Category Archives: Bangsa Moro

Martial Law 9/23/72: METROCOM, Big Brother & Me

What happened on Sept 21, 1972? Nothing of much importance. Just like any other day in the Philippines. I was in high school then. On that day, I went to school, as usual. What happened on Sept 22, 1972? Nothing of much importance. Just like any other day in the Philippines. I went to school,… Read More Martial Law 9/23/72: METROCOM, Big Brother & Me

Mranao royal house: the Torogan

Here is a newspaper article I wrote on the Torogan, the Mranao royal house. I had posted this before in my websites and in my blogs. I stopped maintaining my websites while some of my blogs just vanished for whatever reasons. This is a snapshot of my lost blog with its Torogan post: Now, it’s… Read More Mranao royal house: the Torogan

Eid al-Adha is on 10th Dhu’l Hijjah based on local time, not Makkah time.

For several years now, there has been a move to have a Universal Hijri Calendar — one calendar to serve for the whole Ummah. Saudi Arabia wants to be the one to fix the dates of the Universal Calendar. But Turkey, the former Ottoman Empire, also wants to be the center of this calendar. The … Continue reading Eid al-Adha is on 10th Dhu’l Hijjah based on local time, not Makkah time.

Eid al Adha must be timed locally as it is separate from the Hajj

For several years now, there has been a move to have a Universal Hijri Calendar — one calendar to serve for the whole Ummah. Saudi Arabia wants to be the one to fix the dates of the Universal Calendar. But Turkey, the former Ottoman Empire, also wants to be the center of this calendar. The… Read More Eid al Adha must be timed locally as it is separate from the Hajj

Duterte’s cousins joined ISIS / Maute gang!

FLASHBACK!!! President Duterte admitted, even boasted – on national TV – that his cousins joined ISIS/Maute gang; and he did not have them arrested. And the Mass Media and the public as a whole did not give a damn! Yet the Philippine government bombed and totally destroyed the town proper of Marawi City supposedly to … Continue reading Duterte’s cousins joined ISIS / Maute gang!

How did the Media Cover the ‘Rape of Marawi’?

It’s been one year since the start of the Rape of Marawi, referred to by the Media as the Marawi “Siege” and later, the Battle of Marawi.


I have refrained from writing about Marawi because it is very hard for me to accept that it was happening / it really happened. It’s really a miracle, but in a very negative sense.


I never imagined that the Philippine government and military can be so evil-minded. And they were/are supported by the Supreme Court and Congress and most of the Filipino people.


I never imagined that the Mranaos or the Moros would allow the Philippine government to totally destroy one significant city. I never imagined the Moro armed groups like the MILF, MNLF, BIFF ,etc. to just watch as the bombs fall on Marawi.


I never imagined intelligent Filipinos not doing anything to stop the Rape of Marawi, except for some rare individuals like Cong. Edcel Lagman, who almost singlehandedly opposed the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.


I never imagined the Supreme Court and the Senate to agree on long-term Martial Law in Mindanao when it is palpably AGAINST the Constitution and totally WITHOUT basis.


I never imagined Moro leaders could go down the level of cowards and lapdogs just so they can maintain their political positions
.

I never imagined that people can be so idiotic as to believe that it takes six or so months to defeat 50, or even 200, armed civilians against the might of a country’s armed forces — thousands of troops armed with tanks, armored vehicles, heavy firepower including RPGs, jet planes armed with so many bombs plus the aid of US military advisers and drones.


I never imagined that people can be so intellectually damaged as to to believe that to defeat a hundred or so armed civilians, even if they claimed to be part of a sinister international terrorist group, one needs to pulverize practically a whole city.


I never imagined that people have lost their sense of logical reasoning as to believe that the military that pulverized a whole city in order to defeat a ragtag army of 100 or so civilians, with no surface-to-air missiles or anti-tank weapons, would not kill civilians or loot the houses, even if presented evidence to the contrary.


I never thought that people would be so naive and gullible as to believe that even after declaring total victory over supposed enemies, the government still refused to let the residents back to their ruined houses — for months! What were they doing? Covering up their crimes of murder and robbery by burning the houses with tell-tale signs?


I never though I would see the day when Mranaos lose their dignity, self-esteem, pride and MARATABAT.


 I so miss my eldest brother, Macapanton Rashid Yahya Abbas, Jnr. He was the brain of the Bangsa Moro revolution. If he were alive today, the Rape of Marawi would probably have not happened. He was beholden to no one and he was always fighting for Moro freedom. He had wide powerful connections – both local and international – and was well respected by almost everyone.

If he were alive, I would have been the first to egg him on to defend Marawi.


When he passed away, I wrote in my website The Moro Review that the end of the Bangsa Moro Revolution had finally come. The so-called Marawi “Siege” has buried the Bangsa Moro revolution. The MNLF and MILF are nothing but mere bad jokes.


If anything, the Rape of Marawi has proven once and for all that the Christian majority could not care less about the Muslims in the Philippines, the Bangsa Moro people. The Rape of Marawi is the best argument for an independent Bangsa Moro. The Rape of Marawi is also the best argument to get rid of all Moro political leaders — cowards all. The Rape of Marawi is the best argument that the MNLF and MILF do not represent the Bangsa Moro people.


And any grain of respect I had for the Philippine media had totally vanished during the months-long Rape of Marawi.

======================================


A UP Journalism student doing her thesis on the Marawi “Siege” interviewed me on my thoughts about it. (I use quotation marks because I am not sure who the media refers to as those doing the siege and those being besieged.)


Weeks after the personal interview, she emailed me additional questions. These are her emailed questions and my answers:

UP Journ Student:     What are your thoughts on how media portrayed the events that transpired in Marawi? In your opinion, where do you think media lacked in covering these events? Why?


ME:   The essence of journalism is VERIFICATION. On the very first day of the Crisis, the mass media interviewed the military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla and other military officers. They all said that there were no ISIS members in Mindanao or in the Philippines. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año himself assured everyone that Marawi was “under control” and that the Maute group numbered around 50 only. (Note: The CNN link -http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/05/24/marawi-crisis-timeline.html – has been updated and the quote from Gen. Año was deleted. Why?? See Changing Marawi Narratives for the quote.)

AFP Spox Padilla- Sitwasyon sa Marawi City, kontrolado ng militar at pulisya (Click to view youtube clip)


Another May 23 news clip from GMA TV News where the milirary again assured everyone that the military was in control of the situation in Marawi.:


And just a few hours after the announcements of the generals, Duterte, who was in Russia, suddenly declared that ISIS was in the Philippines and he declared Martial Law all over Mindanao.

A responsible media would have grilled the generals who told all and sundry that there was no ISIS presence in the Philippines. Did the President know better than the generals? And later, when then Cong. Harry Roque was interviewed on TV, he said that just an hour or so before Duterte’s declaration, he was with all the military and intelligence advisers of Duterte and they all said that there was no ISIS in the Philippines and that everything was under control. Roque was also in Russia as part of Duterte’s entourage.


Accdg. to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, the Elements of Journalism, among others, are:


             Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.

             Its first loyalty is to citizens.

             Its essence is a discipline of verification.

             Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.

             It must serve as an independent monitor of power.

             It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
             It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.

             Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.


Re: Marawi coverage, all these elements of Journalism were/are missing. Although, I am not sure about the last one.


I saw an interview of George Cariño. He was interviewed on his experience in covering Marawi. He even cried. He said something which intrigued me. He said that they were not allowed to use some words or phrases in their coverage. What was that? Self-censorship? Is that related to last element above?


If what happened to Marawi were to happen in a Christian-populated city? Would the Philippine media do the same thing as they did in Marawi?

UP Journ Student:      How does the news coverage of the Marawi siege affect the public’s perception on it? What do you think are the other issues that will be affected because of the media’s news coverage of the Marawi conflict? What do you think are the factors that affect the packaging of news?


ME:     The public’s – esp. The Christian majority’s – knowledge of Marawi came / comes from the media. Their perception of the Rape of Marawi was seen through the spectacles of media. The narratives the public got were all crafted by the government and disseminated through the media.


FRAMING is one BIG factor that affects the packaging of news.

The framing is terribly skewed in favor of the government’s narrative.


CONTEXTUALIZING.  The context is terribly WRONG. From the media’s narrative, the context is as follows:


Marawi and the residents of Marawi are just like any Filipino, with the same shared history. All of a sudden, a group who represents a foreign-based jihadist terrorist group called ISIS, appeared and took hostage a whole city.  The residents fled, Duterte declared Martial Law and massive military forces came in to the rescue, like the cavalry of the old US of A. And the people of  Marawi applauded and were/are ever thankful for the Philippine government and soldiers. (This is so nauseating to most Mranaos…)


The public does not know the REAL CONTEXT. Marawi and Mranaos are not of the ordinary Filipino variety. The Mranaos are part of the Bangsa Moro who have been fighting the Philippine Republic since 1970 – for 48 years!!! And they fought the Americans for more than 20 years and the Spaniards for 350 years.

Given a choice between the Philippine government and a Muslim group, the average Moro would choose the Muslim group.

The reason for the Jabidah Massacre in 1968 was that the young Moros recruited by the Philippine military refused to go to Sabah to fight their fellow Muslims. They chose to side with their fellow Muslims than with the Philippine government.


The Moros are not Filipinos, in many sense of the term.

And what is the CONTEXT of ISIS? And the Caliphate?

(Note: All of a sudden, a group of Al-Qaeda supporters proclaimed themselves to be a worldwide Caliphate in 2014 and called itself, the Islamic State or ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah. The Caliphate is the government of the whole Muslim World or Ummah. The last Caliph was Abdulmecid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who was deposed by Kemal Attaturk in 1924. )

ISIS means Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It doesn’t include Mindanao or Marawi. If it does, it would be ISMIS!!!

ISIS, esp. during the time of the Rape of Marawi, was being bombed out in Iraq and Syria. They couldn’t possibly have any care about Marawi, thousands of miles away. The Mranaos are not even Arabs.


And what is the Caliphate? There has been a Caliphate (Khilafa) movement in the Islamic world since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and with it, the last Caliph.


But not just any idiot can claim to be a Caliph, like not any idiot can claim to be the Pope or the King/Queen of the British Commonwealth (formerly, British Empire).


The Hashemite Kings of Jordan and Morocco would be the first in line to be the new Caliph, not idiots put up by the US CIA. And not any idiot can be declared an Emir or Prince of a province of the Caliphate. (Hapilon of Abu Sayyaf was supposed to be the Emir of Philippines or Southeast Asia, accdg. to the government. Hahahahahaha!!!!!!)


Several years ago, American and European intelligence agencies started rumors about Muslims wanting to establish the Caliphate. But they were demonizing the Caliphate.

I thought then that the Westerners must be soooo dumb. Didn’t they know anything about the Caliphate (khilafa) movement, which has been around since 1918 or thereabouts? Little did I know that they were laying the predicate for ISIS.

EQUALIZING. The Media equalizes the strength of 50 or so Maute supporters, mostly kids, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines – with heavy weaponry, dozens of tanks, armored vehicles, airplane bombers and thousands of troops plus drones from the Americans.


SANITIZING.  There were many reports of civilian deaths, but none were focused on by the media. And there was MASSIVE LOOTING but hardly any reports by the media.

UP Journ Student:          In your opinion, what issues do you think the media should prioritize and should cover more during their coverage? Why?


ME:               HUMAN RIGHTS is a foremost issue.

Right now, there should be focus on REPARATIONS — the Mranaos should be paid for the damage brought to their homes and properties.


MILITARIZATION – It looks like the government is intent on building more military camps in Marawi and thus become an Occupying power.


LAND GRABBING. The government seems intent on stealing Moro lands, again.


The Americans, and later, the Philippine government, delcared ALL MORO LANDS as PUBLIC DOMAIN. And since titling of Lands is not customary among Mranaos, most lands in Lanao are not titled. The government wants to steal them all over again.


And what is the QUID PRO QUO with the MILF and MNLF? The fact that MILF and MNLF supported the government means that they already made a deal with them.  Why is the MEDIA mum on that? Whatever the deal is with both groups must have a great impact on the whole country.

UP Journ Student:         What should be the media’s role in the conflict? What are the ways the media can do to live up to its role?


ME:              The Philippine Media personnel, esp. the journalists, should adhere to the Elements of Journalism as espoused by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. (see ther first answer)



Later, I emailed her one more point. I wrote:


“When ISIS hq abroad claimed that the lone gunman in the Resorts World casino shooting was their member, the media ignored the claim.


Yet the same media immediately believed the president when he declared that ISIS was in Marawi with no evidence and contrary to the assertions of AFP generals who, just a few hours earlier than Duterte’s allegation, assured the public on national media that there were no ISIS in the Philippines.

Double standard???!!!”

————–       end of Question and Answers       —————–


I would like to add more points.


In Marawi,  a report that about 50 supporters – untrained civilians, mostly kids – of the Maute family, allegedly linked to ISIS, were roaming around Marawi City, was enough for the President to order the immediate evacuation of Marawi City and to declare Martial Law all over Mindanao and then to bring the might of the Armed Forces of the Philippines plus American drones and advisers to bomb the Islamic City of Marawi (or parts thereof) to kingdom come!

During the Cory Aquino administration, a group of highly-trained military troops headed by Col. Honasan, took over the Ayala Avenue area of Makati. The Cory Aquino government did not declare Martial Law or mercilessly bombed the highly urbanized Makati business district.


MARTIAL LAW DECLARATION


The Philippine Constitution states: “In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”


In May last year, when Martial Law was declared, there was NEITHER INVASION NOR REBELLION in Mindanao. According to military officers — the AFP Chief of Staff no less and the AFP spokesman — there were only about 50 MAUTE clan members in Marawi and NO ISIS presence in Marawi, Mindanao or the Philippines.


Only idiots and morons and occupying powers (who think Moros are their enemies and need to be subjected to their powers) can justify the declaration of Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao!

The fact that Congress and the Supreme Court believe that there should be Martial Law in Mindanao (forever, if needed) only means that the Christian majority are playing along with the government. While there is Martial Law officially all over Mindanao, everything is business-as-usual in Christian-dominated provinces. Martial Law is just in full effect in Muslim-dominated provinces, esp. Lanao del Sur, incl. Marawi City.


MARAWI EVACUATION DUE TO EXPECTED BOMBING


The primary cause for the evacuation of Marawi was not the people’s fear of the Maute clan. Most Mranao families are well-armed. They are not afraid of just one armed family or clan. But they are afraid of being bombed by government forces.

Just a few months previous to the Rape of Marawi, the government bombed Butig, the stronghold of the Mautes. The residents of Marawi were afraid of government bombs, not Maute guns. In fact, about a few hours before the declaration of Martial Law, one Mranao woman was interviewed via phone by Karen Davila. The woman pleaded to the military, through the news program, not to bomb Marawi. She said that they did not want to suffer the same fate as the people of Butig.


And what forced the residents to flee was the declaration of Martial Law. With Martial Law, the local elected officials would be powerless. The military would reign supreme. And the Mranaos, like most Moros, do not love the Philippine military.


And if a Marawi resident was still not convinced to evacuate, the order by the Office of the Governor/Vice Governor to leave made the reluctant Marawi resident no choice.


The Marawi evacuation was the most important ingredient in the Rape of Marawi. The bombing of Marawi would not cause a lot of deaths. There would be no genocide to complain of. Apparently, the world could not care less about destruction of buildings, houses and mosques and roads and bridges. The massive looting by the soldiers and the unnecessary killings of some civilians on the side could easily be overlooked by the world’s media, who would focus on the government’s meta-narrative.


BANGSA MORO REVOLUTION – the NEXT PHASE


Prof. Cesar Adib Majul, the “mentor” to the Bangsa Moro revolution, wrote that there were six (6) stages or phases of the Moro Wars — the wars between the Moros and the Spanish conquistadors. If that were so, then the 7the stage of the Moro Wars was the one fought against the Americans. And the 8th stage was the MNLF/MILF wars against the Republic of the Philippines that began around 1969 / 1970.


The Rape of Marawi has finally wrote FINIS to the 8th phase of the Moro Wars. Practically all its leaders are gone. Dean C. Adib Majul, the mentor; Sultan Rashid Lucman, the Father of the revolution; Ustadz Hashem Salamat, the Spirit of the revolution; and Prof. Macapaton Abbas, Jnr, the Brain of the revolution, are all dead. The OIC-recognized Head of the revolution, Hadji Nur Misuari is politically dead, even if he is being resuscitated by Mr. Duterte.


The above-mentioned leaders were modern leaders, educated and were inspired by the orthodox, classical and peace-loving Islamic ideology. The next set of leaders might come from extreme and radical forms of Islamic ideology, something like the Taliban or Wahhabi (or the CIA-created  Al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf and ISIS) variety. That would be very bad for the whole Philippines.

Muslim-Christian marriages: Are they valid?

The correct (long) title is:  Are Muslim-Christian marriages among previously married and still un-divorced individuals valid? This is another of my posts that got lost with my blog Reflections on the Bangsa Moro and recently recovered by me, thanks to humans or internet bots who/that saved my blogposts. Although the post is more than a… Read More Muslim-Christian marriages: Are they valid?

Changing Narratives: Federalism for All

The Mindanao problem is ultimately a POWER problem – the power of one group over another. It is a problem of colonization. The fact that there was a law called the Legislative Act 4197 or Quirino-Recto Colonization of Mindanao Act, which was enacted on 12 February 1935 is very telling. The Commonwealth considered the Act… Read More Changing Narratives: Federalism for All

Bangsa Moro Homeland — the Impossible Dream

  Would you negotiate with a pushover? Yes, but only to get even more advantages. The Spaniards only negotiated with the Moro sultanates when they realized they couldn’t defeat them. The Americans signed treaties with the Sulu Sultanate when their hands were full with the Philippine revolution in Luzon. Afterwards, they massacred the people of … Continue reading Bangsa Moro Homeland — the Impossible Dream

Media Coverage of the Rape of Marawi

It’s been one year since the start of the Rape of Marawi, referred to by the Media as the Marawi “Siege” and later, the Battle of Marawi. I have refrained from writing about Marawi because it is very hard for me to accept that it was happening / it really happened. It’s really a miracle,… Read More Media Coverage of the Rape of Marawi

ASEAN silent on the Rape of Marawi

    As expected, the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, as well as world leaders like American President Donald Trump, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were silent on the just concluded Rape of Marawi as well as the genocide of Rohingyas and the Extrajudicial Killings in Manila and … Continue reading ASEAN silent on the Rape of Marawi

Marawi Tragedy is a humanitarian concern – Abbas

FROM: RANAO STAR PHILIPPINES Sultan Abbas told EU officials: “There must be something wrong” on the Peace Process MANILA, October 17 — Sultan Firdausi Ismail Yahya Abbas, Sultan of Lanao and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Bangsa Mranaw Congress (BMC) met last October 13, 2017 with officials of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium … Continue reading Marawi Tragedy is a humanitarian concern – Abbas

Give me Liberty or give me Death!

  The American colonials still kept hoping that there would be peace in America. But Delegate Patrick Henry knew that the British masters would never give the colonials freedom. In the Second Virginia Convention on March 20, 1775, Mr. Patrick Henry delivered this immortal speech: They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to […]

Independence Day…for the Bangsa Moro?

 Through the Years   America is back in Mindanao – right smack in the middle of a war against a Mranao family, the Mautes and the full force of the Philippine Armed forces. Ostensibly, the Americans are providing intelligence and surveillance planes. The Philippine government used all its might to bomb Marawi City to kingdom… Read More Independence Day…for the Bangsa Moro?

Teach Not the Bangsa Moro history, yet

Last year, there was a lot of hullabaloo about the proposal that Bangsa Moro history be taught to Filipino high school students. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Department of Education spearheaded the proposal. There was applause everywhere, including among the Moros. Some Moros were happy and even… Read More Teach Not the Bangsa Moro history, yet

The Lords of the Lake

In 1639, the Spanish conquistadors together with their Indio (now called Filipino) subjects, attacked the Maguindanao sultanate and gave their all to stop once-and-for-all the great Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Qudarat. Qudarat gave another mighty defense but due to the strong Spanish-Indio forces, he made a strategic retreat to his in-laws and cousins, the Iranuns and… Read More The Lords of the Lake

Intellectual Defender of the Bangsa Moro Cause

During the debate on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), I was terribly irritated when I heard Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Alan Cayetano and all other anti-Muslim, anti-BBL politicians run roughshod over Moros trying to defend the BBL. For all the numerous Moro governors, congressmen, mayors, lawyers, government officials, rebel leaders, leader wannabes, rich and educated… Read More Intellectual Defender of the Bangsa Moro Cause

BANGSA MORO HISTORY and the (NON-MORO) FILIPINOS

Sometime in 1991 or earlier, Mr. Alfonso Felix, Jr. obtained copies of two historical documents from the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid  written in 1755. He promptly translated the two texts entitled “The Siege of Palumpong” and “The Battle of Iligan.” The Society of Jesus printed the original Spanish texts in 1755 in Manila. The English… Read More BANGSA MORO HISTORY and the (NON-MORO) FILIPINOS

Federalism and Other Options

This is a CONTINUATION of Prof. Macapanton Yahya Abbas‘s “Is a Bangsa Moro State within a Federation the Solution?” ******************************************************************************   CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT   The infirmities of the New Organic Law are serious that it must be declared unconstitutional especially the power of control of the National Government over the Regional Government as a Local […]

Injustice to the Bangsa Moro

This is a CONTINUATION of Prof. Macapanton Yahya Abbas‘s “Is a Bangsa Moro State within a Federation the Solution?” ****************************************************************************** Injustice to the Moro Identity The national identity claims of the Bangsa Moro has been given acceptance by no less than the outgoing President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Bishop Orlando […]

PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT AGREEMENTS and NEGOTIATIONS with BANGSA MORO GROUPS

This is a CONTINUATION of Prof. Macapanton Yahya Abbas‘s “Is a Bangsa Moro State within a Federation the Solution?” OIC RECOGNITION As mentioned earlier, this author was sent as a lawyer to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in February 1972 at the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the OIC.  He met with Secretary General Tengku Abdul […]

IS A BANGSA MORO STATE WITHIN A FEDERATION THE SOLUTION?

(Just before he passed away, Macapanton Rashid Yahya Abbas, Jr, wrote a rambling essay on the Bangsa Moro Conflict and was published in the Ateneo Law Journal  Vol. 48  Sept 2003.  Officially, he was designated as Secretary-General of several Moro groups like the Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization (BMLO), the National Coordinating Council for Islamic Affairs (NACCIA), […]

Filipino Crab Mentality – The Institutionalization of Mediocracy

My blog Reflections on the Bangsa Moro was lost in 2011 when the bloghost BLOGSOME.COM folded. I never thought blogsome would close down. It seemed like a small but solid enterprise in Ireland. They must have sent warnings to its clients but I must have been too busy then doing other things so I wasn’t able […]

Mranaos and their ” Maratabat “

It is quite unfortunate that the bloghost BLOGSOME.COM closed shop a couple of years ago and my blog for so many years – Reflections on the Bangsa Moro – got lost forever. Fortunately, while surfing the web, I saw one of my popular posts in that blog archived here. Thank God, somebody had the foresight […]

Aangkas ka na?

Ateneo de Manila University’s ENTAblado will perform Ang Bayot, Ang Meranao, at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakababagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte this August.