"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

More Than a Victory, the Decision Today Was a Mandate for Us to Act

...an end zone dance from Michael Moore

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Dear Friends,

Even though it's been a few hours now, I'm guessing you're still pinching yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. But yes, it happened. At 10:07 this morning, the conservative Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, not only joined with the liberal justices to completely uphold almost every single part of the Obama health care law, he wrote the majority opinion himself! In fact, he went even further. When he realized that the government had poorly made its constitutional case to the court, he went searching for a clause in their argument and the constitution that would give him the justification he needed to back the administration and to insure that his decision would hold up legally. In other words, even though he is on the opposite side of the political fence, he wrote the Dems' paper for them. Stunning.

The other four justices? They didn't just vote to overturn the individual mandate part of the law, they all voted to kill the entire Act.

The media is already spending much time talking about the mandate being the "centerpiece of the law," but the real news is that if you ever have a pre-existing condition, you cannot now be denied insurance. If you are a young adult without health insurance, you can now stay on your parents' plan until age 26. The insurance company can no longer say there is a lifetime cap to your coverage. The insurance companies are now required to spend 85 cents out of every dollar they take in on actual reimbursement for your health care – not on profit or "administrative costs" (some companies have been taking over a 30% cut; Medicare's total percentage of their budget for administrative costs: 2%).

I know that our side is not used to victories and so we're not quite sure how to respond when we get one out of the blue. For some of us, the first inclination is to point out just how weak the Obama law actually is, that it doesn't provide true universal health care (26 million will STILL be uninsured), and that it leaves control of the system in the hands of the vultures, otherwise known as the health insurance companies. The individual mandate was a huge gift to the private insurance companies, guaranteeing them billions more from millions of new customers. And many of the key provisions of this law don't even take effect until 2014 – and if the Republicans win in November, you can kiss all of that goodbye.

So, yes, the bill is highly flawed and somewhat wrong-headed – but what it IS is a huge step in the right direction. And today's court decision cements that. The right wing knows this and they are probably unraveling in some not-so-pretty ways right now. And that's why today is a great day. The Right has been smacked down by one of their own! They know what we all know — that the path of history has been, and will continue to move toward the basic human right that all people are entitled to see a doctor and NOT have to worry about losing their home because they can't afford to pay the medical bills. Those days are over, or will be soon, and that is where civilization is headed. It's not headed back to the days of Oliver Twist. Today's victory is momentum, it's forward motion, and we WILL have true universal health care in this country in the not too distant future.

So take some time tonight to celebrate; this is a victory for the people. Actually, more than a victory, it is a mandate that all of us must now make sure that a second-term Obama continues to move the ball down the field, toward a system like they have in every other First World country on the planet. He simply has to improve Medicare and then expand it to every citizen in the country. The countries that do this, their people live an average of two to four years longer than we do. Is there a reason anyone doesn't want an extra four years of their lives? Or that our babies would have a better chance of surviving their first year like they do in the 48 countries that have a better infant mortality rate than we do? Exactly who is opposed to this? You'd have to be a bit…crazy.

And that, I've come to believe, is the true divide in this country. It's not blue state vs red state, liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs Republican. The split we have in America can be boiled down in its simplest form to this: On one side are the people who believe Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago – and then there's everyone else. On that first side are the people who've been fed a diet of fear and lies and hate. And who is feeding them? The 1%. The richest people in the country, the ones who aren't done with us yet because they still don't have enough wealth, have done their best to dumb down the population through destroying our educational system and using media to provide them with a vastly distorted sense of reality. The rich's only obstacle is that they only hold 1% of the votes in the country. So they have to try to get a slim majority of Americans to vote their way. And fear, plus keeping them stupid, usually works.

So that's the battle ahead of us: Organizing and mobilizing the majority of Americans to push for true universal health care, Medicare for All. At one time, back in Illinois, that was the position held by Barack Obama. He will not make this happen on his own. He will only be able to do it when the mass of American people rise up and demand it. Demand it. Why not start tonight?

Five years ago this week, my health care documentary, Sicko, opened in theaters across the country. I have spent the better part of the decade on this issue, and for me, personally, fully aware of the current law's limitations, I am very happy with today's news – not because of its specifics or nuances, but because it is a road sign, and that sign points in the correct, humane and sane direction. THAT makes this a great day.


Michael Moore

P.S. I will appear on Lawrence O'Donnell's show tonight to discuss this issue – 10:00 pm ET/7:00 PT (replay 1:00 AM ET/10:00 PM PT) on MSNBC.

P.P.S. To learn more and get involved in the campaign for real universal health care – to complete the job that's been started – get in touch with National Nurses United and Physicians for a National Health Program.

Join Mike's Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike's Facebook Group | Become Mike's MySpace Friend

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Writ of habeas corpus granted to 2 Kato suspects

Writ of habeas corpus granted to 2 Kato suspects

Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David the Queen of Taurpaulin Congresswoman

In a personality based political system there is a tendency for politicians to become self-centered or worse becomes a full blown narcissist.

The problem with seeing your face plastered in every conspicuous places of the district one represents is that shameless self-promotion becomes a habit. Once self-promotion becomes a habit if one does not watch or be at least conscious about it, they tend to become out of touch and worse becomes dumb.
Manila Representative Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David maybe one of those who may have been so fixated with her face. Her picture splattered all over her district without even taking into consideration (or was that lack of consideration) that her constituent are probably having a withdrawal from seeing her face too often.

What was she thinking or was she even capable of thinking? Her numerous tarpaulins states she is a lawyer so you would think she knows what she is doing and yet she was able to piss off a lot of OFWs that may even surpass Zubiri’s relative, self-proclaimed fashionista Malu Fernandez.

Bonoan-Davids kuligs este colleagues passed Republic Act (RA) 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 with an initial funding of a measly P1M. RA 8042 was created and established as an Emergency Repatriation Fund under the administration, control and supervision of Owwa.. The genius that she is Ms. David felt that there is a need to amend the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 with her “brilliant” House Bill 6195. According to some liepapers in the said house bill it will require Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to pay $50 to the OWWA before leaving the country. Funny how the liepapers worded it in such a way that it does not sound a requirement that one cannot leave without paying the additional fee if this dumb bill passed. The lies este the Congresswoman further states the rationale for her bill:

There are millions of OFWs all over the world which the Philippine government is mandated to protect and safeguard under RA 8042 but it seems incapable to efficiently help distressed OFWs due to financial constraints.

Under the bill, distressed OFWs can be repatriated during wars, epidemics, disasters or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events.

The bill will also establish and maintain an up-to-date database and locator system of OFWs necessary for their repatriation, as well as the necessary disaster preparedness and mitigation measures.

Sounds almost too good to be true but what she did not consider was that at present OFWs are already required to pay $25 to OWWA before they can leave for their contractual work outside of the country. According to Migrante Middle-East in a press release Ms. Theresa Bonoan-David is mis-informed and her proposal is definitely an anti-OFW bill, to quote:

Rep. Bonoan-David proposal is ill-advised. She may be misinformed because the issue is not about lack of funds. The OFWs trust funds held in trust to OWWA is now about P13-B and is earning, and yet the OWWA does not have enough programs and welfare services to OFWs and their dependents including the proper use of its Emergency Repatriation fund.

The OWWA has not been transparent on the real status of the OFWs trust fund and where it is being spent,” Monterona averred.

Monterona continued that such proposal is clearly an anti-OFW. “For one, it is just an added burden to already overburdened OFWs. The proposal is also against the mandate of the Migrant Workers Act of 2010 or RA10022.

If the Congresswoman is really serious in reaching out to the OFW community she should come up with a bill that will ensure transparency at the OWWA. Perhaps, she must first have her staff do some research as in finding out if OWWA can’t really afford to repatriate OFWs since they have trust funds worth P13 Billion? Does she not know how to count, how can she rationalize the US$50 additional burden when the OWWA just requires $25? How about doing the math or does she count like the increBedol Comelec of the Garci Back door operator dagdag bawas formula?

Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David deserved what Eat Log says:

Pinuno mo na nga ng poster mo ang buong Maynila, kikikilan mo pa kaming mga OFW. (You already saturated the whole of Manila with your posters and now you will even extort OFWs.)
The OWWA trust funds coming from the OFW's $25 contribution for so many years now worth P13Billion has not been accounted for properly especially during the reign of Arroyo. How can Rep. David even think of charging OFWs double and on top of what they are paying now truly shows her dense predatory attitude towards our modern day milking cows errrr heroes. Until Rep. David has not pulled her dumb amendment out it is best to sign the petition,  tell your friends to do the same and share it with your network.
Update: Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David seems to have come to her senses, she has now withdrawn her sponsorship as the principal author of House Bill 6195.

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International Domestic Workers Day

16 June 2012 

Ratify and Implement ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers Now! 

Today, as we commemorate the first anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention 189 (C189) on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, we call on ILO Member States to immediately ratify and mplement C189 as a demonstration of their global commitment made at the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference on 16 June 2011.

Ratifying C189 is important, urgent and a priority! Wide ratifications of C189 would benefit an stimated 100 million domestic workers around the world who for long have been unrecognized,neglected, and forgotten.

We commend Uruguay for being the first country to ratify C189. We are optimistic that this step orward will encourage the rest of the world to follow in particular the Philippines which also committed to be among the first countries to ratify the Convention.

We call on States, employers, recruiters, civil society, religious groups, and the general public to ecome instruments of change and reinvent their views on domestic work. Specifically, we raise ur call to the following:

  • Governments to ratify C189 and follow through on their ethical and legal obligations to extend to both local and migrant domestic workers the same rights as those of other workers. 
  • Governments are urged to provide an enabling environment that will facilitate respect for rights, provide ample protection and promote holistic development of domestic workers.
  •  Governments to include domestic workers in national labour laws and enact provisions that address the specific needs and concerns of domestic workers especially child domestworkers and migrant domestic workers. 
  • Governments to repeal policies that disproportionately discriminate and criminalize domestic workers and effectively enforce existing policies that seek to promote the rights and welfare of domestic workers. 
  • Governments, employers and the general public to recognize the contribution of domestic and workers to the development of societies where they work and treat them with respectdignity. 
  • Recruiters to stop the exploitation of migrant domestic workers through collection of exorbitant recruitment fees which lead domestic workers into forced labor and debt bondage. 
  • Trade unions and labour rights advocates to show their concrete support by assisting domestic workers to exercise their right to association and to join or form a trade union
  • For trade unions to expand solidarity with migrant domestic workers across borders. Religious groups to take an active role in promoting public consciousness with respect to the culture of inequalities and stereotypes that work against domestic workers particularlwomen domestic workers.
  • Religious groups to continue with their role of providing refuge and comfort for domestic workers who have been exploited and abused.
  • Domestic workers to organize, speak for themselves and mobilize support for the atification and implementation of C189. 

Domestic Work is Work!
Domestic Workers are Workers!
Domestic Work is Not Slavery!
Ratify C189!

Singed by: 
  • ACTFORM‐ Sri Lanka 
  • AFL‐CIO Ain O Salish Kendro (ASK)‐ Bangladesh 
  • Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL– Philippines unity Development ‐ Bangladesh Association for Community Development - Bangladesh 
  • Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines ‐Migrants Center‐ Philippines 
  • ATIKHA‐ Philippines 
  • Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies‐Bangladesh 
  • Cambodia Legal Education Center (CLEC) ‐ Cambodia 
  • Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center (CLMC)‐ Lebanon 
  • Center for Indian Migrant Studies (CIMS)‐ India 
  • Center for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) – Nepal 
  • Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) – Philippines 
  •  Coalition for Migrants Rights (CMR) ‐ Hongkong 
  • Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI) ‐ Indonesia 
  • Federation of Free Workers (FFW)– Philippines 
  • German Commission for Justice and Peace‐ Germany 
  • Global Network‐ Asia Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH)‐ Hongkong 
  • Hongkong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) - Hongkong 
  • Hope Workers Center (HWC)‐ Taiwan 
  • Hsinchu Migrants and Immigrants Services Center (HMISC) 
  • Humanitarian Organization for Migration and Economics Delopment (HOME) - Singapore 
  • Institute of Social Development (ISD) - Sri Lanka 
  • International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN) JALA PRT‐ Indonesia 
  • KAKAMMPI‐ Philippines Kanlungan Centre Foundation‐ Philippines 
  • Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (KSPI)‐Indonesia Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN) ‐ Philippines 
  • Labour Education Foundation (LEF) - Pakistan 
  • Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW) - Cambodia 
  • Migrant Care‐ Indonesia 
  • Migrant Forum in Asia 
  •  Migrant Forum India – India 
  • National Domestic Workers Movement‐ India 
  • POURAKHI‐ Nepal 
  • Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC)‐Nepal 
  • Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA-Academy) - India 
  • Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI) - Indonesia 
  • Solidarity Center Sr. Immaculate De Alwis, ACTFORM‐ Sri Lanka 
  • SUMAPI‐ Philippines Transient Workers Count Too‐ Singapore 
  • Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation, Inc. - Philippines 
  • Visayan Forum Foundation Incorporated - Philippines 
  • WARBE Development Foundation – Bangladesh 
  • Youth Action Nepal (YOAC) ‐ Nepal

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Who is better, Mike Tyson or Manny Pacquaio?

Looks like Mike Tyson just took the crooner crown out off Manny Pacquiao, but then again one has to judge like the trio down Las Vegas to come-up with controversial errr winner.

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Ax and charge the Pacquiao-Bradley judges; Get back the belt from Bradley.

Justice will always cry as along as the injustice is not punished. Our children need to be taught a lesson that cheating is unacceptable and this can be done if they know justice is rendered.

The call for justice dictates clearly that Manny Pacquiao won the fight as it was a one-sided fight. There was not any doubt Pacman won over Timothy Bradley. It was never a close-call fight but the three judges scored it as if it was a close call. All who watch the fight can attest to that and they are all intelligent enough to understand how boxing is scored.

There is a necessity for these tough acts to be done to stop the repetition of THE BIGGEST ROBBERY OF BOXING VICTORY committed by the judges.

The conscience of the world is revolting.

In this case, the three judges decided contrary to what hundreds of millions saw on television. The three judges, in reality, cannot be better judges than the people who watched the fight.

Proof that the judges committed the crime of swindling or racketeering are as follows:

  1.  The video of the 12 rounds of fight clearly shows a victory for Pacquiao;
  2.  The boos that rained on the ring when the judges' close-call decision was being announced.
  3. Boxing experts called it a rout by Pacquiao over Bradely: Kevin Lole of Yahoo Sports scored it 117-111 for Pacman; Tim Dahlberg of AP and Steve Carp of Las Vegas Review. Dan Rafael of ESPN had it 118-110 for Pac and HBO’s Harold Lederman had it 119-109, still for Pac, to name a few.
  4. The revered Teddy Atlas called it heavily in favor of Pacquiao.
  5.  Expert Oscar dela Hoya said it was a clear win by Pacman.
  6.  Expert Floyd Mayweather Sr. saw it a clear win by Pacquiao.
  7. The compubox scored it heavily in favor of Pacquiao: (a) Total Punches Landed/Thrown -- Pacquiao 34% (253/751) vs Bradley 19% (159/839; (b) Jabs Landed/Thrown -- Pacquiao 24% (63/258) vs Bradley 11% (51/449); and (c) Power Punches Landed/Thrown -- Pacquiao 39% (190/493) vs Bradley 28% (108/390).
  8. The injuries suffered by Bradley compelled him to sit on a wheelchair after the fight and this is a mute but powerful manifestation of the overpowering punches that Pacquiao landed on him.

STOP GAME-FIXING! It is revolting for the children to see that.

We demand for Nevada Boxing Commission to ax the three judges: (a) Jerry Roth who scored it as a close call at 115-113 for Pacquiao when it was not a close call after all, that his score was part of the bigger plot to rob those who placed their bets for Pacquiao; (b) Judge C.J. Ross scored it 115-113 for Bradley when the otherwise was very clear; and (c) Duane Ford had it 115-113 for Bradley when he knew well it was unbelievable.

We demand for the Nevada Boxing Commission to charged the three judges with the crime of swindling or racketeering that caused damaged in millions of dollars to the betters who legally placed their bets.

We demand for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) to get back the belt from Bradley.

Let us teach the children of the world well. Let us send a clear message to the children that it is unacceptable to render manifestly unjust judgment.

Read more on the petition and sign it at this link: Petition to ax judges and get Pacquiao's belt back.

Carson Pihilippine Independence Day 2012 Celebration

The 2012 Philippine Independence Day at Veterans Park in Carson, California was celebrated with entertainment for all ages with Philippine TV personalities, local entertainers, Palaro (games) for  children, food stalls, retail merchandise vendors and civic organization stalls.

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Jonas Burgos’ abduction suspects to face DOJ today

Press Release
June 8, 2012

Preliminary Investigation begins today

Maj. Harry Baliaga and other military men implicated in Jonas Burgos’ abduction to face DOJ today

“We hope that this case will proceed to trial given the rigorous and tedious process the Burgos family had patiently gone through.” Mary Guy Portajada, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice said during the first hearing of the Preliminary Investigation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the case filed against Major Harry Baliaga.

Edita Burgos, mother of missing Jonas, together with other families of desaparecidos and human rights organizations held a picket protest in front of Department of Justice

Almost exactly a year ago, on June 9, 2011, Mrs. Edita Burgos, mother of missing farmer- activist Jonas Burgos, filed a criminal case of Arbitrary Detention against Baliaga, Lt. Col. Melquiades and Col. Eduardo Año while Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and Gen. Avelino Razon were charged with Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders. These cases were filed when the Burgos family got hold of the Commission of Human Rights Investigative Report on the disappearance of Jonas, where Maj. Baliaga was positively identified by key witness Jeffrey Cabintoy, as one of the abductors.

“The prosecution panel of the DOJ should not waste any time in pursuing this case for the Burgos family has waited long enough for justice and for Jonas,” Portajada said. “The AFP has been covering up the truth about Jonas and all other desaparecidos. Baliaga and other respondents should answer to the allegations and tell the truth.” Portajada continued.

Furthermore, the human rights group urged the rest of the Filipinos to join them in vigilance in monitoring the progress of the case. “We will not allow our efforts in pinning down these perpetrators be put to waste. We will see through this case until we achieve justice,” Portajada said.

While Malacañang Palace has been bragging about the rising approval ratings of the president on surveys, “Families of victims of human rights violations under the Gloria Arroyo regime will always give a negative rating to Pres. Noynoy Aquino as long as Mrs. Arroyo and his military minions are not convicted of their crimes against us and against the Filipino people,” Portajada ended. ###

Patricia Evangelista at Rappler reports three former commanding generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines appearing for the first preliminary investigation were charged with obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders.

Former Armed Forces chief Hermogenes Esperon, former police chief Avelino Razon Jr, and former Army commanding general Romeo Tolentino filed joint counter-affidavits before assistant state prosecutor George Yarte Jr. 

Meanwhile army Major Harry Baliaga the who was positively identified by the witness Jeffrey Cabintoy filed his separate counter-affidavit.

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Things that make us scratch our head in bewilderment

Have you ever encountered arguments where it does not make sense and yet some people think you are the one losing it ? Oh, okay that's not exactly how I should say this but maybe that's how it should be, as in I am losing it like Brenda my meltdown idol of all time.

There is this post questioning the credibility of the PCOS and of course Aquino may have been the recipient of a cheating machine. Way to discredit or should I say insult the voters who voted for Aquino but then again this is the essence of democrazy wher crazies are allowed to vent whatever they feel like regardless of whether it was fictional or something imagined, hehehe.
The conversation above speaks for itself, its like hitting a wall and yet still in denial there is a wall, LOL.

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Ninoy Aquino's Speech on the Moro Problem

: A Brief History of the Muslim Struggle 

Over the last eight years as a result of the so-called Muslim Mini-War in the Philippines, more than hundred thousand Filipino Muslims have lost their lives, over two hundred fifty thousand hav...e come as refugees in the neighboring Sabah State of Malaysia, and more than one million have been displaced and rendered homeless. On the other side, according to President Marcos himself, about ten to 11,000 thousand Filipino soldiers have been killed over the last eight years as a result of the battle in the Southern Philippines. These grim statistics have not captured the headlines of the world press and as a result world opinion has not been mobilized. The Philippine government under President Marcos calls the Muslim fighters as rebels, he calls them outlaws, he calls them insurrectionists, and he calls them secessionists or far worst – traitors to the Philippines. The Muslims on the other hand see themselves as patriots, as holy warriors, birth right of self-determination from infidel attacks. It is a most unfortunate that Filipinos are fighting against Filipinos today.

I have come all the way from Boston precisely to urge our brothers especially the Moro National Liberation Front and the Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization to start their unity effort so that as one Muslim nation they will be able to present a more formidable force with any negotiation with the present government. This evening I would like to announce to you that the MNLF under Chairman Nur Misuari and the BLMO under Sultan Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman have finally joined forces and together they will now continue the struggle for the freedom of our Muslim brothers in the Southern Philippines. Chairman Misuari heads this joint group together with the leadership of Sultan Lucman, will be rallying most of the Muslims not only here but in our country so that once united they will be able to present their case better in the halls of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and before the Philippine government, and will work towards the resumption of the Tripoli Agreement and international bodies like United Nations.

However, before I go into this, I would like to give you a brief history of the Muslim struggle. This struggle has gone for almost four (4) centuries and may be the last chapter of the classic encounter of the crescent and the cross. It is true that this conflict has many ingrain rivalry, and political antagonism, but all these reasons, a radically different understanding of each side as toward the conflict is all about. My point is the Muslims look at it from another angle. They cannot seem to agree on what they are saying and we have this incessant conflict. I will just cite an example to what happened last February. According to the best reports, there is an island outside of Jolo known as Pata Island. This island has about eleven thousand people. According to the reports, the military sent a battalion of soldiers to that island to inventory firearms of the people of the island.

However, the soldiers came from Luzon and do not understand the customs of our Muslim brothers in the south, occupied the mosque in that island. After they occupied the mosque, they got some pigs and dogs and started making “Lechon” (grill) inside the mosque. Now you know that pork is one of those prohibited foods in the Muslim religion. But they did not notice that they were in sensitive situation and so, they started cooking inside the mosque which naturally enraged the people in the village. And I understand that one soldier got drunk and raped a Muslim woman. The next thing we knew there was a shoot-out in that area and about one hundred and sixty to two hundred soldiers were completely massacred killed. The army, on the other hand, when they found out that their soldiers were killed, started bombing, strafing and shelling the civilians in that island. We don’t know how many civilians have died. Some say two hundred, some say five hundred, some say one thousand but the truth is many civilians died in the encounter that followed the massacre. Subsequently, a lot of shoot-out occurred and now we don’t know how many people were killed. Now, the incident started because there was a misunderstanding of the cultural habit of that region and mere misunderstanding has caused this conflagration and this has contributed to the bloodshed in our country for the last eight years.

At this juncture, my dear friends let us look back at the little history. You and I know that the Muslims in the country have pre-dated the Christians in that country. Arab traders as early as 9th century have become dominant in the vigorous Southeast Asian center with the religion of Islam. At the end of the 13th century, according to Marco Polo, he found a flourishing Muslim Sultanate in northern Sumatra. By the middle of the 14th century, Islam came to the Philippines 200 years before the coming of Christianity in 1521. Many of us do not realize that Islam came to the Philippines two hundred years before Christianity so that the forces of Magellan arrived in our shores when Islam was already all over Mindanao and there were already many Sultanates in many enclaves of Luzon. In fact, the ruler of Manila was a Muslim leader called Rajah Suleiman and this man controlled all the headwaters of Manila Bay. This is now history. The year when Spanish came to the Philippines they fought this Muslim vigorously because as you will know, Spain was occupied by Muslim Moors for many centuries and this occupation ended at the famous battle of Granada in 1492.

Therefore, the Spaniards who came to the Philippines already fought the Muslims in their own homeland. And when they came to the Philippines and found the same Muslims, renewed this hostility and again fighting broke out. This is the beginning of the conflict between the Christians and the Muslims because the Spaniards saw in the Muslims another threat to their hegemony. The Philippines, the Spaniards tried to set up their control, they tried to establish political control and convert the natives into Christianity. Most of the other Filipinos who had no religion were taken as hostages and converted into Christianity. But our Muslim brothers fought and resisted the coming of Spaniards and denounced the Spanish faith.

The Muslims were the only ones who fought for four hundred years thereby staving off what Spaniards wanted to call a “complete conquest.” In 1578, for example, the Spanish Authority commissioned Captain Esteban de Figueroa, who lost the campaign against the Muslims. He was ordered to burn Mosques, arrest Muslim priests and stop Muslim missionaries coming into the Philippines from Borneo. Captain Figueroa had succeeded. He captured Jolo, the capital of Sulu, and signed a Treaty with Sultan Pangiran. As soon as Captain Figueroa left, the Sultan repudiated the Treaty and declared “Jihad” against Spain. This was to be repeated for over four hundred years of Spanish conquest in the Philippines. When the Muslim warriors attacked Spanish enclaves, the Spaniards call them “pirates” and “barbarians” but to the Muslims it was a “Jihad” against an infidel. Whenever Spanish conquest was successful in Muslim areas, however temporarily, there were individuals who would carry the war of “Jihad” on their own and Spaniards call them “huramentados” (amoks) while the Muslims call themselves “Mujahids,” one who perform a sacred act in defense of Dar-ul Islam, the abode and territory of Islam. So upon his death, the “huramentados” are buried as “Shahids” which was the Arabic for martyrs.

Part 2: American Plan to Eradicate Muslim Religion and Customs

When the Americans came to the Philippines, they followed what the Spaniards were doing. They also wanted to govern the entire Philippines from Manila and so when the Spaniards... left, the Americans came in, also wanting to conquer the Muslim communities and integrate them to the greater community of Christians. Here, many Americans came and many Generals distinguished themselves. You will recall that the Americans in World War II have an American caliber 45. Many of you do not realize that this American 45 caliber was discovered and actually invented for the Moro Wars in the Philippines. Before that, the Americans have small guns. When they shoot Muslim “Huramentados” they could not stop them and these “huramentados” kept on coming with their bolos (swords) and so the Americans devised a gun strong enough that when it hit the “huramentados,” he fell instantly from the impact and that was the beginning of American Colt 45.

The Americans failed to subdue the Muslims and they were many treaties that followed. There was the “Bates Treaty,” the “Carpenters Agreement,” and to the end the Muslim failed to integrate into the body system. General Summer, a US military commander in southern Philippines, wrote and I quote: “It will be necessary to eradicate all their customs, their Muslim religion will be a serious bar to any efforts toward Christian civilization.” General Leonard Wood, the first American Governor in the southern Philippines, made his observation and I quote: “The Moros and other savage peoples have no laws, simply a few customs which are nowhere, in general, nothing has been found worthy of codification and imitation, a little or nothing, which has not existed, and better for humane, decent and civilized laws are enforced.”

According to our own Dr. Mauyag Tamano in his book, and I quote: “…by 1917, the US government has as one of its goals the complete fusion of a group of Filipino Muslims and a majority segment of the Filipino Christians. In other words, the Spaniards before them, the Americans who came later, had one goal – to integrate this community, but this community cannot be integrated because the Muslims felt they have their own national identity.”

The Americans, bringing in their own cultural tradition, wanted to enforce a strict separation of church and the state but this American tradition was seen by the Muslims as threat to their own traditions. The very notion of the separation of church and state but this a Christian idea, for the Muslims, the church and state are indivisible, at most; two aspects of the same reality. You will find that here in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you do not have a separation of State and Church. The Church and the State are one because this is the will of Allah and this is the Muslim tradition.

American secular schools, American laws, American political organizations may be enlightened, progressive and humanitarian in the eyes of Americans but they are not in the eyes of the Filipino Muslims. The system of educations, law and government may be secular model to Americans, but they are certainly not to the Muslims. Their institutions which stand at the very center of God’s revealed Will for man. There could not be a better example of fundamental deference in how events are to be understood. This misunderstanding is to play into subsequent Filipino governments who inherited the American tradition, so now we have the Spaniards setting up a tradition, the Americans came in and followed the Spaniards and when the Filipinos came in they followed the Americans and the misunderstanding continued.

What is worst, by 1928, when Luzon was getting crowded and part of the Visayas was also getting crowded, the American administration together with Filipino administration started moving Filipino settlers to the south. The idea was, “Go south, young man, because the south is the land of promise.” So what happened is that thousands of settlers came into Mindanao. The Muslims who were in Mindanao were pushed away from the coastal regions and then when the Philippines became independent, for every six persons in Mindanao, five were Christians and one was a Muslim. Today, for every seven persons in Mindanao, six are now Christians and one is a Muslim, and where they control all of Mindanao before, the Muslims today have concentrated at most in five provinces, minorities in other six provinces and therefore, our Muslim brothers are asking, “What have we done to deserve this? Why is it that we who fought the Americans, we who fought the Japanese, we who had been fighting for our Darul Islam and now a minority in our own region?”

And that, my friends, is the answer to the crisis that we now face. Can we now redress this grievance? Can we now make-up this neglect and should we continue in this fratricidal warfare that will spill the blood of the Filipinos? Let me be more specific. When Americans came and tried to impose their law, our Muslim brothers did not want to follow the Americans. The Americans wanted to teach English but the Muslims wanted to study Arabic. The Americans brought in their laws which are Christian and said in all marriages there should be one wife. The Muslims were practicing the Qur’anic law where they can have polygamy and therefore they responded and they said, “We are Muslims. Why should we follow your tradition, your Christian ethics?” This was the cause of the clash.

In the American system, the government and the church were separated. In the Muslim system, the government and church were one. Under American system, the laws are civilian and secular. Under the Muslim system, the laws were part of the Qur’an and they drew their own ethics and their own laws from the Qur’anic law and from the sayings of the Prophet. Therefore, this clash was to continue and this became the bedrock and the reason for the conflict.

But let me go in focus to what has happened to us in Luzon and from the Visayas because I think many of us here are Christians and came from Luzon and Visayas. Due to the fighting and warring during the Spanish times, when our families were living in the enclaves, and there were pirates coming in. We told our children in the Christian north, beware of the Moro pirates. We called a Moro a pirate and a barbarian – slave trader, cruel, cunning, treacherous, savage. When the child is not going to sleep, the father will say, “You go to sleep or the Moros will take you,” which has become a tradition.

Eventually, about two hundred years, the saying in our country was “a good Moro is a dead Moro” and you will also note that when a Moro will ask to marry a Christian girl, the entire family will reject that proposal and say we cannot get married to a Moro. They had a very bad image. My friends, this was being perpetuated from generations to generations by word of mouth, by majority of courses in our school history books and by popular drama as in our Christian north. We had our “Balagtasan,” we had our own “Zarzuela” the “contrabida” (villain) was always the Moro. In the American history, the Indian was always the villain. In our society, the Moro was always the villain.

Part 3: Muslims Portrayed as Backward and Violent People

The Muslims are portrayed primarily because of their religion as ignorant and backward people, as having a low-grade civilization, as tricky and violent, lawless. They are over-sensitive and ultra-conservative. Their picture, in short, as a second-class citizen in a Catholic country. The Muslims had to illustrate their Islamic identity; they held virtually an opposite image of a popular Christian Filipino opinion. Because of their faith, the Muslims feel that they are in fact morally and culturally superior to the Christians who after all eat pork, worship images, and perpetuate abuse after abuse on the Muslim people. As a result, Muslims rejected the integration policy which meant assimilation into the Christian culture which led to their non-inclusion into the mainstream of development which in turn created economic disparity between the two communities and persist today.

My point is, because the Muslims refused to integrate, they did not go to school. Because they did not go to school, they were left behind while the Christians go to school and developed themselves. So, while the Christians gain more money, they get better and better in business and the Muslims are falling behind and then they lose their land and then they lost their mineral claims and then they were driven away. Only few Muslims actually succeeded while many Christians were succeeding under the new environment. Over the decades, a number of Muslims have been attracted into a larger Filipino national identity but the great majority particularly in the rural areas has no sense of being part of the Philippines at all. Their orientation are entirely local or beyond there to the larger Islamic World. They regard the Philippines as a sort of a foreign infidel power devoted to the annexation of Muslim lands and the subversion of the Muslim people away from their faith.

In a very real sense, the Christian Filipino and the Muslim Filipino do belong to different worlds. Each is oriented towards a different wider community from which they drew their religion, their law, their values and their sense of history. The Christians went to the Vatican, the Filipino Muslims make pilgrimage to Makkah, thus is history of the two peoples which so fired the conflagration in the southern Philippines. The question then, can we solve this problem? What could be a solution? This evening, my friends, I would like to outline to you a solution that I propose to the leaders of the Muslim communities led by Chairman Nur Misuari and Sultan Haroun Al Rashid Lucman, hopefully will be able to bring peace to our troubled land.

Number one, we will note that in 1977, under the aegis of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an agreement was signed in Tripoli known as the TRIPOLI AGREEMENT. Under this agreement, our Muslim brothers have given up the quest for independence and they will remain in the Republic provided they are given the Autonomy in the thirteen (13) provinces of Mindanao. In the thirteen provinces of Mindanao, we are going to give them autonomy in those regions. We will be able to set up their own security forces and they will be able to govern themselves. This was a very good beginning, for a while there was a ceasefire and there was no killing. Unfortunately, when this Agreement was not implemented, our President did not implement it to the letter and instead of discussing this with the Muslim leaders, they broke off and Mr. Marcos went on to implement it unilaterally. Instead of thirteen provinces, Mr. Marcos split it into two regions, one is region 9 and region 12 and they removed three provinces. Naturally, our Muslim brothers said “that is a violation of the TRIPOLI AGREEMENT. The Tripoli Agreement talks of thirteen provinces and now you reduced into ten and what is worse, you split it into two.

I therefore would like to propose that the Philippine government return to the original Tripoli Agreement. If the Philippine government will return to the Tripoli Agreement, then we will make an appeal to our Muslim brothers to come back to the table so that we can discuss our problem rather than shoot it out. If we do not negotiate, my friends, there will be a return to the bloodshed and more people will die. But we promised our Muslim brothers that if they will come back to the negotiating table, if they will come back to the Tripoli Agreement, then the entire Christian north will support them in the claim and once we would like to propose affirmative actions on regions in Mindanao. What do I mean by this? If our region in Mindanao are under-developed and they are entitled to only one school, by our definition of affirmative action will increase your school to four every year so that income between the two communities will be close at the end of the century.

Number two, we believe that all Christian troops in Mindanao should be withdrawn from that area. It takes two to fight. If there are no more soldiers, there will be no more fighting and therefore, we will be able to disconnect the fighting. All Christian troops will be removed from those Muslim areas and we will let the Muslims police themselves. We will tell them, we are removing the Christian troops, and you set up your own police force, you set up your regional forces, you police yourselves because we do not want anymore conflict between Christian and non-Christian communities.

Number three, we will propose that the Muslims set up their own courts, their own “Shariah” courts, their own schools, their own madrasahs. If they want to use Arabic to teach their children, let them use Arabic to teach their children. Why should we impose English or Tagalog, if they should also have their own courts, and they should also have their own schools? Their local autonomy should a Muslim and this should be elected by their own people. The national government will always support them if they are entitled to by way of development.

I believe the Muslim community should be allowed to call in their lawyers and set up their own civil code as against our own civil code. If this will be achieved, it will go along essential opportunities that will signal the beginning of the renaissance in the Muslim Philippines which some five hundred years ago was the center of the Filipino culture, learning and power. With the assistance of the Islamic Conference, funds for development could be secured ushering all over the Philippines. We feel that if our brothers will be united and the hostilities will stop, we can set up training camps, educational institutions all over Mindanao so that the products of these institutions can come to the Middle East for better employment and if we appeal to the Organization of Islamic States, I believe the Filipinos now numbering to a hundred and fifty thousand to two hundred thousand here will increase to more than half a million. And it comes in all ways that I discussed to you the possible solution.

For my part, I will be returning to Boston, happy in the thought that our Muslim brothers have finally found unity in their ranks. Chairman Misuari has come all the way from his place in Tripoli and Damascus, Syria to meet with Sultan Lucman and the rest of the BMLO members and with this new aggrupation today, this meeting, this new forging of unity, I find the our Muslim brothers will now have a strong voice in the international forum and as a result of this, we will be able to present their case better.

For my part, I have come to mediate and to ask and to plead that we should now join forces and hopefully once we are united, Mr. Marcos will listen to us, after stealing power now for sixteen years. We do not want to kill Mr. Marcos. All we want from Mr. Marcos is to return to us our freedom. All we ask from Mr. Marcos is to give us clean and honest election and if in the election he will win, then let him continue. But if he should lose, let him go to oblivion. That is all we ask. And it is nothing more but to ask that the Filipinos be given the freedom to choose their governors that must govern them.

The historic speech to this day has not lost its relevance. THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE MORO PROBLEM IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES" By (late) Senator Benigno Ninoy Aquino delivered at the King Abdel Aziz University Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 12, 1981.
Norodin Alonto Lucman is the author of ISLAM WAR ON TERROR, Perspectives on the History of Islam, Terrorism and Armed Conflicts in East Asia (History, 700 pages). Rescued 40 kidnapped hostages; Cited as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Mindanaoans in 2001; Advised Pres. Fidel Ramos, DILG Sec. Raffy Alunan III, NSC Chavit Singson and MILF CC on the Mindanao peace process; involvement in pacification campaigns. There is more in life than just nuts and bolts, fun and games. God gave each one a mission to fulfill in one's sojourn on earth, in the interest of humanity and environment. We are just passing through. To Him we return eventually. Death, as in life, is an act of divine wisdom.

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