MILF panel member apologizes after calling Tamano ‘ex-Moro’

This is a month-old news item but I’m posting it here to show how the MOA on Ancestral Domain has caused such deep divisions, not only between Christians and Moros but also within the Moro community. It also demonstrates that with respect and dialogue, conflicts – no matter how acrimonious – can be resolved:

MILF panel member apologizes after calling Tamano ‘ex-Moro’
BY JOHANNA CAMILLE SISANTE, GMANews.TV
08/20/2008 | 10:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiating panel apologized Wednesday for calling United Opposition spokesperson Adel Tamano an “ex-Moro.”

The apology came during a public forum at the University of the Philippines College of Law where lawyer Musib Buat of the MILF peace panel had called Tamano a former Moro and “yellow” for opposing the ancestral domain pact.

“Former Moro, ex-Moro Adel Tamano…he has changed his color from green to yellow. Green is the Islamic symbol, and yellow is the symbol of the traitors,” Buat said.

“I understand that the Ulama in Lanao has renounced Mr. Adel Tamano,” he added.

Tamano, along with former Senate President Franklin Drilon, and Liberal Party President Sen. Mar Roxas openly supported the opposition raised by Mindanao local officials against the proposed MOA.

They were able to secure a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court to stop its scheduled signing last Aug. 5 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tamano had expressed his disappointment in Buat, whom he called “Papa Musib,” saying the MILF leader has resorted to personal attacks such as name-calling.

“It is most unfortunate that instead of a dialogue, Atty. Buat has chosen to insult me personally. Atty. Musib Buat has called me a former moro, essentially a traitor and that my color is yellow. yellow of course being the color of cowardice. not it were not for my respect for law, and my respect for my elders, I would show Atty. Buat how incorrect he is in his assessment,” said Tamano.

“I am a Moro. That is my birthright, no one, not even the MILF can take that away from me. But I am also proud to be a Filipino, and I will fight through all legal and constitutional means to keep this nation whole. You know what, I like the color yellow. It is on the Philippine flag,” added Tamano, who had on a yellow neck tie.

Tamano, the son of former Sen. Mamintal Tamano, was the first Filipino Muslim who studied under a Harvard Law Scholarship.

He is a Maranao, the eighth out of nine children of the late senator Mamintal Tamano and Haja Putri Zorayda Abbas Tamano.

Tamano had earlier said that he has also received threats over text and email because of his opposition to the MOA.

“The MOA and the stand of the MILF intensely focuses on our differences, our differences in culture, in religions, our differences as Muslims, as Christians, and fails to seriously consider what unites us: our common hsitory, our common race. Why is it that in so many other countries people with different faiths, creeds, and even races can come together and unite under a concept of one nation?” he said.

The flap was ironed out later after passions cooled.

Tamano and Buat shook hands hours after they exchanged heated comments on each other’s stances on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on ancestral domain.

“Sorry…I was carried away by my emotions,” Buat told Tamano, whom he referred to as “son” and “nephew” several times throughout the forum.

He added that he had known Tamano even when the latter was still a child.

“Mamaya suntukin mo ako,” he added jovially as the crowd applauded when Tamano stood up to shake his hand.

Also during the day, Tamano appealed to the public not to stereotype Filipino Muslims as “terrorists” as a result of the unprovoked killing of unarmed civilians allegedly by renegade members of the MILF in Central Mindanao last Monday.

He said such unfair characterization would be “a serious threat to the peace-process in Mindanao.”

“While all-peace-loving Filipinos must condemn the attacks on civilians by MILF, we must strongly resist the temptation to stereotype all Moros as violent or terrorists,” Tamano said in a statement.

“The vast majority of Filipino Muslims are law-abiding citizens who want nothing more than to find decent jobs and education for their children, just like all other Filipinos,” he added. –

4 Comments

  1. Axel said,

    September 16, 2008 at 3:48 am

    I truly agree with you Mr. Tamano. We are all Filipinoes no matter how we put it. Even though our religion differes we are a “One Nation” and all of us must strive to keep peace and join hands to help our country to rise above.

  2. am said,

    September 16, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Wasn’t Atty. Buat involved in the sale of the former Islamic Directorate of the Philippines (IDP) property in Tandang Sora to Iglesia Ni Cristo?

  3. Tommy Pangcoga said,

    January 6, 2009 at 11:23 am

    For the further enlightenment of the brilliant minds of the Liberal Party and the general public: http://blog.wyzemoro.com/moro-muslims-filipino-muslims/

  4. am said,

    January 9, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Tommy, I looked at your site, appreciate the fact that you’re not spewing venom and hatred (I hope), and congratulate this site for having the courage to keep your posts. As an educated person, I’m sure that you have no more interest in ramming your opinions down other people’s throats than you’d have others’ opinions rammed down yours. If you are able to respect views that differ from yours without going ballistic, I say welcome. This site needs a dispassionate, intelligent, Moro voice.


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