MANILA, OCTOBER 15, 2012 (BATANG TIBAK BLOG) Jan Mikko Canarias- (Official Press Release) Posted by Jan Mikko Canarias

The CHANGE for Peace in Mindanao Movement simultaneously launched its 1 Million Signature Campaign for a Bangsamoro Substate in the cities of Cotabato and Davao on October 25, 2011 .

The campaign aims to gather 1 million signatures by December this year in order to establish the strongest ground support to finally push for the reform of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the Bangsamoro people for self-determination through the creation of a Bangsamoro Substate.

The Bangsamoro Substate is a political subdivision of a Philippine state vested with self-government and law-making powers within a defined autonomous territory.

The areas that will be covered under the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro substate are those areas which are predominantly populated by the Bangsamoro people like the cities and provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and those adjacent municipalities and barangays which will vote in favour of inclusion in the substate. The residents of the areas covered by the substate will be afforded the opportunity to decide for or against said inclusion through a plebiscite.

Contrary to misconceptions, Christian settlers will not be thrown away from Mindanao. Their vested rights and religious freedom will be recognized and protected under the substate. The rights of the indigenous peoples over their ancestral domain, their customary laws and justice and governance will also be recognized and protected.There is no reason to be afraid of. The substate proposal is a formula of living together which will benefit not only the Moros but also the indigenous peoples and settlers living within.

The campaign calls on the political leaders and decision makers, especially the President, Senators, and Members of Congress to support the amendment of the Constitution in order to bring about a just and viable political solution in Mindanao.

The launching in Davao City was held at the Peoples Park from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm while the launching in Cotabato City was held at the Al Nor Convention Center in Cotabato City from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Both launching events were participated by various civil society organizations and sectoral representatives. It was also supported by wide media coverage. Representatives from the youth sector started the ceremonial and symbolic signing of the petition for a Bangsamoro Substate, followed by a public signing where all participants and supporters were invited to sign their names on the freedom wall.

The 1 million signature campaign for a Bangsamoro Substate has been going viral on the social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Thousands of supporters have already been following the developments of the campaign. The number of supporters is also increasing every minute. This shows the massive support of the peace loving people for the just political settlement to finally end the armed conflict in Mindanao.

[VIDEO-BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BAGSAMORO STRUGGLE: Bangsamoro homeland covers the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay; and the cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.]


The term Bangsamoro refers to a people who are natives of the Sulu archipelago, parts of Mindanao, and parts of Palawan in the Philippines, and parts of Sabah in neighboring Malaysia at the time of conquest or colonization. It comes from the Malay word bangsa, meaning nation or people, and the Spanish word moro, from the Spanish word for Moor, the Reconquista-period term used for Muslims.

It may also refer to the Moro people, in general. These include, among other tribes, the Maguindanaoan, the Maranao and Tausug who constitute the major tribes of the Moro people.


Bangsamoro covers the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay; and the cities of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.

Other interpretations may include territories that used to form North Borneo including Sabah, Labuan and the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan, these areas are currently under the Sabah dispute. Historically the island of Mactan and Manila and Cavite province also formed part of Bangsamoro as they were under Muslim rule.


[PHOTO -RANAO GALLERY - Bangsamoro Folks/Maranaos in Malong Attire]

Bangsangmoro has originally evolved from the Spanish colonialist as early as 1570 when they saw the Muslims in the Philippines practiced Islam much in the same way their arch enemies-

Moors of Spain and called the local Muslims as Moro. Around 1970, Sultan Rashid Lucman and the Blackshirts belonging to the Top 90 adopted to name their organizations respectively as Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization (BMLO) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), later MILF adopted it too in 1978.

Moro student activists in 1984, despite opposition of Islamists because of its origin from Spanish colonists bravely employed its use in their organizations and writings.

The use of Bangsamoro was a combination of Moro and Nation (Bangsa). It connoted the solidarity of the people as a nation. It rekindled the spirit to seek nationhood and statehood and struggle to establish an independent Islamic state in this area in which Sharia is enacted. According to Hashim Salamat the Moro people comprise by the Maguindanaoan, the Maranao and Tausug.

In January 1987, the MNLF accepted the Philippine government's offer of semi-autonomy of the regions in dispute, subsequently leading to the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The MILF, however, refused to accept this offer and continued their insurgency operations. A general cessation of hostilities between the government in Manila and the MILF was signed in July 1997 but this agreement was abolished in 2000 by the Philippine Army under the administration of Philippine President Joseph Estrada. In response, the MILF declared a jihad (strived and struggled) against the government, its citizens and supporters.

Under President Gloria Arroyo, the government entered into a cease-fire agreement with the MILF and resumed peace talks.

In 2010, President Aquino of the Republic of the Philippines resumed the 6th Peace talks between the MILF and the Philippine government.

On October 7, 2012 created a framework agreement to create a new political entity called Bangsamoro to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

[PHOTO -MINDANAO NEWS: GMA’s bill to divide ARMM opposed By Carolyn O. Arguillas | Wednesday| August 4, 2010 | Filed under: Governance, Peace Process]

The bill filed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now Representative of the 2nd district of Pampanga and her son Diosdado, 2nd district representative of Camarine Sur to have the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) divided has been greeted by criticisms from various sectors in Mindanao.

House Bill 173, introduced by Congressmen Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd Dist, Pampanga) & Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd Dist, Camarines Sur), intends to divide the ARMM into the Autonomous Region in Southwestern Mindanao (ARSwM) and Autonomous Region in Central Mindanao (ARCeM) purportedly to address the issue of contiguity as an integral part of governance in the ARMM.

Graphics by Keith Bacongco The ARMM at present comprises the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

The present set of officials in the ARMM are “opposed to the split of the ARMM” but are moving “to amend the Organic Act to improve provisions that limit powers in autonomy such as in the exploitation and management of strategic minerals in the region,” said Ali Macabalang, ARMM information chief.

Lawyer Randolph Parcasio, ARMM Executive Secretary under the Misuari administration who also headed the MNLF panel in the Tripartite Review, told MindaNews the bill is “ill advised and is a glaring evidence of treachery in the peace process under GMA watch.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
All rights reserved