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BBL, ISIS, taqqiya: A likely scenario

“Allah is our objective, the Qur’an is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”—From a handbook of the Egypt-based Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The ultimate aim of our jihad, is to make supreme the word of Allah,”—“The “Bangsamoro Mujahid: His Objec-tives and Responsibilities” written by MILF founder Salamat Hashim, a required reading for all MILF members.

THE biggest error in this government’s negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been its colossal ignorance of what this insurgent group really is, and the crucial role of the rise of global Islamic militancy in the past decade to its growth and future.

This isn’t surprising. Check out the background of Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, her predecessor Marvic Leonen, their boss-chief, “peace” adviser Teresita Deles, and the two other members of the peace panel, and you would find that none of them had ever studied what Islamic jihadism is and its rise since the 1970s – probably not even in the past three years.

The people who agreed to the MILF’s terms are basically bleeding-heart gullible NGO activists, who had from the start believed the MILF’s simplistic narrative that once there was a “Moro nation” oppressed by Spanish and American colonizers, and then Christians from Luzon, and who would be prosperous if left alone and given enough re-sources.

It is a simplistic narrative that glosses over the crucial factors for poverty among Muslims in Mindanao, such as the massive corruption of their leaders, which is even really part of their feudal “datu” culture, the nature of Islam as stuck in medieval world-views, and the fact that the coconut industry dominant in their areas has been the same engine for generating poverty in most poor provinces as Samar and Quezon. If poverty has been worse in Maguindanao and Sulu, blame the Islamic insurgents’ uprisings against the government and the kidnap-for-ransom Muslim gangs as the Abu Sayyaf that have emerged there.

There is a Muslim member of the panel, a Maranao – Yasmin Busran-Lao – but her training has been as a psychologist, and she’s in the panel because of her closeness to the Liberal Party. She was a party candidate in the senatorial election of 2010 who lost by a landslide.

Weapon of choice: Left, MILF fighter. Note his T-shirt indicating “Basic Military Training Course” under the National Guard Command, Central Committee. Right, recruitment video of ISIS.
Weapon of choice: Left, MILF fighter. Note his T-shirt indicating “Basic Military Training Course” under the National Guard Command, Central Committee. Right, recruitment video of ISIS.

But she is also the chair of an NGO called “NisaUl-Haqq Fi Bangsamoro.” Why would we have a member of the negotiating panel who has embraced, ignorantly or deliberately, the invented term “Bangsamoro,” which represents a false idea: “We are not Filipinos, we are the nation of Moros – whom you Christians oppressed and called us this pejorative term.” Unlike all previous administrations, this peace panel didn’t have a veteran military man who has fought in Mindanao, who could tell them what he thought of Moro insurgents.

No Moro Nation

There is no such thing as a “Moro Nation,” as much as there is no “American Indian Nation” no “Australian Aborigines Nation,” and no world Caliphate that the murderous Islamic State for Iraq and Syria wants to establish.

Muslims in Mindanao were of different ethnic tribes who saw themselves not as “Moros,” the pejorative term used by the Spaniards to call them, but as members of “mini-nations,” or tribes such as Maranaos, Maguindanaoans, Tausugs, Yakans and 15 other smaller ethnic minorities, many of whom hate each other’s guts and even think the other tribe is of a lower species.

The stupidest thing ever our Congress will be doing is to enact into law the usage of the term “Bangsamoro.” This is in total capitulation to the MILF’s ideology and a colossal error for our Republic, as it, in effect, legalizes and propagates a notion invented by Islamic insurgent organizations to further their cause of secession.

Four presidents – Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Macapagal-Arroyo – created the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao, and named it as such.

Only this stupid, ignorant or power-hungry President and his paid minions in Congress have capitulated to the Muslim insurgents’ ideology by renaming this region as “Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.”

Maybe not really stupid, but just totally unscrupulous. President Aquino wanted the BBL to win for him the Nobel Prize. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, calculated that the BBL would generate so much support for its presi-dential candidate, Mar Roxas, in 2016, whom Muslim provinces overwhelmingly rejected in the 2010 vice-presidential elections in favor of the currently leading presidential candidate Jejomar Binay. The BBL, the Yellows think, would be enough to generate the margins for Roxas. At any rate, the BBL’s passing would be cover story for their massive cheating in those areas.

Aquino appointed as negotiators a dupable panel of NGO activists with a messianic complex of ushering world peace, with its first head, Leonen though, cleverly using it as a catapult to become the youngest member of the Supreme Court. And then he would bribe congressmen to ram it through Congress, with the Senate and the Supreme Court now remaining as the only obstacles to the BBL’s passing.

They haven’t even heard of the Islamic notion of taqqiya. Historically, it allows Muslims to deny their faith or commit otherwise blasphemous acts, when they are at risk of persecution. The principle had evolved as an accepted tactic, supposedly allowed by their religion, to deceive an enemy.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and our gullible negotiators claim that the MILF has dropped its original aim to secede from the Republic. But is this taqqiya in operation?

I have never even heard its chairman Murad Ibrahim or its vice-chairman Ghazali Jaafar say so. I haven’t seen an MILF official document declaring that it has dropped this goal of secession.

Framework Agreement silent

Even the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro that Iqbal signed is silent on this MILF goal, which its founder and religious leader Salamat had declared and written as his organization’s ultimate aim.

Ferrer and her gang do not seem to understand that Islamic militancy is based on the principle, which their adher-ents claim the Qur’an itself calls for, that it is the religious obligation of every Muslim to fight for the establishment of an Islamic state.

Read the BBL’s provisions that give the MILF so much power, note how the ISIS has grown swiftly in the span of a few years to be on the verge of establishing a Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and remember this Islamic notion of taqqiya.

Rather than acceding to the MILF’s demand for a Bangsamoro government, this Administration and this Congress should make sure the BBL law contains enough safeguards to make the following scenario impossible:

On the first year, the MILF would be quiet and appear to govern the BM well. It would, however, build up its forces to the six divisions they had envisioned decades ago. Six divisions so the MILF would be as big as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as Murad had explained to me way back in 1996.

Their control of customs in Bangsamoro territory and its Police Force would enable them to import and amass the latest weapons, even artillery and anti-aircraft missiles, likely even coming from the ISIS. They would be doing this even as they pretend to decommission their rifles.

When the six divisions have been fully manned, it would provoke ‘attacks’ by AFP on their forces. It would also complain that its BM government hasn’t been getting the financial support the BBL promised.

The Bangsamoro Parliament would pass a resolution to secede from the country and apply for admission as a federal state of Malaysia. They would claim that that they prefer to be part of Malaysia as run by their brothers in Is-lam and as being more economically advanced.

The BM “Parliament” would call for a “plebiscite” to ratify its resolution. The BBL would even allow this with its provisions on “self-determination.” MILF with its arms in the senatorial election of 2010 would ensure that such plebiscite would overwhelmingly approve the secession resolution. Bloody battles would break out as a strong president might even try to preserve the Republic by ordering the AFP to disarm the MILF and its Bangsamoro Po-lice.

Malaysia would step in and tell the Philippines that “for the sake of peace” let the Bangsamoro join their federa-tion. Kiss goodbye central Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi – and their rich natural resources.

Ferrer and Deles, if they are still around and haven’t emigrated abroad, would be saying, “Give peace a chance. Let the Bangsamoro go (to Malaysia).”

Our children’s children would be wondering why we were so stupid as to have lost Muslim Mindanao, just as we wonder now why the stronger nation that was the Philippines allowed Malaysia, a fledgling state in the 1960s, to annex Sabah so easily.

We would tell them Aquino and his party were so power-hungry as to sell a part of the country so they’d continue holding on to the presidency. And congressmen were so willing to help him cling on in exchange for money.