MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/2 Oct) — At the end of the month-long Ramadhan, Maranaos here staged a rally right in the heart of the city this morning to call on the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference to intervene to stop the war in Mindanao and for the government to honor the botched Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).
With placards and streamers mostly in blue and green, the 1,000 protesters then marched under the mid-morning sun towards the headquarters of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade to hold yet another rally, ending just before noon.
In a manifesto distributed during the rally, the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) said their “only remaining hope for immediate and just resolution” of the Mindanao conflict is the joint intervention of the UN and the OIC.
The group said they trust these international organizations because they are “sworn to maintain world peace and security by safeguarding human rights and people’s rights and the promotion of conflict resolution through principled, just and peaceful means.”
Salic Ibrahim, CBCS chair for the two Lanao provinces, said 19 organizations are under its umbrella.
The group lamented the government’s “insincerity” towards the Bangsamoro, the collective term for Muslims in southern Philippines, when it backed out on the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The manifesto added that the Bangsamoro has been subjected to another “cruel” and “atrocious” war by the government after the botched MOA-AD.
But Col. Rey Ardo, 103IB commander, told reporters there is no war, just a military pursuit operations against Bravo and Kato, whom the Armed Forces labeled as criminals when they attacked civilians. Warrants of arrest have been issued against Bravo and Kato.
The CBCS, however, censured the military for pursuing the two MILF commanders “yet indiscriminately bombing and destroying communities and villages” and displacing thousands of innocent civilians.
It accused government, too, of siding with the Ilaga, a civilian vigilante group waging a war against Moros that gained notoriety at the height of the war in the 1970s.
“We … call on the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference to jointly intervene in this Mindanao conflict, to mediate for the cessation of the war and to institute the just resolution of the grievous injustices to the Bangsamoro and their right to self-determination,” the group concluded in its statement. (Bobby Timonera / MindaNews)