The Moro Wars: Stateless children and refugees, the collateral damage

By AMINULLAH ALONTO LUCMAN

Last of 2 Parts

The late Ahmad Domocao “Domie” A. Alonto, right, was a Muslim-Filipino lawyer, educator, author, traditional leader, and Islamic figure from Lanao del Sur. He served as a Senator of the Philippines. He was instrument for seeking help from the Musim world for the Muslim struggle in the Philippines. (Supplied)

Unknown to many, Sen Domocao Ahmad Alonto also had rapprochement with most Southeast Asian Muslim leaders beginning with the Bandung Conference in the 50s with the late charismatic Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. In as frequently, had befriended quite a number including rising star Tengku Abdulrahman of Malaysia. Their interlude had pedigree of exchanges, close advisories advise about mostly how to get out of the colonial tie wire.

The Malaysian prince was a bit keen on the Indonesian armed struggle. My uncle Senator Alonto however, would as always insist on the Philippine experience peacefully pursuing goals of freedom, independence from colonial rule.

My father was Rashid Lucman, he was congressman in the Philippine legislature’s 6th congress in 1968, once a US war vet during World War ll whom had to choose which one, my mother to marry, Princess Tarhata, and or his military career in the US military. He chose my mmother.

I am not at all too sure in all honesty whenever people of my flock in revering his (my father’s) exploits as leader they tend calling him father of the “Bangsamoro revolution”.

You see, let me take the depth, the abyss by which honestly say deeply for me personally, of such a moniker. To me, the ‘Bangsamoro’ equation does not exist; it is never rooted in the senseless carnage Muslims endured during all the decades warring beginning with the Corregidor massacre incident in 1968. 

This said, what it suggest says in the nature of things; I am therefore of the purview that a non existent problem does not require, aspire as solutions. So there cannot be such a Bangsamoro solution to end the decades Mindanao war.

Instead we are now seeing a transmuted problem requiring greater resolve; and this is the dreary global war on terror. The Marawi siege in May 2017 by ISIS is transformation of such conflicts; a metamorphose of the territorial grab, not Islamic radicalism.

But was the moniker ever the trigger to the rebellion of the Muslims? 

Or proactively ask, can the trigger to unceasing warring in Mindanao be the surreptitious Sabah annexation, if rightly so, can this issue be called a Muslim rebellion, or yet, a Bangsamoro problem?

According to international jurists familiar with the Mindanao war, it is a war crime issue, an international incident; thus should be an arbitrary domain of the international community, or the UN.

Henceforth, premises considered, it is a war crime of magnitude, an act of war. This cannot be a Bangsamoro problem to require a Bangsamoro solution.

Come of it, if the Bangsamoro equation were to be the solution, rebellion could have ended when in 1996, the final peace agreement inked between FVR and Prof Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) would have concluded war, but it did not. Instead it splintered in two, the MNLF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The present day Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), gov’t in agreement with MILF splintered further in as many, Mindanao war even aggravating to induct part of the global war on terror with the Middle East based ISIS terrorists’ organization supporting insurgents such as Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Maute etc, the siege of Marawi City in May 2017 is primeval to this claim, ISIS siege of Marawi itself is Southeast Asia’s 9/11.

The Bangsamoro solution failed because this was never a Bangsamoro problem; the moniker by and large, was and is never part of the centuries ‘Moro Wars’. 

To top it, the Mindanao war is very unfortunately a state sponsored fracas, it violated local and international laws. Treason from any which way to assess says treachery may have been committed, hence is a war crime issue, not a Bangsamoro problem.

Imagine this; the Malaysian foreign minister swaggering over the fracas of things of Sabah and Filipino counterpart hornswoggle slipping from their wily thoughts the Moro people suffering decades of war, grossly impoverished in untold pain because of the unending war, and hosts of refugees in Sabah from the Moro communities since 1974, a sore point in Malaysia Philippine relationship. 600,000 refugee people and lost ‘stateless children’ all because of of the Sabah dispute.

This issue should go straight to the UN Security Council and the ICC at The Hague for posterity.

In fact, Spain, the United States Japan and UK, Malaysia being a British Commonwealth member, the rest having had some measures of interaction in war and peace with the beleaguered Muslims in Mindanao should sponsor hosting talks end our war in Mindanao with the UN Security Council, starting with settling of the Sabah issues.

This could end us our war in Mindanao and possibly defeat terrorism in Southeast Asia. AMINULLAH A. LUCMAN

One thought on “The Moro Wars: Stateless children and refugees, the collateral damage

  1. I feel it is my duty to correct some facts in this article. I hope the writer and other readers will be enlightened.

    First, there is no doubt that Rashid Lucman had been instrumental in the early moro struggle. He organized BMLO and he was responsible for the early Libyan and Malaysian connections. He supported Gov. Uttog Matalam in forming MIM before he established BMLO. BMLO did not last long when Libya diverted her assistance to MNLF.

    Secondly, it is not accurate when the author said there was no ‘moro problem’ so there could not been solution to a problem did not exist.

    There was moro problem and unfortunately the moro problem was not fully solved until now. But partial solution was already in place such as the GRP-MNLF final peace agreement in 1996, and the GPH-MILF Bangsamoro Comprehensive Agreement which gave birth to BARMM. I said it is only partial solution since rebellion has not yet end in Mindanao.

    The moro problem started when government sponsored mass migrations from the North to South Philippines, the Bangsamoro Homeland, scheme implemented. Suddenly MIindanao became the land of promise for the northerners. Then the ILLAGA movement existed. Rampant land grabbing and land owners were persecuted. Many massacres happened, the moros were in big problem.

    In addition, the Philippines wanted to claim Sabah, another bangsamoro land. Marcos knew that Malaysia would not give up Sabah without a fight. So he trained 200 Moros to invade Sabah which led to Jabidah Massacre, the rallying point of the bangsamoro rebellion.

    This had angered Malaysia. Therefore, Malaysia trained the MNLF, started with the batch 90s and the batch 300, to rebel against the Philippines.

    Furthermore, in regards to the stateless children, these are the children of moro refugees in Sabah resulted from the war in moroland. They are not because of the Sabah claim conflict. They are recognised under UNHCR. There programs being implemented for those children.

    Also, the conflict in Mindanao was because of continuous injustice, oppression, absent of political and economic freedom, etc. Those are of moro problem.

    The solutions to the moro problem are slowly being implemented through BARMM. Time will come, the bangsamoro community will accept this autonomy and peace will finally be achieved in Moroland.

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