Comment by Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
January 20, 2019
The MILF seems to be satisfied with the BOL. But many people and forces in Bangsamoro are resolutely and vigorously opposed to it. They call it BOL-shit.
Those prominently opposed include the MNLF under the leadership of Nur Misuari, several sultans and government officials from the level of governor to mayor in Sulu, Lanao and Maguindanao provinces.
Both the governor and sultan of Sulu are openly and strongly against the BOL. The former filed before the Supreme Court the petition to freeze the plebiscite on BOL on constitutional grounds. Even Duterte did a double face or had no choice in acquiescing to the filing of the petition.
Thousands of MNLF followers in red shirts and Cotabato city officials made it a point to demonstrate at city hall to counter Duterte’s presence and campaign for BOL in the vicinity. In Maguindanao, the BIFF and other forces do not agree with MILF’s collaboration with Duterte on BOL.
Duterte presumes wrongly that the Maranaws are in his pocket. Despite his claims to being a Maranaw, he is now hated by the Maranaws for destroying Marawi City, failing to make prompt rehabilitation and preventing the residents from returning to their homes and livelihood.
Duterte is quite heavy-handed and yet so sloppy in failing to offer satisfactory terms and secure the agreement of those strongly opposing the BOL. He is railroading the BOL through the plebiscite, under the duress and unfair condition of martial law.
He is setting the stage for a bigger armed conflict in the Bangsamoro and adjoining areas. The MNLF enjoys the support of the OIC and is angry that previous agreements and arrangements it has made with the Manila government under OIC auspices are being swept away so arbitrarily by Duterte.
The main enemy of the Bangsamoro is still the oppressive Manila government that violates their right to self-determination. What Duterte is doing is to use the BOL to divide and rule the Bangsamoro by making the various Bangsamoro forces fight each other.
Although Duterte comes from Mindanao, he is in cahoots with the oligarchs of “imperial Manila and Luzon” in subjugating the Bangsamoro and in controlling and plundering their human and natural resources in collaboration with imperialist powers. ###