Jurado on Tamano MOA Stand

“The person I admire most in the fight against that controversial and admittedly unconstitutional memorandum granting the MILF its Bangsamoro homeland is Adel Tamano.

Being a Muslim himself, Tamano has placed national interest above self. He is the kind of a Muslim we need in government. And I can predict he’ll go places.”

(Emil Jurado, To the Point, Columnist, Manila Standard)



  1. Tommy Pangcoga said,

    January 6, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I am sorry but I cannot in good conscience agree to or support Atty. Adel Tamano’s position.

    I too am a Moro. That is my nationality. A nationality that predates the Malolos Republic, its successor governments, and all constitutions and statutory laws attached to these. I distinguish my nationality from the citizenship that was given to me (Filipino) when I was born by the laws of the Philippines.

    Atty Adel Tamano, for all the degrees he has attained in legal jurisprudence, sees and treats the Bangsamoro issue only through the lens with which he thinks is the right lens to use: the legal and/or constitutional lens. Much like all the rest of those in the Liberal Party, in government, among the oligarchs that pull the strings of both government and opposition, and the Filipino Majority who had never read the FULL history of the peoples of Mindanao, Atty. Tamano’s position on the MOA-AD can be interpreted as that of someone who uses the historical context of this issue from time of Magellan only, and not before that. Within this presumption lies the greatest misconception of the majority who are Anti-MOA. Because no constitution of the Philippines, or of any country anywhere in the world for that matter, can impose itself over the claims of the people of an older nation or nations.

    As a Moro, I disagree that we are of “One Nation”. Luzon and Visayas were never parts of the Sultanates of Sulu or Maguindanao or of the Four Principalities of Lanao. Nations all that are centuries older than the Philippine Republic, its constitution and its statutory laws. Nations that continued to struggle to keep their sovereignty and freedom from the Spanish and American colonizers who were so welcomed by the peoples of Luzon and Visayas when they first came.The Bangsamoro people were never consulted whether they wanted to be part of the Philippines when it gained its belated freedom from Spain (by virtue of being sold to America, and not by a victorious rebellion). In fact, prior to that, Aguinaldo asked for the help (did not order around) of the Moro leaders of Mindanao in the fight against the Spaniards and was rebuffed. He was told that the Filipinos were “300 years too late” in offering an olive branch to the Bangsamoro. Because for 300 years and then some, they people of Luzon and Visayas were used as shock troops by the Spaniards in their greedy quest to plunder Mindanao of its riches.

    Again, the Bangsamoro people were never consulted whether they wanted to be part of the Philippines when it gained its second freedom from America. The Dansalan Declaration is a strong proof of the dislike of the Moro people to be part of the Philippines when it was to be granted its independence.

    The Philippine government opened the whole of Mindanao to
    resettlement and corporate investments. So, in 1903, the Philippine
    Commission declared as null and void all land grants made by
    traditional leaders like sultans, datus, and tribal leaders if done without
    government consent. The introduction of public land
    laws, which were based on the Regalian doctrine, “became an
    opportunity for the colonized north-Filipino elites to own or lease
    substantial landholdings as well as a chance for the ‘legal’ or systematic
    landgrabbing of traditional lands” of the Muslims. How dare they do that on land that is not theirs in the first place.

    So therefore, for all his legal savvy and expertise, I am sorry to say that Atty Tamano and all the lawyers who venerate the constitution and its statutory laws are willfully putting blinkers on their eyes by limiting their otherwise brilliant minds to the myopic perspectives of the constitution.

    It is expected that the Supreme Court would render the MOA-AD unsconstitutional. Because they have used the constitution as the document to interpret it. They all were thinking inside the box. I wished they were objective enough to think out of the box. Because the constitution is not the right document to interpret the constitution. It is preposterous to use the document of a baby in rendering judgement over the identity of someone who is centuries older. I say. “Only in the Philippines.”

    A Moro for me is one who recognizes and upholds his/her nation’s preeminent right to self-determination. A Moro is one who wishes and works for regaining that lost right; a right forcibly taken away from the Bangsamoro by the Philippine Republic when it gained its independence from America. The MOA-AD is a concrete expression of that right of the Bangsamoro to Self-Determination. The MOA-AD is not the sole property of the MILF. It was worked out for 3 years by learned experts in the GRP-MILF Peace Panels. It was hammered out for the benefit of all Bangsamoro, whether MILF, MNLF, leftist Moro, rightist Moro, non-aligned Moro, etc. And that includes the family and progeny of Atty. Adel Tamano.

    I dare everyone to read and understand the MOA-AD fully and say after reading it that it is not a good document. And I dare Atty Adel Tamano to read the history of his bangsa (nation) more extensively. From start to finish (January 2009) and say that his people have not suffered more than any other major group in the hands of the “neo-colonizers”.

  2. am said,

    January 9, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for sharing that, Tommy. It was interesting and dispassionate. How I’d enjoy sitting next to you at a dinner table. So let’s sit together as friends in this virtual plane. I can understand how you feel. You have a very rich history that you are rightfully proud of. The points you raised remind me of the sentiment of the Native Americans regarding the colonizers, the Quebecois regarding Canada, etc. I’m no authority in our pre-Spanish history, but I am aware of the points you raised. As I look at the map, in terms of religion, perhaps Muslim Mindanao should have been part of Malaysia or Indonesia. But no matter how you argue it, the bottom line is that it is part of the Philippines.

    In a country of 80+ million Filipinos, there are bound to be 80+ million different opinions on the subject, so I hope that the Moro community will not pound on me for humbly voicing mine. Tommy, you are proud and passionate about your heritage and that is a great reflection of your character. Sometimes when we don’t like how things are and want to change them for the better, the way to bring about those changes is to work within the system. That’s why some of our fellow Filipinos came down fown from the mountains, off the streets, and now sit in Congress.

    Atty. Tamano is proud of his heritage, proud to be a Moro, and will do his best to uplift the lives of Moros. He seeks to do this by running for office. Why not give him a chance to serve? So you don’t agree with him 100% of the time. He is one of your own. Help him so that he may help others. Vote for him. You may be pleasantly surprised in the end.

  3. February 17, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Dear am,


    Thank you, am, for sharing your opinion on my opinion. Hehe. Indeed, it would have been nice to dialogue with you and Atty Tamano over coffee. Maybe perhaps someday we will. Unfortunatey, I belong to the civil society sector, while you and Atty Tamano belong to the political sector. We usually rarely have had loose partnerships. Because we have and use different sociological frameworks.

    But I hope you don’t mind if I make a short “counter” to your “interpellation”. The Bangsamoro homeland and its people became part of the Philippines because, bottom-line, it and its people were added to the Philippines without “public consultation”, without consent and against the people’s will (Dansalan Declaration, Zamboanga Declaration, etc.).

    Imagine how the Filipinos would react if China would just up and declare to the whole world by virtue of some piece of document signed by several gray haired old men that the Philippines is part of its national territory and all Filipinos are Chinese citizens. All this without your knowledge, your consent, and against your will.

    That is the precise point and issue the Bangsamoro people are asserting for. The Bangsamoro Homeland and the Bangsamoro people should never have been part of the Philippines in the very first place. And that is what its two fronts, the MILF and MNLF, are working for by way of armed struggle (because the government and politicians for years never gave it much respect and attention through the decades). The two fronts have been mandated by the Bangsamoro people to protect and uphold its right to self determination. That is what the Moro civil society sector, most of them at least, is working for by way of open, civil and nonviolent means. And the phrase, “Andyan na yan, e.” simply cannot do. It can never do.

    As to working within the system, my father was a technocrat. A (Rafael) Salas boy. He had been part of government since the 1960’s. His contemporaries were Hon. Simeon Datumanong, Datu Michael Mastura, and Atty. Blo Adiong. They closely followed the batch of the late Senator Mamintal Tamano and the late Speaker Salipada Pendatun. All of them had worked within the system. And with the exception of Datu Mike Mastura (after stepping out of the system), all of them used the same political framework. What have they done to alleviate the plight of their own people and fight for the centuries of injustices done to them in a more telling and sustained way? Let’s not talk about some small scale infrastructure projects with the names of their political donors written in bold and ghastly letters all over them. Let’s not talk of seedlings and farm inputs. All of these eventually get destroyed in the ebb and flow of conflict in Mindanao brought about by structural violence perpetrated and perpetuated by the power holders and power seekers of Imperial Manila. But that is all a politician or technocrat/bureaurat can do within the system. If they demand for more, they get chopped off. All these development “song-and-dance” claptap are just palliatives and never address the root cause of the problem in Mindanao. That root cause I have already stressed in the third and fourt paragraphs above and in my previous post.

    Does Atty. Tamano have a Bangsamoro agenda? An agenda that he has not formulated on his own, but an agenda forged from the voices and sentiments of the 600T IDPs (who are his own people, his own Bangsa) now languishing in the evacuation sites of Mindanao, the sentiments of the two fronts, the citizens of the five poorest provinces in the so-called Pilippines which happen to be what comprises the ARMM right now (suspicous why they are the poorest five; no stray province from the north)?

    I have told many of my colleagues in the mindanao civil society sector that I will campaign for people NOT to vote for Chiz, Kiko or Mar. Like all politicians, they tow the line of their parties and the obsolete and culturally insensitive agenda that their parties impose on the people they call their fellow citizens. We thought they were receptive to the Bangsamoro issue. The recent brouhaha on the MOA-AD showed to all and sundry their true colors. For all their genius and talent, they too think inside the box. So too does my own fellow Moro and fellow Maranao, Atty. Tamano, unfortunately.

    To restate what Robin Williams said in one of his recent movies, ‘Politicians are like diapers, you have to change them regularly for the same reasons.” And may I add, “regardless of party.”

    Let him come to his own Bangsa, not just within our tribe, and ask them what they need from their own mouths. Let him swear by his own Moro blood that he will fight for their rights and their welfare in the very halls that made the laws that marginalized and disenfranchised and displaced his own people. Let him swear directly to them to help, not just palliatively through some crummy development agenda, but truly and sincerely using the lens of history (the correct history). Let him swear to defend the injustices done to the Moro people, past and present. And maybe perhaps, I will campaign for him in my own little way.

    I will not vote for him, because by voting I will have acknowledged the very institution, constitution and flag that I and those of like mind are questioning right now.

    That is my framework.

    My words are very pointed, I know. It’s because it was sharpened for over 400 years. And any other Moro articulate enough who has truly imbibed the feelings and sentiments of the 600T IDPs and the HR victims in Mindanao would be as sharp as well.

    I beg your indulgence and thank you for your interest.


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