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Norolain M.

Professor Tirmizy E. Abdullah
History (210) Political History of Mindanao
Article Number 2
The Moro Peoples Struggle for self-determination
Eliseo R. Mercado, Jr. OMI
The author presents a historically based account of the conflict paying particular attention to the
post -1970 era.
The story of the Moro peoples struggle for self-determination is a story of a peoples struggle
against attempts of assimilation into the wider body politic of the Philippine society. The term
Moro was first coined by the Spanish colonizers to refer to the indigenous Muslim inhabitants
around Manila Bay who fiercely resisted the Spanish incursion of Manila in the 16 th century.
Later, after the Spanish conquest of Manila and the whole of Luzon, the Spanish forces with their
Christianized subjects began the Mindanao campaigns which lasted for more than three
centuries. The forces of resistance against the Spanish rule were organized and sustained by the
Muslim inhabitants of the Southwestern Philippines. The label Moro was given by the
Spaniards to the peoples who professed and continue to profess Islam.
The Moro peoples secessionist movement is premise on the following grounds:
1. that the Moro people constitute a distinct bangsa (nation);
2. that the Moro people have their own particular culture and history
3. that the geographical territory consisting of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan constitutes the
Moro homeland;
4. that the Moro people are a majority of the population of this homeland;
5. that the central government in Manila has continued the colonial policy of isolation and
dispersal of the Muslim communities, which is detrimental both to the Muslim
communities, which is
6. that the Muslim inhabitants have the duty and the obligation to wage jihad (holy war)
physically and spiritually to change the Moro homeland to Dar al-Islam;
7. that Islam is both the religion and the ideology of the Bangsa Moro.
In the 1970s, when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was organized, the Moro
people more easily identified with it than with the Republic of the Philippines. At first, the
MNLF was separatist movement. It championed the establishment of an Islamic Republic in
MINSUPALA (Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan). This prospect became identified with the Moro
peoples dream of a better future, in contrast to the neglect they were experiencing within the
Republic of the Philippines.
The Moro peoples struggle for self-determination is an attempt by ethnic minorities on
the periphery of state power to attain political autonomy from the center.
In this struggle, two stages can be identified, which are not necessarily fixed in time or
chronology. That first is a formative stage, in which the Moro communities are subjected to
modernizing influence. Sentiments and loyalties, at first localized and diffused, and often
unspoken, have become aggregated, focused, articulated, and politicized, notwithstanding their
deep roots in primordial culture, religion and tradition. It this process, the Moro communities
on the periphery evolved a group identity which distinguished them from the Republic of the
Philippines. This newly found self-identity, Bangsa Moro or Moro nationality, led to conflict

within the national body politic as the Moro people became more assertive in pursuing secession.
The national government reacted badly to the new Moro assertiveness, fearing fragmentation and
national disunity.
However, the Moro demand for autonomy and secession is a product of the Moro elites
fear of being displaced in the state apparatus. The impoverishment of the people and their
peripheralization in the wider body politic provided fertile ground for the Moro elite to launch a
political come-back. No doubt, fear of cultural assimilation and the influence of an Islamic
renaissance played a part in firming up the new Moro self-identity against the national identity.
Some of the key leaders of the Bangsamoro struggle must also win trust of people by expressing
their sincere present credible representative to the public
The tragedy in all this is that after so many lives and so much property have been wasted,
the issue of autonomy has not been resolved Once again, autonomy is a major issue. As before,
the Moro elite dominate the discussion on autonomy while the great majority of the Moro people
remain on the periphery.

Norolain M. Gundul

Professor Tirmizy E. Abdullah

History (210) Political History of Mindanao
Article Number 3

The Political Economy of Mindanao: An Overview

By: Edwardo Tadem

The author is assistant Professor of development Studies at the University of Philippines. He has
written widely on the Political economy of the Philippines and of Mindanao.
In studying Mindanao economy and looking at the activities of its various sectors however a
different pictures emerges. Far from being isolated from mainstream of the national economy the
Southern Philippines has been a major performer and a primary contributor to the. Countrys
productive capacities, large scale government infrastructure projects, many of them funded from
enormous foreign loans, have greatly improved community transportation, irrigation and power
facilities. In 1980 Manila government declared Mindanao a priority are for development.
Economically speaking Mindanao is Rich in all Naturals resources, raw material etc. for
instance, coconut industry- coconut products are the Phil. The worlds leading producer of
coconut land area is in more than half of the phil. Coconut land are is in Mindanao despite the
major role of the southern Philippines in the industry, prices received by Mindanao farmers are
generally lower than in other parts of the country.
Wood and wood products 56% of total Phil. Commercial forestland is in Mindanao. More than
half of Timber licenses insured in the country are granted for Mindanao operation exports fruits
industry is composed almost exclusively of banana and pineapple production 90% of total fruit
export of the Philippines comes from Mindanao Plantations.
Mining and Mineral processing, Gold copper, nickel chromite and coal are the major mining
product of Mindanao, Silver, zinc and lead are produced in lesser qualities. The Southern region
contribute, around one fourth of the Phil. Output of mineral products nickel operation in Surigao
del Norte are among the largest in Asia. Gold and copper are extensively mined in the Agusan
and Davao provinces.
Fish and fish products the water around Mindanao and Sulu are home to abundant quantities of
fish species. It is estimated that over half of the countrys total commercial fish catch comes from
Grains industry Rice and corn lands in Mindanao total 1.5 Million hectares almost equally
divided bet. Two crops Mindanao rice lands account for 26% of the national total while corn
lands occupy a 47% share in terms of production is almost 60% Mindanao is a palay Surplus
producing area with Central Mindanao considered the traditional (Rice bowl) and one of the
top two rie producing region in the country.
Rubber industry, Rubber plantations in the Phil. Are exclusive to Mindanao where some 50,000
to 60,000 hectares are planted with rubber.
Tadem Explore the Political Economy and issues in the Socio economic development of
Mindanao in which he disputes the idea that economic growth and development have by passed
Mindanao Instead, he portrays Mindanao as a major performer and a primary contributor to the

countrys productive capacities. But it is development characterized by exploitation, where

dominant classes, distant elites and rapacious transnational corporations deplete the islands
resources leaving the majority of the population in poverty.
There is no doubt the large amounts of wealth have been created from Mindanaos abundant
resources. Where does all this wealth go? Poverty indicators are higher than the National
average. 1895 study conducted by Neda Revealed that of Mindanao 2.13 Million families 64.3%
were living below poverty line. Despite the expansion of economic activities that have been
going on in Mindanao ranging from infrastructure projects to private investments, the Mindanao
economy has remained under development.
The Massive infrastructure projects in Mindanao pose a number of problems for the people. They
have generated social cost that has erupted into conflicts land acquisition for large scale
irrigation projects, such as in Agusan and Lanao.
It is true that foreign observers often hold the view that economic growth and development have
by passed the southern regions of the Phil. Mindanao provinces have not been major participants
in the countrys economic activities and that the central government not been initiating enough
development projects in the south. This neglect in there seen as the cause of the services political
problems that now plague Mindanao foremost of these problems are the armed insurgencies
which range from communist to ethnic separatist movements.
Therefore! Price instability and uncertainty surround Mindanao products such as coconuts moods
products, bananas, pineapples, mineral and fish in the pursuit of the volatile export market, local
needs are sacrificed Mindanao industries are dominated by big corporation. Who exercise
monopolistic form of control over each stage of the production and distribution processes
(according to the author). Smaller forms and individual producers are integrated into the
operations of the big corporations as supplier of raw material and primary products. Those who
stubbornly hold on their independence find themselves reduced to a marginalized existence and
eventual bankruptcy.
The Mindanao regions remain poor and deprived. The oft-repeated line that Mindanao has been
left out of government and private development efforts does not have any basis in reality.
Mindanao has been the object of ceaseless economic exploitation since the turn of the century. Its
economic natural resources are being depleted at a fast pace and in the absence of alternative
economic activities, the situation bodes dire consequences for Mindanao and its people.

Norolain M. Gundul
Professor Tirmizy E. Abdullah

History (210) Political History of Mindanao

Article Number 1
Ancestral domain: A Central issue of the Lumad Struggle for Self determination in Mindanao
B.R. Rodil

Rudy Rodil is Associate Professor of history at the Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of
Technology. He was a member of the Regional Consultative Commission for Muslim Mindanao.
His field of expertise is Mindanao History and contemporary developments on which he has
written widely.
The Lumads are about 18 non-Muslim ethnolinguistic groups indigenous to Mindanao. They
refer to themselves and to each other by their so-called tribal designations: Ata, Bagobo,
Banwaon, Blaan, Bukidnon, Dibabawon, Higaonon, Mamanwa, Mandaya, Manguwangan,
Manobo, Mansaka, Subanon, Tagakaolo, Tasaday, Tboli, Tiduray (Tiruray) and Ubo.
These indigenous communities were variously known in history, at least in documents written by
outsiders, as paganos, infidels and indigenes among the Spanish colonizers; as wild tribes,
uncivilized and non-Christian tribes among the America colonialists; and as cultural
minorities. tribal minorities, national cultural communities, tribal Filipinos, indigenous
cultural communities, and tribal peoples in recent government, church and academic circles.
Among themselves, designations like highlanders and Lumad came into being in the last 15
Lumads was born from the realization of a need by people who discovered in the, in the
similarities of their marginalization situations, a common cause and a common destiny. It
emerged in the context of the dictatorial Marcos regime, in an atmosphere of militarization,
human rights violations, poverty, landgrabbing, intrusions by multinational corporations, and
government neglect. What the Lumads ask for is self-determination in their own lands, in
accordance with their customary laws. While they need support of sympathetic external
organizations and individuals, they are deeply aware that success lies in their own hands.
Whether the Lumad struggle will succeed, only time will tell. But they have come a long way.
Their journey from wild tribes, through non-Christian tribes, cultural minorities and
cultural communities to tribal Filipinos and finally Lumad took 90 years. But the pace is
getting faster.Rodil examines the lumads concepts of Landownership and how the state has
disregarded them by enacting legislation discrimination against the traditional claims and right of
the lumads groups. Small Scale and lacking Centralized political systems the Lumads group has
been vulnerable to external intrusion. They have now realized that they have one last chance to
survive and that is a unit the protection of ancestral domain is Vital to their survival against the
depredations of Resource hungry outsiders who wish to control lumads resources.
In my assessment the Lumad demands in the strongest possible terms the recognition of our
community ownership of our tribal domains and the right to control and govern these in
accordance with our indigenous customary laws without outside interference with their distinct
cultural identities, with their even traditional territories, and that these are basic to their survival
and dignity. Therefore, legitimate right of the IPs and the settlers will be respected. The parties
believe that one cannot right a wrong by committing another wrong in the general framework
agreement of the GRP and the MILF on March 24, 2001 stipulates that peace negotiation

between them is for the advancement of the general interest of the Bangsamoro people and
other indigenous people.

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