[Reporting on the recently-announced negotiations and agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government, this article from Ang Bayan (organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines) traces the CPP’s view of the agreement, its dangers, and the CPP’s relationship with the Moro Independence movement. — Frontlines ed.]
Editorial, Ang Bayan
October 21, 2012
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the national-democratic revolutionary forces are among the most ardent advocates of the Moro people’s struggle for their right to national self-determination.
The Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution supports the struggle of national minorities against chauvinism and oppression and recognizes their aspirations for autonomy and their right to secede from the ruling oppressive state. This support is also unequivocally contained in the 12-Point Program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The struggle of the Filipino and Moro peoples are tightly intertwined. Both of them resist the same reactionary state that oppresses and exploits the toiling masses. As an instrument of US imperialism, the Philippine puppet reactionary state tramples on the rights of the Filipino people to national liberation in allowing American and foreign big companies to exploit the Filipino nation’s natural resources. It further allows the US military to interfere, dominate and freely operate in the country and make use of the Philippines as a platform for its power-projection and interventionism in other countries.
In recent decades, this same reactionary state, from the Marcos to the current Aquino regime, has gravely abused the Moro people’s political, economic and cultural rights. Fascist troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) occupy the ancestral land and political territory of the Moro nation in an effort to impose the constitution and political power of the reactionary state upon the Moro people.
The violent suppression of the Moro people has sparked their armed resistance throughout history. They largely succeeded in resisting over three centuries of Spanish colonialism. Their aspiration for self-determination was, however, more effectively suppressed with the supplanting of the Spanish colonialists by the new US colonial power. Using its bigger, more economically and technologically advanced capability, US imperialism, and later, its puppet reactionary state were later able to completely dominate the Moro homeland.
It was only through persistent revolutionary armed struggle since the 1970s that the Moro people were able to defend themselves, gain recognition for their struggle for self-determination and provide it a more national form. The Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausog, Samal, Yakan and other Moro groups united under the banner of armed struggle. Since the start of their national armed revolution, the revolutionary movement has been one with the Moro people in advancing their struggle for their right to national self-determination.
For the past four decades, the CPP and the revolutionary forces have been working with the various organizations of the Moro people that uphold and fight for their revolutionary cause. In the 1970s, the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA) waged revolutionary armed struggle parallel to the armed resistance waged by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) until the latter acceded to the constitution of the reactionary government in the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and eventually capitulated completely to the Ramos regime.
Since the 1990s, the revolutionary forces under the NDFP have maintained felicitous relations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in recognition of its repudiation of the MNLF’s capitulation to the oppressive Manila government in 1996 and its revolutionary assertion of the Moro people’s aspirations for national self-determination.
In 1998, the NDFP and the MILF signed an agreement of mutual understanding declaring mutual support for the struggle for self-determination of the Moro people and the struggle for national and social liberation of the Filipino people. Forces of the NDFP and MILF have since then extended mutual assistance and exchanged experiences in confronting a common enemy.
The revolutionary movement considers the MILF’s negotiations with the Government of the Philippines and its recent signing of the Framework Agreement which outlines the formation of the Bangsamoro Government as part of the Moro people’s continuing efforts to assert their rights.
Although there is general recognition for the aspirations of the Moro people to set up their own nation and government, the greater part of the agreement is lopsided in favor of the reactionary state and maintaining the latter’s dominance over the Moro people.
The agreement is fraught with many dangers and traps that will surely be at the center of continuing conflict when the MILF and the GPH meet again to negotiate. The negotiations have a long way to go before a final agreement can be forged between the MILF and the Aquino government. Among the points to be grappled with is the key issue of the disposition of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) which the reactionary state has long wanted to disarm. A related issue is whether the Bangsamoro government will be given control over the armed military forces and police in their territory, and even over the direction of their economy and the exploitation of natural resources within the Bangsamoro lands.
The CPP calls on the Filipino and Moro peoples to rally around the cause of Moro self-determination and support efforts by the representatrives of the Moro people to resist the deceptions and maneuvers of the Aquino regime and reactionary state in the course of the negotiations. The CPP trusts that the Moro revolutionary forces will continue to steadfastly hold on to the victories that they have gained through armed resistance.