Matter of Choices, the Mindanao bench

There’s almost an overwhelmingly hanging feeling of one’s uneasiness hissing like the serpent in one’s head that of what if, and so of what if it were, the sort of the simmering questions to shackle the mind retrogressing, backtracking, do a volte-face like the mind grimaced dead-span on to things missed. Such opportunities to have bypassed and facts to say mishaps, such of these uncaring attitude that in fact conflicts may have been avoided thus lives spared, countless of them had there been minds kind enough to just rightly think over them.

Putting the mind into high gear make it work at least get some handle of really downtrodden things like how can one be of any help, what premises would people have so that normalcy is restored and perhaps bring back sanity to people. Innocent mortals to be saved from infractions, wrongdoings that can only trace to government and guilty people running government make tons of money to simply profit from them.

This is the very picture we see almost on a daily basis, television talk shows news and print media, people up down and under the social strata, believers and non-believers, people of class or the classless; they are spread wide over the media circle, twitter and Facebook, here there and everywhere. On evenings and daylight, people hanker in real time, cyber globetrotters making the exchanges. And that if this incredible platform could have been around say a hundred years earlier, no holocaust would have happened, no world wars, peace on earth.

The eclectic mind has its way of providing the bridgework, probe, explore events, and dissect issues and matters of import for accuracy of path and the determination of goals or direction, something we need really badly to be able to be one people in one nationhood.

In cases of finding what fault lines are, the mind process pedigree of attributes of what they truly represent into logic and the normal application that should go along to be able to achieve results in real time, and into actionable doable undertakings.

Obtain just the right success in quiet equilibrium with reality, and all these for the glory of achieving things for the greater good for the greatest number; it’s all about democracy plain and simple.

A manipulated mind however does the opposite, it dwells on pretensions, deceit and corrupts to some very large extent; certain extremities, commit murder or instigate mass killings, deny truth, and the mind may be blinded in fits of memory loss, or often consciously and done deliberately. It denigrates the mind into slippage, decline in spates of mishaps and fumbles, all to befool, sidetrack unsuspecting people rob them of wit –of anything.

So, we slip into stasis, motionless, less productive if not entirely dead-beat loitering urban centers parasites to relatives or loved ones slaving overseas doing menial jobs as house-helps, and so on. Or worst, the do-no-gooders, people either to be statistics to upswing in crimes or themselves the criminal, feeding nicely into the underworld.

This is the very unfortunate 21st century mantra, the huge gaping void because of unremitting abnormalities in conflicts like that we have in Mindanao, Philippines.

But taking to the vine, what does this all mean to us, what premise can there be available or if not, make them available so that conflicts are avoided. Pedigree of things murky, opaque not transparent, policies past, present or what’s ahead, it all boils down to what if we make them visible and transparent, why not?

Quoting Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J. he says: “the Court felt impelled to send a stern directive to an Executive Department which they could not trust. The Court, however, did not say that the president should not think ‘out of the box.’ After all, the president’s oath binds the president not just to ‘preserve and defend’ the Constitution but also to ‘do justice to every man’.”

Fr Bernas, one among our country’s uprightly thinking people, a known constitutionalist posting his take in one of our country’s premiere media outfit, the Inquirer, apparently figuratively saying what can be done and what not to, opinion published to say something of the president’s ‘secret meeting’ with Muslim rebels in Tokyo, Japan, offering to say further there are ‘surgical measures’ to address them, among things necessary as I surmise, is all for the glory of our constitution’s life and death upkeep.

OPAPP people say pretty much same way, amongst plenty like ‘massive’ economics wet up appetite among others for rebels to take, accept regardless. Which if I may, might have been the reason behind the postponement of the ARMM elections pave way for such ‘offers’ like OPAPP to appease the gods and the peace process, OPAPP among guardian of the constitution, this time to have shattered, violated it. Well, I’m sort of ‘boxed in’ not able to achieve easy comprehension the heck is the matter. Apparently this all mean we really actually do not know what to do, or am I wrong.

So, what’s in the box? Two things of Fr. Bernas complementing his offer of thoughts, what meant ‘thinking out of the box’ and to ‘do justice to every man’.

Doing justice to every man to put words in the mouth of the babe, man of the cloth, is probably do justice to Muslims, saying it with propriety and with decorum not get into unnecessary trouble with yet unseen people, afraid of things I’m just as powerless as he is delve, dig deeper into.

But may I offer mine, we’re still very much the democracy of the oligarchy, big business people of the few controlling, strangulating the economy dictating the tempo and upbeat of political power in the country, powerful people the church certainly would not want to be messy with. Monopolistic people, the filthy rich dictated to by cartels of which to simply state why we are so backward like the transport mainstay, the Jeepney.

This to me appears like we have a very differing kind of an institutional democracy not of what appearing like others have, but would we call this protectionist monopoly uniquely Filipino, a democracy? Well, it beats me nonetheless. But the cartel I’m so damned so fretting with is the drug cartel operating in the country. And government may I hasten to add, may be in shadowy partnership with the powerful cartel, inadvertently or not, by allowing their like control LGUs which means taxpayer money in the form of the Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) unduly wagered in the illegal trading.


So what’s with us people of the Islamic faith anyway?


Still on doing justice to man, and addressing same to me redound to what I think are questions of sovereignty. Doing justice perhaps bluntly would be who do you mean and what do you mean, what are you, well I dare to say we are a sovereign people because we are descended from rulers of our land, thus the proof is as follows:

The Dansalan declaration of March 18, 1935, on the basis of Congressman Robert Bacon’s House Bill 12772 proposing the separation of Mindanao and Sulu from the Philippines introduced on June 9, 1921.

Hence the Dansalan declaration stipulates “The Moro datus and leaders of Sulu and Lanao petitioned the American authorities in Manila and Washington not to turn over Mindanao and Sulu to the Filipinos in the North to be governed by them without our consent and that upon us a government not of our own people, nor by our people, and not of our people.”

“This petition for self-determination of the Moro people, was totally disregarded, ignored, and unceremoniously thrown into the legislative thrash bin by the Americans in wanton violation of all democratic principles and traditions of governance enshrined and embodied in the U.S. 1787 Constitution.”

To delve further deeper into the argument, my contention are based on the following facts:

1.   That the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo was a sovereign and independent state for more than 400 years prior to the unlawful occupation of the Americans at that time headed by Sultan Jamalul Kiram II up to the signing of the Carpenter Memorandum on March 22, 1915; (as contained in the explanatory note of this memorandum.)

2.   That the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo was not conquered as a state by Spain and therefore, in its entity, was not a colonial territory of the Spanish Crown.;

3.   That the Americans officially acknowledged and recognized the sovereignty of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II in the Bates Treaty concluded between Sulu and the United States on August 20, 1899 by using the term “The Government of the Sultan” in said Agreement;

4.   That the Sultanate of Sulu and mainland Mindanao was not ceded and sold by Spain to the United States in the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris. This was also explicitly confirmed in Articles IV, XIV of the Bates Treaty of August 20, 1899 as ratified by President William McKinley;

5.   The Carpenter Memorandum also confirmed that the Sultanate of Sulu and the mainland Mindanao was not a political component of the First Philippine Republic under the Presidency of Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo who declared war against the United States on Feb. 4, 1899 and therefore Mindanao & Sulu was not part of the Theater of War between Aguinaldo’s Republic and the United States making the U.S. invasion of Sulu and Mindanao patently perfidious and unlawful from the standpoint of the Law of War of 1863, (1898) International Law, the Law of Nations, and the U.S. 1787 Constitution.

Under the 1935 Constitution and the Tydings McDuffie Law granting self-government on July 4, 1946 to the Filipinos, the overwhelming objection of the Mindanao and Sulu inhabitants was clearly easy to note, visible under these arrangements and contentions. They may have been doctored, shelved or simply trashed, what matters to me is the fact that treaties are nominally crafted signed among separate sovereign entities therefore is a proof of our claim to sovereignty.

To be ‘out in the box’ can mean in variables of numerous considerations, and if I may, could easily anchor to what claim of justice we certainly deserve, things this government can do to ameliorate without having to change the constitution, and one is the quick passage of the Rome Statute now in final deliberation with the senate.

The other that to me is considerably important, is for all of us to be part of the solution process and assess what accommodations we can probably broker with the Muslim and Marxist rebellion, it’s time that we do, otherwise we could be heading into a breakup, shatter the country in insignificant pieces the bigger chunk of which may be us, people of Mindanao & Sulu.



















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