons for a few empty promises or concessions from the imperialists and their puppets. Rather, the key to real self-determination lies in unity with the broader struggle of the Filipino masses against the imperialists and their agents. The imperialists have long used the tactic of divide and conquer. The key to victory of poor and oppressed peoples is unity in their common struggle against their principal enemy, imperialism. The masses of the Third World and their allies must unite under the leadership of the most advanced revolutionary science of Leading Light Communism to wage global people’s war.
1. Philippines, Muslim rebels agree on peace pact By EILEEN NG and JIM GOMEZ | Associated Press news.yahoo.com