Group resents reference to Muslims as ‘Moros’
Except for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front, we, the great majority of Muslim Filipinos, do not want to be called “Moros.” It was the Spanish colonizers we resisted who started calling us “Moros.”
To us, the term “Moro” means a bloodthirsty savage, a juramentado , or somebody who runs amok. Let Social Weather Stations or Pulse Asia ask in a survey the eight million Muslim Filipinos how they would want to be referred to—whether “Muslim” or “Moro,” and the overwhelming reply would be “Muslim” Filipino, not “Moro.”
The MILF and MNLF obviously wanted to be called Moros for psychological reasons—to shock and awe their enemies.
We Muslims plead with our Christian brothers and sisters to give us lasting peace with dignity and honor. If the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed, we Muslims will be unhappy, if not tormented, at being called Moros forever.
For this reason, we support the substitute bill of Sen. Bongbong Marcos to strengthen the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with all the powers and resources the MILF wants given by the BBL, minus the clearly unconstitutional provisions.
For instance, Section 3 of the BBL wants the Bangsamoro to exercise exclusive authority to regulate power generation (paragraph 15), natural resources (paragraph 29), and inland waters (paragraph 36) like Lake Lanao. This is clearly violative of the Constitution under Article XII, Section 2 which provides that waters, all forces of energy and natural resources belong to the State. Since the authority to regulate is an attribute of ownership, the Bangsamoro cannot exercise this to regulate power generation. Obviously, the MILF insists on a BBL that will abolish the ARMM so they can legally replace all civil servants with its own people.
It is foolhardy to insist on the BBL’s passage when at the end of the day it will just be thrown out by the Supreme Court.
It looks like the MILF has a short memory and has forgotten the fate of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.
—ALIM ABDUL MALIK, Federation of Ulamas of the Philippines, Bangon Street, Marawi City
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