Sunday, June 17, 2018

Executive Summary - Pursuing the Peace Process with Muslim Separatist Rebels - 20160904


PURSUING THE PEACE PROCESS
WITH MUSLIM SEPARATIST REBELS

Executive Summary


Part I: Defects and Remedies re MOA-AD and FAB-CAB

1. They sought to foster co-existence between the Muslim and Christian communities by institutionalizing the religious differences between them. Rather than stress the religious differences, the parties should have brought forth instead the cultural communities.

2. They left out of the negotiation process the other major stakeholders, namely the Christian communities, the indigenous peoples, the Southern Sultanates, the local government units, and the MNLF. To ensure a solid peace agreement, the other major stakeholders should be allowed representation and participation.

3. The MOA-AD and the FAB-CAB embodied a one-sided agreement in favor of the MILF, disregarding the equally legitimate interests of the other major stakeholders. To enable the parties with equally legitimate grievances to move forward, all sides concerned must acknowledge that outside the criminal activities, there lies a conflict of equally legitimate rights and interests.

4. The MOA-AD adopted the false notion that the indigenous peoples were “Moros” or Muslims. The classification of indigenous peoples as “Bangsamoros” was unacceptable and non-negotiable.

5. The MOA-AD distorted settled jurisprudence1 which acknowledged the “native title” of “indigenous peoples” to their “ancestral lands,” and sought to apply the doctrine to the “Bangsamoros.”

6. They acknowledged baseless claims to territorial waters and aerial domain.

7. The MOA-AD and the FAB-CAB were clear about how the proposed juridical entity would derogate against the 1987 Constitution, but vague about the parties' compliance with existing constitutional processes in “effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework.”

Part II: Proposed Consensus Points re New Peace Agreement

1. Recognition of the homeland of the various ethnic groups (i.e. Iranun, Maguindanao, Maranao, Samal, Tausug, Yakan, etc.) the majority of whom has embraced Islam.

2. Establishment of integrated regional offices or chartered regional authorities for the homeland of the various ethnic groups (i.e. Iranun, Maguindanao, Maranao, Samal, Tausug, Yakan, etc.) the majority of whom has embraced Islam.

3. Delegation of full executive powers and rule-making powers to the regional government office or chartered regional authority.

4. Creation of special economic and cultural offices to promote regional government interests.

5. Establishment of internal security forces under the regional government office or chartered regional authority based in the homeland of the various ethnic groups (i.e. Iranun, Maguindanao, Maranao, Samal, Tausug, Yakan, etc.) the majority of whom has embraced Islam.

6. Recognition of titles of royalty of the Southern Sultanates2.

7. Adoption of a new name for the country.

Additional Proposed Consensus Points

1. The exclusion of the recognized homeland from the application of all the provisions of the 1987 Constitution which impose nationality requirements for economic and social activities, and for property holdings.

2. The exclusion of the recognized homeland from the application of all or substantially all national statutes which impose nationality requirements for economic and social activities, and for property holdings.

3. The creation of a special economic and freeport zone covering either the entire Sulu archipelago, consisting of the island groups of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, or a portion or portions thereof.

4. The exclusion of the recognized homeland from the application of the minimum wage law.

5. The exclusion of the recognized homeland from the application of the provisions on retention limits, transfer restrictions, and compulsory acquisition under the agrarian reform laws.

6. The enactment of simple, reasonable but progressive taxation laws, that covers everyone without exception, but with due regard to socialized burden sharing, applicable to all income generated (i.e. income tax) and transactions conducted (i.e. value added tax) in the homeland.

7. The enactment of a new local government code applicable to the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays of the homeland, that delineates national and local government functions, consolidates local government powers in cities and municipalities, consolidates legislative and executive powers in local councils, and extends terms of local legislators and executives.


Demosthenes B. Donato
General Counsel, Tanggulang Demokrasya
Makati City, Philippines.04 September 2016.

1 Carino v. Insular Government of P.I., 41 Phil. 95. Aboag v. Director of Lands, 45 Phil. 18.
2 1987 Constitution, Article VI, Section 31 which provides: “No law granting a title of royalty or nobility shall be enacted.”