Skip to comments.Philippine Government Drafts Constitutional Amendment to Create Muslim Homeland
Posted on 01/10/2008 12:03:04 AM PST by camerakid400
The Philippine government is drafting a constitutional amendment that would authorize the establishment of a federal homeland for Muslims in the south of the country. The proposed amendment is part of a complex peace process between the government and a major Muslim rebel group. Douglas Bakshian reports from Manila.
Last November, an important agreement was reached between the Philippine government and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The two sides agreed on the size of a proposed homeland for the country's Muslims in the south of the country.
This definition of what is called "the territory" is part of larger peace negotiations between the government and the MILF, and was due to be formalized on December 15.
But the MILF objected to what it called "extraneous" material in a government draft of the agreement. This included a provision for congressional approval of any peace deal.
The MILF says it fears Congress may weaken any peace deal reached by the negotiators, as happened to a 1996 peace agreement with another rebel group, the Moro National Liberation Front.
Jesus Dureza, President Gloria Arroyo's adviser on the peace process, says the government has concluded that establishing a Muslim homeland requires an amendment to the constitution.
"The cabinet, with the president, had agreed that if it even takes amending the constitution to establish a federal Muslim governance unit in the southern Philippines, then we should push through that track. That is where we are today," he said.
Dureza says he hopes a definitive draft will be ready by the end of the month. He says the Arroyo administration believes it can generate bipartisan support in Congress for the amendment.
Despite the Muslims' distrust of Congress, chief MILF negotiator Mohagher Iqbal says there is still room for maneuver.
Iqbal says the group might be able to live with congressional approval of an amendment specifically establishing a Muslim homeland. But he says Congress cannot be given authority to alter the terms of a broad peace agreement between the rebels and the government.
"It has to be something that whatever is done through constitutional processes would not derogate any of the prior agreements between us and the government," Iqbal said. " If it can be worded like that, I think it's worth examining. "
The latest round of peace talks has gone on for three years, and the November agreement on territory was hailed as a breakthrough. Both sides say they do not want to lose the momentum of the talks.
A separatist insurgency by the concentration of Muslims in the south of this predominately Catholic country has been running for 40 years, and has claimed more than 120,000 lives.
I know they’ve killed people, but it’s hard to take seriously a terrorist group named the “MILF.”
The Philippine Islamic Jihadists go by the acronym of “MILF?” You couldn’t write this stuff as fiction, no one would believe it!!
"Muslims I'd Like to Fry"?
* Saifullah Yunos aka Mukhlis Yunos, JI & MILF: a Filipino operative of the al Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah. Philippine intelligence officials describe Mr Yunos as a veteran of the war against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They allege that he leads a Jemaah Islamiyah cell operating within the Philippine Muslim separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF....
...Mr Yunos's name first crossed Philippine police radar screens after the bombing of a crowded commuter train in Manila in December 2000, which killed 20 people. Simultaneous attacks in the city killed two more people.
Indonesian national Fathur Roman al-Ghozi, who last year was sentenced to a prison term of 10 to 12 years for his role in the bombings, identified Mr Yunos as one of the main organisers of the attacks.
...Intelligence officials said Mr al-Ghozi, a Jemaah Islamiyah member, first met Mr Yunos while training in Afghanistan. The officials said the two men were reunited in the late 1990s, when al-Qaeda's point man in Jemaah Islamiyah, Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, dispatched Mr al-Ghozi to the Philippines to help organise bombing campaigns and develop ties to Muslim separatist rebels in the country. Philippine intelligence officials said they believed Mr Riduan was also in contact with Mr Yunos. ...
Both Mr Yunos and the arrested Egyptian, Mr Mahmud, are undergoing interrogation at national police headquarters in Manila. The Associated Press reported that the Philippine police intelligence director, chief superintendent Jesus Verzosa, said that Mr al-Ghozi and a detained MILF leader had both identified photographs of the captive as Mr Yunos.
Besides the attack on the Manila commuter train in December 2000, Philippine officials said Mr Yunos had been linked to a series of recent bombings in the southern Philippines, including the explosions at Davao City Airport and wharf in March and April. - "Police arrest top al-Qaeda suspect (Iraq connection)," by James Hookway, Dow Jones Newswires, 5/27/03
[Intelligence reports viewed by The Wall Street Journal say that Mr Yunos was also in regular contact with Iraq's former consul in Manila before the recent war in Iraq.]
I wonder how long this "give em a homeland" idea has been in the works? Perhaps since before the OK City bombing?
Well, my relatives/in laws are Filipinos so here’s my take:
pres Arroyo is an idiot. First, she permanently dissolves the death penalty (before she went to see the Pope last yr)....now this...
The Muslims are the ones BOMBING the MAJORITY Christians in the Philippine (Philippines is the ONLY CHRISTIAN nation in Asia), and NOT the other way around.
The Arroyo administration will open the floodgates to more bloodshed because in Islam: if you dont bow to Mecca, you are infidel, and you must be killed. Plain and simple.
> Un-freakin believable.
These lunatics take their religious differences seriously, apparently. I'm happy to say that here in America we (generally) limit ourselves to name-calling and refusal to socialize. If religious conflicts in the US have killed 3,000 Americans every year since 1967, I missed it.
Lets see if appeasment works...I think not.
The religion of peace can only be “peaceful” when it snuffs out all competing faiths.
This is a complete disaster.
And so it is wherever they go... Which is another good reason NEVER to allow them into your country. Already they are demanding large chunks of Paris and London be officially recognized to be under sharia law. Sydney’s under siege. Detroit, too. Probably only a matter of time before they insist on seceding and the blood really begins to flow, endlessly — as in the s***holes they came from.
Do you really believe it could never happen here? I am not so sure. Anything can happen. And Arroyo is nuts to think it will bring peace. It only confirms that violence and terror achieve results. Filipino Catholic Christians are among the most devout I know. So sad what is happening there. God protect and strengthen them.
Give 'em an island. Move the Islams there. Declare it a free fire zone.
Only total victory brings peace. Ask any Carthaginian.
Nah. Too many sects. Even if all the world were Muslim, they'd still fight amongst themselves. And you may recall that sectarian wars are among the most bitter and violent.
It's a steel cage match, and no one survives.
This is why it must be stopped cold while there's still a world to save.
Oh, I'll never say "never". I was just saying that we've usually been more civilized.
Actually, I fear for my country, and for the world, if the spread of Islam is not held in check. Which means, realistically, wiping it out. I do not know how to do that, short of a world-wide religious war. I am not prepared to suggest that's the only or best way, but I know of nothing else. Certainly, appeasement with land only encourages the spread.
I like Tancredo's idea. Attack America, we bomb Mecca. Easy to understand, simple to execute, and the rags have to watch out for their own.
Land for "peace", robs the actual owners of the land, displaces law abiding citizens and creats more refugees.
It will never be enough and any form of giving in just encourages them, it's like staking a wounded goat in the woods.....it draws wolves and they have no mercy.