Give Muslims self-rule or ‘count body bags’: Philippines’ Aquino

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Give Muslims self-rule or ‘count body bags’: Philippines’ Aquino



Philippines' President Benigno Aquino delivers a nationwide televise statement on the Comprehensive Agreement on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law at the presidential palace in Manila March 27, 2015. (Reuters)


AFP, Manila
Friday, 27 March 2015
Philippine President Benigno Aquino called on lawmakers Friday to pass a bill endorsing a pact aimed at ending a decades-long Muslim separatist rebellion, warning them they would otherwise start counting “body bags”.

Aquino had wanted the bill, which would give autonomy to the majority Catholic nation’s Muslim minority in the south, passed this month.

But Congress suspended debates on the proposed law in the face of public outrage over the killings of 44 police commandoes by Muslim guerrillas in a botched anti-terror raid in January.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed a peace deal a year ago Friday, had said its members fired in self-defense at the commandoes, who passed through a rebel camp while going after Islamic militants.

“This is the crossroads we face: we take pains to forge peace today, or we count body bags tomorrow,” Aquino said in a nationwide television address.

“Perhaps it is easy for you to push for all-out war,” he said, hitting out at critics who have condemned the peace deal with the MILF.

“But if the conflict grows, the number of Filipinos shooting at other Filipinos will grow, and it would not be out of the question that a friend or loved one be one of the people who will end up inside a body bag.”

The rebellion for a separate state or self-rule has claimed nearly 120,000 lives and cost billions of dollars in economic losses, according to government estimates.

Under a peace deal signed with the MILF, the 10,000-member group pledged to disarm while the Philippine government vowed to pass an autonomy law in Muslim areas of the south.

“The Bangsamoro basic law is one of the most important proposed bills of our administration. It answers the two most pressing problems of our countrymen: poverty and violence,” Aquino said Friday.

He warned it would be difficult to restart peace talks if the current process failed and the MILF leadership lost its influence among its members to more radical elements.

Aquino is required by the constitution to stand down in mid-2016 after serving a single six-year term.

The January police raid sought to capture or kill two men on the US government’s list of “most wanted terrorists” who were living among Muslim rebels in southern Philippine farming communities.

One of the men, Malaysian national Zulkifli bin Hir who had a $5-million bounty on his head, was reported killed.

But the other, Filipino Abdul Basit Usman, escaped as rebels surrounded and killed the police commandos.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/asia/2015/03/27/Give-Muslims-self-rule-or-count-body-bags-Philippines-Aquino-.html
 
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I live in the Philippines and the southern part of the country is really having a war between Christians and muslims. Muslim who are currently on the south are killing police, special actin force. I just dont know what is wrong with this country. Just few months back, 44 Special Action Force personnel were brutally killed by Abu Sayaf and guess what? they protected the Malaysian Terrorist name Captain Marwan- a bomb expert
 
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Sounds like Aquino is terrified of a civil war. I don't blame him, as that always has dire consequences. However, sometimes it's a necessary evil. What is the alternative? Giving a marauding band of murderers autonomy is giving them credibility and an excuse to keep on murdering.
 
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This is a hard choice as, the country has rebellion going on and also a civil war could happen and the president is right that the next people could be your friends or family who die if a peace or truce is not reached as this is what the rebellion want. I wander, if this will stop them all as there will be some who may think of still fighting a battle against armed police which most of them have been doing. The government needs to be doing more, and people have been seeing not a lot has been done and will rebel if their needs are not fulfilled and attack whoever get's in their way.
 
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Sounds like Aquino is terrified of a civil war. I don't blame him, as that always has dire consequences. However, sometimes it's a necessary evil. What is the alternative? Giving a marauding band of murderers autonomy is giving them credibility and an excuse to keep on murdering.
its hard once the rebels have the power. Its really hard if the private armies could have the power because they might even fight the government itself. the government is just taking precautions i guess
 
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I have some friends who live in the Philippines and they have mentioned this before. The political instability in the region they said is rampant, but it is mainly in their view because of the Muslim minority wanting to take control and keeping to strike at different parts of the Catholic and Christian community to establish their own ruling rather than follow the laws of the nation.
 
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The heck with him! He's a weakling who can't decide on his own and is so hungry for positive public opinion. Anyway, he's always been so tactless and because of this, he draws more flak than necessary. Look, before he promotes the BBL and shoves it down every Filipino's throat, I'd rather this Mamasapano case be resolved first. You can't just bury this incident by establishing a half-baked law like the BBL. The BBL isn't the solution, much less the cure to the hatred that's now engulfed the nation. What the families of those massacred soldiers seek is very simple: those who killed the Fallen 44 should come forward and be brought to justice. The BBL is a different matter altogether. And PNoy refuses to be sensible.
 

mae_mae

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I lived in the Philippines for almost 95% of my life so i know the situation. The last time i lived there is last year. The military power is out of balance, military power is out of upgrade and military lacks equipment. Merely trash of world wars are the ones being bought by the Military for the countries protection. MILF is a powerful group in the southern part of the country specifically in Mindanao. MILF wants to control the southern part and they are on the process of debate if the South would form a new government. MILF can destroy the entire Philippine government so President Aquino is really taking cautious actions.
 
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Aquino is not doing anything. Literally nothing. Not sure if the Philippines could put up with him this year. It's his last term being the President and still this issue is not resolved. It only got worst.
 
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If things escalate to badly, the country may end up splitting like Korea and Vietnam did. Korea is still split but Vietnam came back together. If the Philippines split because of religious reasons, it may not be able to come back together. I hope it does not escalate. I know of a lot of people who will be stuck in the middle of it all and I don't want them to be hurt because of it.
 

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What's going on there? I fear world is taking an ugly turn. Two biggest religious groups are going at each other in some regions. It doesn't seem like we Muslims and Christians can get over the past. If we choose to get in a religious war like in the past it will cause a mess to the world.
 
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#12
philipines was a muslim nation not too long ago. muslims there have suffered for many years.
and now they gave the government many chances for them to all live in peace. but the philipino government is listening to the americans and its a bad advice.
dont make the victim a terrorist. abu sayyaf had nothing to do with the killing of 44 comandos. the question is what were they doing there ?! going for a picnic ?!
even iran is messing up with muslims in philipine.
its weird that all the a lot of natural resources in Philippine is in muslim land. that explains a lot.
they have every right to defend themselves. and stand for what they beleive for. they never shot a door for talks and making peaceful deals. in the other hand we always see commandos raiding their area in the name of fighting terrorism.
 
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#13
its weird that all the a lot of natural resources in Philippine is in muslim land. that explains a lot.
People are looking at the religious difference as the reason why they are fighting. But what most don't know is that the Philippines Governmet are also plunderers. They will intimidate and harass their own people to get to mining fields in part of the Philippines. Is there any precious resources in the Mindanao region? Possibly. But what people don't realize that Japanese forces had hid all off Asians wealth and stolen treasure in the South during WW2. There are hidden treasures and precious metals hidden all over the place.
 

adfnio

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People are looking at the religious difference as the reason why they are fighting. But what most don't know is that the Philippines Governmet are also plunderers. They will intimidate and harass their own people to get to mining fields in part of the Philippines. Is there any precious resources in the Mindanao region? Possibly. But what people don't realize that Japanese forces had hid all off Asians wealth and stolen treasure in the South during WW2. There are hidden treasures and precious metals hidden all over the place.

This is true. The Philippine Government sends forces all over the country looking for precious metals and resources. Anyone that stands in the way is considered an enemy of the state and can get killed. They are plunderers and the only reason they are in the Mindanao reason is to look for precious metal and resources. Also as mentioned earlier, they are keeping an eye on bounty collection. 5 million usd is hard to pass up in the Philippines.
 
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#15
Geeze... I was not aware things were so bad in the Philippines. Has it been this bad for a while? When I think of the Philippians, I just think of how they want the US to butt out of their problems, but if things are that bad..... you would think they would want the US to butt in.
 

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