Sunday, June 1, 2014

MNLF's position on GPH Projects in Mindanao

None of the GPH projects in Mindanao are certified as part of the implementation of the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA.

The 1996 MNLF-GPH Final Peace Agreement (FPA) Section 20(a) says, "There shall be a special socioeconomic, cultural and educational program to cater to MNLF forces not absorbed into the AFP, PNP and the SRSF to prepare them and their families for productive endeavors, provide for educational, technical skills and livelihood training and give them priority for hiring in development projects."

We, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) does not acknowledge those projects of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and foreign aids in Mindanao as part of the implementation of the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA because our MNLF record shows that no member of the MNLF benefited from them. There is no record that MNLF Leader Nur Misuari or the MNLF Director for Economic Projects ever received any official communication from the GPH or foreign aid donor that asks MNLF to nominate its needy members to participate in productive endeavors, be provided for with educational, technical skills and livelihood training, and be give priority for hiring in development projects. Hence, the claim of GPH that 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA had been implemented is a fraudulent claim that intends to deceive, for its own glory, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the general public.

The 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA was founded on the common principle that "integration" of the MNLF into mainstream society is the key to peace and prosperity in Mindanao. Instead of formally integrating the MNLF to participate in productive projects, the GPH have used its military to conduct false flag operations to smear a dirty paint on the MNLF and informally influence the mass media companies to create a stigma against the MNLF. The stigma has caused the MNLF to alienate from mainstream society, push for national secession, and even prompted many of its leaders to go back to underground revolutionary movement. GPH's Aquino Administration's anti-integration activities against the MNLF is anti-peace, and is an opposite of the good principles of integration upon which the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA is founded upon. These anti-peace actions of the GPH Aquino administration are not only acts of provocation but already acts of war against the MNLF.

Through the decades, since the signing of the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA, the MNLF never used its power, influence, and movement to weaken the plans, programs, and projects of the GPH. We have never attacked any GPH troops. We have never closed our ears from the call of the GPH to support its anti-corruption advocacy. The MNLF has always supported the advocacy for good governance of GPH. The MNLF did not abuse the supposed political concession that the MNLF expects from the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA -- in fact, the MNLF Leader Nur Misuari had ran for governor in the ARMM, got defeated by the GPH candidates in the elections, and MNLF never got into tantrums.

It appears to us (MNLF) that GPH did not understand the principle of integration because we can see that the actions of the GPH intend to destroy, persecute, stigmatize, eradicate, and annihilate the MNLF.

The GPH Arroyo Administration politically persecuted MNLF Leader Nur Misuari in 2001, jailed him as political prisoner for 8 years for alleged crimes that he did not commit. Again in 2013, the GPH Aquino administration conducted a false flag operation in Zamboanga City and implicated MNLF Leader Nur Misuari, and accused him again for crimes he did not commit. Yet MNLF remained peaceful and abiding on the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA. It is the GPH that is problematic, not the MNLF.

For the information of the GPH, the mass media, OIC, and the general public, be it known that in order for us (MNLF) to acknowledge a specific project as part of the implementation of the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA, we (MNLF) require the following:

1. Documentary record must show that the specific project had been part of the Agenda of the Formal Talks between the MNLF and GPH. During the Formal Talks, the MNLF Director for Economic Projects Rltr. John R. Petalcorin must certify, by signature, the project as approved at his level for endorsement to the MNLF Leader Nur Misuari.

2. At least fifty percent (50%) of the number of workers that are employed (regular or casual or contractual) during the implementation or construction of the project must be genuine members of the MNLF as certified by the signature of MNLF Leader Nur P. Misuari.

Through this transparent mechanism, a verifiable and auditable list can be produced. Through this list, the GPH world-renowned habit of reporting ghost projects and ghost beneficiaries are prevented, the MNLF cannot deny without basis its participation, and the GPH-MNLF dispute is prevented, because the MNLF, GPH, and OIC shall get hold of the list. The annual report of this mechanism, which shall be produced at the end of the fiscal year jointly by the MNLF Director for Economic Projects and the GPH's Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace process (OPAPP), will show the list of projects and the corresponding list of MNLFs (with verifiable personal data) who have benefited from the implementation of the 1996 MNLF-GPH Final Peace Agreement (FPA) Section 20(a).

It is very common to hear propaganda rumors coming from the GPH camp that alleges that MNLF Leader Nur Misuari is anti-progress and would always disapprove MNLF members cooperating, participating, and benefiting from economic projects of the GPH and foreign donors. Well, this allegation can only be proven if the MNLF Director for Economic Projects will testify that Misuari is sitting on the paperwork and function to endorse MNLF members to benefit in the implementation of the 1996 MNLF-GPH Final Peace Agreement (FPA) Section 20(a). So far, this allegation is not true.

This mechanism is not yet implemented because there have been no MNLF-GPH Formal Talks yet after we (MNLF) unilaterally terminated our participation in the peace process activities last 2 March 2012 for two reasons: (1) we are busy in the Mindanao Independence Movement, and (2) we have no funds to support the logistics of attendance in MNLF-GPH Talks.

MNLF-GPH Formal Talks is expensive because it comes frequently in almost once a month and is usually held in countries outside the Philippines, and we usually have a dozen (depends on the Agenda) official MNLF delegation (leaders, negotiators, technical advisers) who must attend the talks.

So that we (MNLF) can resume our participation in the MNLF-GPH Formal Talks, we (MNLF) require the OPAPP to release 100 Million Pesos (regular budget of the government subject to standard government audit) logistics fund per year. The OPAPP has over PhP400 million government's budget per year, and we believe that MNLF's expenses in MNLF-GPH peace process activities must be fully subsidized from this budget. We (MNLFs) have already published our position on this concern in March 2012. This logistics fund can be contracted out to any private company of their (GPH) choice who will handle the spending of the logistics fund of the MNLF.

Since 1996, the GPH have not even subsidized the necessary logistics for the MNLF's to attend the MNLF-GPH talks that is necessary to ensure smooth MNLF cooperation in the implementation of the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA. How thick-face it would be for GPH to claim that it had implemented its obligation in the 1996 MNLF-GPH FPA? The GPH claim is fraudulent because they cannot even show a list of MNLFs who benefited from their projects.

Rltr. John R. Petalcorin
Director for Communications
Director for Charity and Economic Projects
Moro National Liberation Front