Subject: Bangsamoro People’s Consultative Assembly Statement
STATEMENT OPPOSING U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTION IN MINDANAO
(This is a statement of the Bangsamoro People’s Consultative Assembly chaired by Abhoud Syed M. Lingga, January 27, 2002)
In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful
The Bangsamoro People’s Consultative Assembly (BPCA) voices in strongest terms possible its opposition to the entry of U.S. military forces in Mindanao, particularly in Zamboanga peninsula and Basilan that are identified as war zones, reportedly for the purpose of assisting Filipino troops in fighting the Abu Sayyaf group.
The BPCA echoes the fear of the various sectors of the Bangsamoro people that this deployment of US forces, lasting for six months in areas that are clearly identified as traditional Bangsamoro territories, is likely to involve legitimate Moro revolutionary groups, which maintain forces in these areas, in the inevitable armed confrontations between the US and Filipino forces on one hand and the Abu Sayyaf group on the other, thus jeopardizing the entire peace process now in place in Mindanao.
The Bangsamoro People’s Consultative Assembly further notes with concern the grim scenario projected by Senator Sam Brownback, a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that the Philippines is the next Afghanistan, thus lending much credence to the apprehension by many sectors of society that the US military build-up in Mindanao could lead to a full blown war not only of the magnitude seen in the recent conflict in Afghanistan but also in the Vietnam War.
Therefore, while the BPCA has always been against terrorism in all its forms, it takes the regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to task for inviting US military intervention in Mindanao and for allowing such foreign intervention to henceforth dictate the course of resolving the Mindanao conflict.
At this juncture, the BPCA reiterates that the Mindanao conflict can only be settled through a political solution. As such, it firmly believes that this conflict can never be solved through a military one, much more if that military solution involves US intervention.
Time and again, the BPCA has asserted that only by correctly and sincerely addressing the historical root cause of the problem in Mindanao, which is the continued denial by the Philippine nation-state of the right of the Bangsamoro people for self-determination and freedom, can a just and permanent peace be attained in Mindanao.
Toward this end, the BPCA calls on both the US and Philippine governments and appeals to their sense of justice to desist from resorting to military force to settle the problem of peace and order in Mindanao, and instead to allow for a UN-sponsored referendum in the Bangsamoro areas to address the primordial political issue of the right of our people to self-determination and freedom.
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