GPH-MILF-CAB

Final signing of the MILF-GRP Peace Pact, bane to the Moro struggle for their right to self-determination

By JORGE MADLOS (Ka Oris)
Spokesperson, NDFP Mindanao Chapter

In the midst of an expected euphoric atmosphere, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the GPH (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) will be signed today. But it would be foolhardy to conclude that this final signing will usher the decades-old armed Moro conflict in Mindanao nearer to a truly peaceful end.

In fact, for several years now, a new Moro armed resistance group have militarily stood-up against the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ suppression campaign, filling the gap of the undue long-drawn ceasefire that the MILF have entered with the AFP. Indication shows that it will only be a matter of time that the armed Moro resistance will broaden and intensify because the fundamental problems that have long besieged the Moro people still remain unaddressed.

Gripped with this euphoria, the US-Aquino regime gloats over what it deems to be a historic success having lured the MILF leadership to a compromise agreement chiefly framed within and founded on its own reactionary terms. But Aquino III should not get too overwhelmed because, in truth, the armed conflict in Mindanao is nowhere near its much-desired resolution; the long sought-after peace in Mindanao will never be had if the genuine right to self-determination and basic issues, specifically of land reform, are not sincerely addressed, and national liberation and democracy not achieved.

The US-Aquino regime has unabashedly declared the signing of the GPH-MILF comprehensive peace agreement as a major setback to the revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. But on the contrary, this only offers a great opportunity for the revolutionary movement to rally the Bangsamoro towards the path of the genuine struggle for the right to self-determination alongside the new democratic revolution.

The Moro people are besieged both by an economic and political crisis that the pact itself does not articulate, much less address. For decades, the Bangsamoro have suffered from feudal and semi-fuedal exploitation, depriving majority among them from ever tilling lands of their own or owning, as a people, the natural resources that teem in Moro ancestral lands.

No provision under the new pact even hints of the Moro people’s emancipation from feudal ownership nor does it speak of redistributing their ancestral lands back to the Moro masses. In fact, with the gradual dissolution of the MILF’s military power, the pact, in effect, aids in strengthening the feudal powers that exist in Moro land and their ties to foreign multinationals, opening the floodgates for the entry of big plantation and mining companies that will worsen the situation of the already-deprived Moro masses. As it is, thousands of hectares in Maguindanao and Cotabato have already been offered and sold recently to multinational agri-business companies.

The Moro people have been led to believe that such a pact can work to their benefit when, in fact, it is no different from the agreement entered into by Nur Misuari and the MNLF in the 80s and 90s, which glaringly precluded addressing issue of land and of real autonomy, not just an adjunct of the reactionary government. Learning from the disastrous MNLF-GRP pact, “wealth-sharing” and “power- sharing,” two of the main annexes of the MILF-GPH peace agreement, can only go as far as to make certain that the Aquino regime’s real bosses, US imperialism and the local ruling classes of landlord and big bourgeois comprador, gets the lion’s share, and morsels only, if any is left, for the Moro people.

The reactionary government, in lapdog obedience to the dictates of its real bosses, does not and will not intend to freely hand the Moro people any real powers of self-governance because, politically, by virtue of CAB, the MILF has intrinsically tied to the laws of the state, and must work within its framework. And, since the MILF leadership is open to the dissolution of its armed forces, whether it be 1% or more of its standing army, the fascist forces of the reactionary government is given the upper hand to destroy further whatever gains the Moro armed struggle had in previous years.

The sharpening of contradictions between the imperialists and their puppet Moro ruling classes on one hand, and the Moro masses on the other will consequently lead to the intensification of the Moro armed resistance, leading more and more Moro fighters, even those coming from the MILF itself, to gravitate towards a broader Moro armed resistance movement that seeks to continue the armed struggle for their genuine right to self-determination.

Under this context however, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, for its part, is even more steadfast in its commitment to the Moro struggle for their right to genuine self-determination and the national democratic revolution with the vision to establish socialism.

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