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GRP, open the Pandora’s box now!


Great political movements associated with revolutionary uprisings or violent struggles to topple down existing governmental establishments have been spawned and triggered off by the discovery of scandals and crimes committed by imperial and colonial countries in history.

Ethnic nationalism and patriotism exploded with uncontrollable fury and destructiveness in many parts of Africa, Middle East, South America, and Asia in the 20th Century commonly pursuing decolonization, independence, and some forms of power sharing arrangements with foreign colonial masters or existing de facto governments. Some indigenous peoples who had been despoiled of their homelands by foreign invaders and conquistadores had taken the path of war to achieve their political aspiration for self-determination and recovery of their ancestral territories. In other cases, those who have the financial resources and legal experts in international law and diplomacy have opted to pursue their cases in the International Court of Justice.  The rest who were colonies of more humanitarian, benevolent, and really democratic  empires and countries, in compliance with and pursuance to the Charter of the United Nations ‘  resolution on decolonization, were granted self-government and independence by their respective colonial masters.

Today, there are still many indigenous communities under the shackles of colonialism and imperialism which are seeking independence or pursuing their right to self-determination. In our country, three major secessionist organizations have taken the course of war to achieve their political aspirations. These are the, the CPP-NPA, the MILF, and the MNLF. IN between bloody confrontations, peace talks are held. When the peace talks collapse, they go back to the battlefields and fight. This “peace talk-war” scenario has been going on between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and these three major secessionist revolutionary organizations for many bloody and destructive decades now and still peace has remained no more than an illusion to all the stakeholders and parties in interest. Why? Pandora’s Box has not been opened up to now. Peace talks up to this writing have not achieved anything of general political value to all the inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu. It only worsened in gravity and complexity from one dispensation to another making the Peace Process appear as a well- scripted and excellently directed perpetual diplomatic subterfuge.

The struggle for liberation, political justice, and self-determination is a legitimate pursuit of colonially oppressed, abused, and brutalized nations anywhere in the world. It is ideologically and socially right for these indigenous peoples to fight for the recovery of their ancestral domains most especially if they were taken by force, deceit, and without just compensation. But all struggles for self-determination, independence or any form of political autonomy must be anchored on valid historical and legal premises and justifications. The cause must be de jure rather than de facto. You may be in actual possession of a territory by conquest but you are not the original legal owner.    

Political crimes and injustices committed by colonial tyrants and invaders can never be extinguished nor exonerated just by the uninterrupted passage of time nor the legal principle of prescription and acquiescence or by the mere invocation of unexpressed dissent or diplomatic protest.

To the rational mind, they remain crimes until they are rectified, justly indemnified, and fully paid for by the criminals or offenders. This to me is what fundamental justice is all about. And because the political, military, and diplomatic abuses committed by foreign powers in Mindanao and Sulu have not been rectified, they serve as the triggering device, the detonating mechanism, and the blasting cap for the secessionist armed struggle which for almost four decades now has caused untold sufferings, the death of countless combatants and innocent civilians and incalculable destruction of our patrimonial resources. When are we going to open Pandora’s Box? Don’t you know that the hope for peace is secretly hidden at its bottom?  

By Clem M, Bascar

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