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Although unsolicited and non-prescriptive
I offer the following 10-point Moro formula for Peace
In Mindanao and Sulu:

First, make sure every member of the panel is objective, open, and sincere
The right stakeholders, signatories, and parties in interest are involved with primacy
Especially the personages and countries who signed Memorandum, Agreement, and Treaties
That sold and ceded Mindanao and Sulu to the United States

Second, anchor firmly all talking points on historical facts, events, and documents
Confirming that Mindanao and Sulu were not conquered by Spain
That they were distinct and separate from each other
Independent and sovereign Islamic monarchies
Long before the Philippines became a state bona fide

Third, always bear in mind that Mindanao and Sulu were not colonies of Spain
Needless to say, they too, weren’t parts of Aguinaldo’s dictatorial regime
For more than three hundred years Spain wanted these two kingdoms under her Crown
But miserably failed, retreated; her garrisons were either routed or abandoned

Fourth, remember always the Law of Conquest
That stipulates that once the conquerors abandon or retreat from their colonies
These territories revert to their original owners and regain their statehood and independence
This event took place before May 19, 1899 when Mindanao and Sulu were invaded by the US

Fifth, never also forget that Mindanao and Sulu were not at war with the USA
But only with Spain for more than three centuries
This can be verified in the archives of the Philippines
For the US Congress only authorized on April 25, 1898
A war with Spain and her colonies

Sixth, the invasion of Mindanao and Sulu by the American forces
Was to me a violation of the Leiber’s Code and the Law of War of 1898
It also transgressed the 1787 US Constitution, Article 1V, Section 3
Prohibiting a “war of conquest unless actually invaded”

Seventh, as diplomatic documents attest, Spain sold Mindanao and Sulu to the Americans
Violating treaty principles universally accepted, observed, and applicable at that time
Worst, it was consummated without prior consent and knowledge
Of the reigning Sultans of these two Islamic states

Eight, clearly therefore, Mindanao and Sulu were illegally sold and ceded
For $20-million plus $300,000 more for territories missed out for lack of knowledge
That’s why they were temporarily governed directly by the G. I. Joes
As an autonomous administrative region known as the Province of the Moros

Ninth, never miss the fact that in l946 when the Philippine independence was granted
Mindanao and Sulu were arbitrarily integrated as her political components
They were unilaterally turned over to the Indios of Visayas and Luzon
Instead of returning them to the Moros for the restoration of their freedom
And statehood

Tenth, the most rightful thing for Spain and the United States to do
Is just to return Mindanao and Sulu to the Moros
And let me underscore the term “Moros” as used by the Spaniards and the G.I Joes
Without distinction, are the present Muslims, Christians, Lumads and other inhabitants: SO I TOO, AM A MORO

By Clem M. Bascar

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