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Why Decolonization?

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Author’s Note:

FEDERALISM IS A FORM OF GOVERNMENT THAT IS TOTALLY ALIEN TO THE POLITICAL HISTORY, CULTURE , AND ECOLOGY OF THE PHILIPPINES. THERE IS NO FOOLPROOF GUARANTEE THAT THE GLOWING AND OVERLY TRUMPETED HYPOTHETICAL OR THEORITICAL ADVANTAGES WHICH THE PROPONENTS ARE ADVANCING FOR ITS ADOPTION, WILL ACTUALLY BE REALIZED IF AND WHEN IT IS FINALLY IMPLEMENTED. THIS PUBLICLY EXPRESSED AND PROPAGATED SUPREMACY OF FEDERALISM OVER THE PRESENT PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, IS TOTALLY SPECULATIVE, IMAGINARY, AND WITHOUT TRUE-TO-PRACTICE UNDERPINNING. LIKE ALL OTHER POLITICAL ENTITIES PREVIOUSLY CREATED BY ACTS OF CONGRESS, FEDERALISM IN ITS INFANT STAGES OF IMPLEMENTATION, WILL BE PURELY TRIAL-AND-ERROR EXPERIMENTATION WITH ONLY THE GOVERNMENTAL EXPERIENCES OF OTHER NATIONS AS ITS SHOULDER TO LEAN ON.

DECOLONIZATION, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS THE PRIMARY INSTITUTIONAL MANDATE  AND JUDICIAL PROCESS BY WHICH  THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION OR C-24 GRANTS INDEPENDENCE TO NON-SELF-GOVERNING PEOPLES  AND TERRITORIES PURSUANT TO ITS ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE OF ERADICATING COLONIALISM IN ALL ITS FORMS, VESTIGES, AND MANIFESTATIONS.

MINDANAO AND SULU WERE UNLAWFULLY SOLD, CEDED, ANNEXED TO A SURROGATE  COUNTRY, AND COLONIZED BOTH BY MIGHT AND UNILATERAL ACT OF LEGISLATION. THIS POLITICAL ADVOCACY IS FOR THE POLITICAL EMANCIPATION OF ALL FREEDOM LOVING INHABITANTS OF MINDANAO AND SULU WITHOUT DISTINCTION AS TO RELIGION, ETHNICITY, OR ANY OTHER SOCIAL CLASSIFICATION.

It is with unrestricted openess, utmost frankness, and unreserved humility that I admit that the advocacy or movement for the independence or decolonization of Mindanao and Sulu, is not my original idea or brainchild but that of Hon. Pantaleon (Bebot) Alvarez who is currently the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the leading proponent and exponent of the shift from the Presidential form of government to federalism. Why the change of political advocacy and the surprisingly abrupt abandonment or departure from his previously-spearheaded independence movement for Mindanao and Sulu, is a matter that he alone can fully justify and explain. However, my political perspective and position regarding the movement have not only remained firmly unchanged but have even evolved into a pledge of unbreakable and uncompromising allegiance. Toward the concluding part of this academic treatise, is a set of theoritical assumptions in support of the steadfastness of my conviction that the rightful and pacific roadmap toward a permanent and justice-based attainment  of the century-old aspiration for self-determination of the inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu, is the grant of full independence through the judicial process of decolonization and not federalism whose effectiveness and pragmatic applicability as form of government is completely untested and  entirely extraneous to our collective political experience and environment.

In fact, as my own initiative, based on the evidences I have gathered during my more than ten years of inquiry and academic journey into the colonial history of Mindanao and Sulu, a draft decolonization petition addressed to the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization was already sent for publication to an international literary magazine with the end in view of eliciting suggestions and recommendations for its enrichment, reinforcement, and fine-tuning from experts in this particular discipline so that it will conform to the prescribed  protocols and standard format requirements in filing a petition for decolonization actionable by this international judicial body. This draft decolonization petition will be published and will be live on-line for world-wide access on April 15 of this current year.

Theoritical Assumptions

If we accept the  historical fact that Mindanao and Sulu were not colonial possession of Spain by reason of conquest or force of arms; if we agree with world-renowned and highly credible historians, authors, and researchers that these two ancient monarchies despite the fact that they were not part the Spanish colony called Las Islas Filipinas or Philippine Islands, were trickily included by way of coordinates when it was sold and ceded to the United States under Article III of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris for $20-million; if we give probative value, credence, and validity to the two diplomatic documents signed between the Sultanate of Sulu and the United States concluded on August 20, 1899 (Bates Treaty) and about 15 years after, on March 22, 1915, the Carpenter Memorandum, which officially admitted and acknowledged the fact that the Sultanate of Sulu was not a colonial possession of Spain and was still recognized as a sovereign and independent state at the time these two international pacts were signed; if we concur with the narrative that Mindanao and Sulu were militarily occupied by the American forces on May 19, 1899 despite the fact that both sovereign states had not  committed overt acts of hostility and aggression, or at the very least, were allies of the First Philippine Republic established by Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo on June 23 , 1898 which declared war against the United States on February 4, 1899, and if we accept the fact that Mindanao and Sulu were colonized by the Americans and were first arbitrarily joined and organized as a military district under  the laws of war, then as a Moro Province,   Department of Mindanao and Sulu, subsequently integrated into the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes of the Philippine Islands, and finally without the benefit of a plebiscite or a referendum, the framers of the 1935 Constitution included these two ancient sovereign and independent monarchies in the national territory of the Republic of the Philippines using solely the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris as historical legal basis which has no binding effect or applicability on Mindanao and Sulu because these two former sovereign states were not parties to such peace agreement between Spain and the United States ; if you believe that Mindnao and Sulu were first impostorously sold and ceded to the United States by Spain which led to the sneaky military occupation and colonization  of these two monarchies by the Americans starting May 19, 1899 and then also colonized by Philippine Commonwealth government with the passage of the Quirino-Recto Colonization Act of February 8, 1935 otherwise known as Legislative Act 4197 of the National Assembly under the Presidency of Manuel L. Quezon which makes Mindanao and Sulu at present still colonies and non-self-governing territories under  the Republic of the Philippines,  then the rightful and history-based political solution to the armed struggle for self-determination of the inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu, is not Federalism but decolonization or independence pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Decolonization 1514 adopted December 14, 1960 whose implementation is closely monitored by the Special Committee on Decolonization or C-24, the principal function or mandate of which,  is to grant independence to non- self- governing peoples and territories in many parts of the world. (By Clem M. Bascar)




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