By ERIK ESPINA
The disturbing ad of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad’s tarpaulin in Cotabato City supporting the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law passage, is another of many historical, political, etc., validations of the umbilical cord connecting the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to Putra Jaya. MNLF Chair Nur Misuari was once upon a time ideologically blind-sided by Kuala Lumpur (for their Sabah interests) when he, with a group of acolytes, were trained and funded in Palau Pangkor (West of Peninsular Malaysia) to be later re-implanted back to Southern Mindanao to initiate a secessionist war to amputate the territory of the Philippines. Like a broken record, the unchallenged and romanticized propaganda is for “Righting historical wrongs,” and perfect claims, “Their territory and their people were never subjugated by foreign colonials, and never part of the 1897 Filipino Revolution.”
Said issues, have been addressed in previous columns. Why to this day, my generation, and other legitimately elected governments, must carry the burden for such generational grumble, when we had no control and fault over the issues they raise? The greater mistake is a class empowerment of a synthetic identity of “Moro” under the tutelage of the MILF, when many in Southern Mindanao prefer to be recognized as Filipinos, if not Tausogs, Iranons, Badjaos, Maranaos, Lumads, etc.
Truth to say, the BOL is an MILF buffet, as they will be majority in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission appointment. Excluded in the BOL negotiations were MNLF Chair Nur Misuari (recognized by the Org. Islamic Conf.), royal houses, and Lumads. As this column is written, Comelec announced results will be known in three days. I pray the distressing events reported in media will not predictably result in a region notorious as chattel for votes, mindful of Comelec Commissioner Regalado Maambong’s finding in late 1980s, “Not just a failure of elections, but the absence of actual elections” in the area. And under Smartmatic? In my last conversation with Misuari, he called Malaysia, a “neo-colonialist” and advocates for Sabah’s return. Paging MILF!