The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has
consistently supported the Moro people's right to self-determination. This ranges from the right to regional autonomy in a nonoppressive
state to the right to secede from the oppressive state that exists in
the Philippines. Even an individual who finds himself or herself
oppressed by a state has the right to separate from it.
In a manner of speaking, the Filipino people and revolutionary forces
within the framework of the NDFP and the growing revolutionary organs
of political power have seceded or separated themselves from the
oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal state system that is ruled by
the comprador big bourgeoisie and landlord class and are striving to
build the new people's democratic state system that is based on the
alliance of the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the middle
When I read the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was supposed to be
signed by representatives of the MILF and the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in Malaysia on August 5, 2008, I
thought immediately that the contents which appeared to recognize and
concretize the Bangsamoro's right to self-determination and ancestral
domain were too good and too generous to be true. The MOA was so
contrary to the greedy and brutal character of the GRP, whose
presumptions and actuations I have long known in the course of
revolutionary struggle and the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
It was almost predictable that the signing of the MOA would be
aborted. The public release of the draft only a few days before the
date of signing was clearly meant to stir up a controversy big enough
to cause the abortion. Had the Arroyo regime really meant to push
through the MOA, it should have worked it out with the MILF and other
interested parties at the latest within the first half of the year or
even late last year. But the MOA was never meant to be, either to be
signed or to be realized, as GRP officials would reveal.
Top subalterns of the fake and mendacious president such as Ermita,
Esperon and Dureza declared that the MOA was just a piece of paper,
subject to existing GRP laws, further legislation and constitutional
amendment. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. , whom they had consulted all
along, also confirmed that the MOA was nothing more than a piece of
paper, despite the regime's rather expensive much ado about it.
The patriotic and progressive forces and the people are reasonably
concerned that the MOA had been devised by the untrustworthy and
sneaky Arroyo as a way for pushing a charter change to allow her to
stay in power beyond 2010, without really having to give substantial
concessions to the MILF. But they must look further into the
obnoxious joint objectives of the US government (together with the
Japanese and Australian governments) and the Arroyo regime in seeming
to be for the MOA and making the MILF believe that the GRP was serious
about signing this.
Under the direction of the US State Department, the US Institute of
Peace has been busy in carrying out the Philippine Facilitation
Project since 2003 in order to help produce something like the MOA.
It is obvious that the US has been out to sidle up to and ingratiate
itself with the MILF and the Bangsamoro in order to further strengthen
its position in exploiting the human and natural resources of the
Bangsamoro and deploying US military forces in Mindanao.
At this point, the question is: With the signing aborted, is the MOA
still useful to the major parties directly involved in drafting or
facilitating it? The MILF can continue to use the MOA as a standard
or minimum basis for negotiating with the GRP. The GRP or the Arroyo
regime can also use the same thing for putting off serious formal
negotiations with the MILF and for hyping the need for charter change. Unilaterally or in cahoots with the GRP, the US can use the high
expectations raised by the MOA among the MILF and Bangsamoros to
justify US military presence and advance US hegemony in Mindanao.
Certainly, such expectations can never be realised through the
kindness of the US and the GRP and without the persevering struggle of
the Moro people. The GRP and its imperialist masters are merely using
the MOA as a device of pretended generosity to MILF in order to seize
the propaganda initiative, to prolong GRP-MILF informal talks and
ceasefire and to deploy larger US and Philippine military forces
against the MILF and the Bangsamoro.
The pretense at generosity is full of malice. It is calculated to outwit and outflank the MILF and the Bangsamoro and to facilitate
frontal military attacks against them. They are being left no choice
but to wage revolutionary struggle in order to advance their cause of
national self-determination. There is a heightened need for the
unity, cooperation of the MILF and the NDFP in their distinct and
common concerns and causes against the same adversaries.