The untold realities of the MILF Pact
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-08-05
I will be clear as to where I stand on the issue of the Moro Ancestral Domain — I am not against it. People who are willing to fight as long as they did, as hard as they did, deserve their just rewards.

On the other hand, we non-Muslim Filipinos are mostly good for oral battles only. Those who are saying a mouthful against that Moro Ancestral Domain are only good for media bytes and won’t even think of going to Mindanao to contest the issue with the Moro fighters.

A policy adviser of the think tank Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) was quoted as saying that the MOA reveals all the elements to qualify as a state which are government, people, and territory. The US role in brokering this deal, in effect, gives it international recognition.

However, I believe that it will do Filipinos a lot of good to scrutinize the circumstances that led to this historic development. Specifically, we must know just what exactly the US did behind the scenes towards the promotion of the Moro Ancestral Domain. We must also know just what Madame Gloria Maca-pagal Arroyo (GMA) got from the US in order to suddenly cede to the Moros their claim of an ancestral domain.

Don’t you find it highly suspicious that GMA — who was going on an all-out war against the MILF ever since she assumed the presidency in 2001 — is suddenly ever so generous with Philippine territory, as defined by the present Constitution?

Don’t you find it inconsistent for the same US government that made war in Iraq and is now sending signals to attack Iran — to be sponsoring the birth of a new Muslim state in Mindanao? Why will the US prefer a Muslim state right in the very area that is key to their control of the South China Sea?

Are you not surprised that a piece of Southern Palawan — which faces the Spratly oil grounds that China is claiming together with other Asian nations — is now suddenly being considered part of the Moro Ancestral Domain?

You see, we lose more if we don’t know the real score between the US and GMA deal that led to this development. Losing a piece of territory that we are not willing to really fight for or ready to fight for is nothing compared to awakening the Filipino nation to the reality that has led this country to this situation of economic stagnation and a democracy that never grew. This is the reality of the foreign domination that has stunted our nation since 1521 and continues to this day.

I believe I was the first to write about the US agenda favoring an independent Moro state in Mindanao. This US agenda is summarized in my July 29, 2008 column and I first wrote about it in my August 19, 2007 and September 2, 2007 columns which are available in the Archives of my website (

The US agenda to secure the vital South China Sea shipping lanes is served by the creation of an independent Moro state where the US acts as its protector. This allows the US to skirt the provisions of the Vladivostok Accord (which ended the Cold War) where the US pledged to dismantle their bases here while the Russians lifted the Iron Curtain in Europe.

With the GMA regime drifting ever too close to China, the US finds a new Moro state under its protectorate (as provided by the Treaty of Paris and reinforced by the Kiram-Bates Treaty) as the convenient ally for its geo-political objectives. These treaties were detailed in the letter of the late MILF Chief Hashim Salamat which I extensively quoted in my August 19, 2007 column.

The naïve and ignorant still believes that the Iraq War is all about terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The truth is the Iraq War and the current threats against Iran are all about preparations for the projected war with China. It is all about cornering the remaining large stockpiles of oil in Iraq and Iran and keeping these away from the feared new enemy.

Clearly, to a Filipino, the US objective does not suit Philippine national interests. The US needs a new area for its military bases while our national interests call for the preservation of our territorial integrity. So why does GMA play along with what is patently serving the US interest only?

Why does GMA swing from a policy of all-out war to one of all-out territorial concession? There must have been a trade off for her to agree to this. Since it cannot be something that suits Philippine national interests, it must be something that suits GMA’s personal interests.

Otherwise, it does not make sense and is outright irrational.

Is it power extending beyond 2010 for GMA? Is it protection from prosecution and persecution after her term? What are Filipinos paying for this trade off?

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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