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MILF’s Mohagher Iqbal & GRP’s Deluded Done Deal

What is MILF’s Mohagner Iqbal & GRP negotiator smoking? They seem to be on to something really “special” a hallucinogenic drug perhaps, that when they do something they end up seeing things…. I don’t think so fools, initialing a document do not bind the parties to the contractual content of the paper but merely an acknowledgment that both parties have received and in possession of the same exact documents. So Mr. Legal Genius Mohagher Iqbal is deluding himself and the separatist MILF rebel group that a document so initialed constitute an agreement is making a fool of himself or worse must be suffering from being shell shocked flying over the cuckoo nest thinking they can bind the other party. I say this is typical of one whose tiny mass in their thick coconut they confused for a brain fell off their index finger, thus they have a tendency to interpret a mis-deal as a done deal.Well, that is not a surprise after all, and this is how it will be in the future Republic of Bangsa Moro wherein they will probably change the legal documents' verbiage of affixing signature with initials. That will not stand in the court of law, the only way you can bind the other party is if they are threatened and under the barrel of a gun. It does not matter whether you talked and negotiated about it for the longest time or even your whole lifetime, until a signature is affixed it is not enforceable.

The genius even dismisses the TRO of the Supreme Court as political intramurals within the government understandably a natural reaction coming from a separatist, but to come back and state that the Philippine government is now bound to honor the initialed agreement is off his rocker.

Yo Iqbal, do you not even know that you are talking with fools under a president with illegitimate tenure and if we go by that even if they hand to you in a silver platter the whole
7,107 islands spanning 1,840 kilometers north to south (yes, all the island there is including Sabah and those islet contested by neighboring countries like the Spratlys) in the end it is not enforceable much less on a bogus contention of an initialed document as binding. Dream on Iqbal.........Here is the complete statement of Iqbal:
MILF Statement on the Aborted MOA-AD Formal Signing

The aborted formal signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) due to the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Philippine Supreme Court on the eve of the ceremony scheduled for that purpose on August 5, 2008 in Kuala Lumpur does not in any way alter the fact that the pact is a done deal.

On July 27, 2008, Secretary Rodolfo Garcia, GRP chief negotiator, and Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process, initialed the document for the GRP while Mohagher Iqbal, MILF Panel chair, initialed for the MILF, and Datuk Othman bin Abdulrazak, the third party chief facilitator, for the Malaysian government. This makes the MOA-AD binding and executory on the contracting parties. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in her State of the Nation Address on July 28, 2008, had alluded to this momentous event by acknowledging the resolution of the Ancestral Domain issue.

In this context, it makes no difference to the MILF whether a signing takes place or not. The signing ceremony is a mere formality, the absence of which does not diminish, invalidate or cancel the MOA-AD. The MOA-AD is the textual version of the consensus points arrived at by both Parties through a long process of negotiations beginning in 2004 as a consequence of the inclusion of Ancestral Domain as the third aspect in the MILF-GRP Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court TRO is a product of the on-going political intramurals within the GRP; therefore it is not binding on the MILF, which is a revolutionary liberation organization of the Bangsamoro people.

By aborting the signing ceremony, the GRP has utterly discredited itself before the international community. Even if the GRP attempts to assuage the diplomatic and political faux pas caused by the last-minute cancellation of the signing ceremony, it is now clear to the international community, let alone the Government of Malaysia which was hosting the aborted historic event, and the Bangsamoro people that the GRP does not possess the capability of entering into a peace agreement. Therefore the firm commitment and political will to honor signed agreements with the Moro liberation movement by the GRP is under suspect of doubt by the international community.

Under this circumstance, the MILF has gained a significant moral and political victory in this latest chapter of its historic struggle to resolve the conflict in Mindanao on the negotiating table. From such a victory, the MILF, as its policy dictates, will still pursue the peace process to bring an end to the conflict without, however, losing sight of alternative means to achieve freedom and justice for the Bangsamoro people.

Mohagher Iqbal
Chair, MILF Peace Negotiating Panel
Putrajaya, Malaysia, August 5, 2008
Look at what they have done, a precedent I suppose for separatist and an inspiration. Ok maybe not exactly an inspiration but some sectors are not exactly happy and with these development if we can even call it that which is actually a retrogression back to the rough and rugged pillaging and slave trade of the old days before those "ancestors" of the Bare Faced Contessa Elda Beguinua came, other sectors seems vent on establishing a separate Republic of Mindanao. Ramon Tulfo reports on the reaction of Pantaleon Alvarez, former secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, chair of the Movement for Federal Republic of Mindanao and spokesperson of One People Mindanao movement:
It has become apparent that the present leadership does not care about the welfare and security of the majority of the people in Mindanao.

This administration has definitely no right to decide on the fate of the majority of the people in Mindanao.

I believe it is now time for us, Mindanawons, to unite, rise up, speak out, and above all, prepare to sacrifice to protect our interest, welfare and security. If the majority will not act now, the minority (referring to the Muslims – RT) will prevail.

This is no longer the struggle of the Filipinos but rather the struggle for survival of the Republic of the Philippines.

I have no clue how influential the group is but based on this expat blog quoting a Philippine News article it seems that they have held consultations and are organized at the grassroots level. One thing is clear, it will not be a walk in the park with so many parties with different political and economic agenda, legitimate or otherwise this peace process may just lead to a violent bloody confrontation leading to civil war.

Meanwhile, as the debate rages on regarding the peace agreement that is leading to civil war here is another report from James Zamora who just a day ago reported of the MILF's burning of
40 houses has just doubled an indication of the escalating violence in his area:
As of this morning about 13,000 people have been displaced from 5 Municipalities in North Cotabato and 82 houses were burned by armed groups believed to be members of the MILF, the Provincial Social Welfare Office of North Cotabato has reported . So far only about 318 bags of rice and other stuffs have been distributed to the evacuees, DXND station reported quoting the the provincial Social Welfare office.

Midsayap , aleosan, Pikit, Libungan, Pigkawayan is about 100 kms from Kidapawan City. Kidapawan City is about 100 kms from Davao City.

The provincial Social Welfare Office has expressed fears that more evacuees will pour in in the next few weeks.
If the government cannot even enforce peace and order much less take care of the needs of the evacuees how can they enforce what is stated on a "done deal MoA"? Where is MNLF (Moro national Liberation Front) in the picture? How about the Christian "land grabbers" settlers, how will the government compensate them or pacify them when they are also armed?

A look at the ARRM experience will tell you that this "Iqbal Done Deal" supposing it was binding according to the MILF is definitely a failure before it even started. One is deluding themselves no end if they think that the so-called "Done Deal MoA" will bring about peace is in for a big surprise, maybe rest in peace for a number of people especially when they think and act with their index finger. What this will bring forth is definitely a return to feudal tribal society of the past, not that they are not now in such sorry state but a further regression it definitely will be like all the way to the pre-Spanish colonialism.

Democracy? Forget it, the region is the hotbed of electoral fraud where goons, gun and gold dictate the outcome of the election with tribal leaders of the politician and warlord type dictate who the serfs should vote is exactly not freedom of choice.

During Cory Aquino's tenure despite her popularity a resurgence in insurgency flared up because she was never in control of the military especially the scalawags of the Marcos past sowing havoc on the progressive movement. Will it be any different with an unpopular president with questionable tenure? Will she be able to control or appease the Trapos of the warlord type from taking up arms against the separatist MILF? What about the MNLF's difference and conflict with the MILF, who will define and control any particular area? How about the kidnap for ransom gang of the Abu Sayyaf or even the Jemayah Islamiaah group, is the government in a position to police the region to the point of stopping another group taking the same MILF route? Our nation is pushed to the brink of a bloody upheaval all because the present administration with questionable tenure wanted to shove in our throats what maybe a shallow end of changing the form of government .........dream on the Philippines is a basket case that can't even conduct a clean and honest electoral exercise so what makes them think they can enforce this Ancestral Domain mambo jumbo complete with BangsaMoro Juridical Entity?

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