BANGSAMORO PEOPLE STAND FOR PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Recognize and respect for the Bangsamoro People’s Right to Self-determination.
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society
Asian Muslim Action Network in the Philippines (AMAN-Philippines)
Bangsamoro Youth Leaders
Concerned Bangsamoro Ulema
SALAM-Peace Foundation, Inc.
We, leaders and representatives of Bangsamoro people's and non-government organizations, strongly condemn the deployment of US military forces in Mindanao and other regions of the country. We deplore the subservience of the Macapagal-Arroyo government to the US as the most active disciple of its dubious "war on terrorism."
The presence of American troops in the Philippines is unwarranted and constitutionally illegal but more significantly, a mockery of Philippine national sovereignty. Worse, however, this act of aggression directed against the Moro people is an assault to the Bangsamoro people's right to self-determination.
Direct US military intervention in Mindanao will only fan the fires of hostilities and armed conflict in the region. It will not solve the historically and deeply rooted causes of oppression and discontent of the Moro people upon which thrived also the banditry of some obnoxious elements like the Abu Sayyaf and Pentagon kidnap-for-ransom groups.
But even before it can hypothetically finish off the Abu Sayyaf, the deployment of much disproportionately large contingent of battle-ready American troops and AFP soldiers would have already resulted in the massive displacement of the Moro people and countless cases of human rights abuses. What better constitutes an act of terrorism comparable to, if not greater than the terrorism so hypocritically denounced by America, than this terrifying enormous war of aggression?
We protest the cold-blooded attempt of the United States to turn Mindanao into a showcase of its dubious "war on terrorism" which is practically on a dead-end after failing to secure a decisive victory in Afghanistan. Bush's inconclusive, if not misleading, linking of bandits to al-Quaeda reflects the indiscriminate and expansive nature of US militarism which on a global scale has used the anti-terrorist pretext to curtail civil and political rights and target all legitimate democratic forces as terrorist enemies. American military intervention in Mindanao is bound to intensify the social, political and economic displacement of the Moro people and may lead to the escalation of armed conflict with Moro liberation fronts.
We equally denounce the Arroyo government, which goes to such lengths, and sink to such depths to indulge and support US aggression in Mindanao. It would distort the Philippine Constitution, stretch the letter and spirit of military agreements, and contract arrangements to allow US troops to conduct war "games" while placing the lives of Moro people in mortal peril.
We assail the duplicity of the Arroyo administration in making empty calls for peace talks with Moro liberation forces while at the same time unleashing militarist solution to the clamor of the Bangsamoro for redress of decades-long grievances and recognition of their right to self-determination. The current government, hardly deviating from preceding administrations, has shown its trigger-happy attitude and refusal to address the roots of the conflicts in Mindanao. It readily invokes loopholes in the Philippine Constitution, subverts democratic processes and electoral exercises, dishonors pacts, and peddles a model of development that frustrates the democratic aspiration of the Bangsamoro while facilitating the plunder of Mindanao's wealth and heritage by US multinational corporations and their local agents.
Peace must not be equated to the silence of the tombs of a war-weary people. Only a war against poverty, injustice and discrimination can heal the festering wounds of conflicts and scorch the ground that breeds bandits and terrorists. Genuine and lasting peace cannot exist in the quiet of armed suppression of popular demand for a just and humane society.
We call on our Bangsamoro brothers to unite in the face of yet another assault by the imperialist US reminiscent of their encroachment of our freedom and way of life unwaveringly defended for centuries by our ancestors.
We demand that the United States withdraw its troops in the Philippines and cease from their political and economic intervention, and military aggression which, apart from condemning billions of people across the world to violence, hunger and injustice, has bred the same extremist reactions. Terrorism is an act deserving condemnation by humankind but advancing and perpetuating the unjust world order that results to terrorism is no less reprehensible.
We call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to reassert the integrity of Philippine sovereignty, address the roots of conflicts in lieu of limited military solutions and uphold the right of the Bangsamoro people to self-determination.
NO TO US AGGRESSION IN MINDANAO!
NO TO AFGHANIZATION OF MINDANAO!
WITHDRAW ALL US MILITARY TROOPS FROM MINDANAO!
UPHOLD THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION OF THE BANGSAMORO!
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