The purpose of the struggle is to win, not to die

“We struggle to win, not to die” was what Wahab Guialal told the participants of the Bangsamoro Youth Leadership Training during his lecture on the ARMM History and Updates of the Peace Process at Maria Cristina Hotel, Iligan City yesterday, November 21, 2017. 

The training was participated by youth leaders from Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Marawi City.

Mr. Guialal, in his lecture on ARMM History recounted the salient points of history that led to the establishment of the Autonomous Region along with the legal basis that enabled its creation.  He also explained the structure of the ARMM Regional Government and its relationship with the Local Government Units and the National Government. Furthermore, he explained that the ARMM did not solve the Bangsamoro problem and why it was called a failed experiment.

The different periods in the history of the Bangsamoro struggle were also discussed by Guialal beginning with the arrival of Islam in Mindanao and the establishment of the Sultanates. The established Sultanates fought and resisted against the Spanish colonization for 330 years, he added. 

The coming of the Americans brought the start of another period of the Moro struggle, Guialal explained. They used the policy of attraction to weaken the resistance of the Moro sultanates against them and the strategy worked for almost 40 years. When the Americans granted Independence to the Philippines, the Sultanates wrote the Zamboanga and Dansalan declaration in opposition to the inclusion of Mindanao to the Philippines. 

Guialal added that the Moro struggle for the right to self-determination continued as a defense mechanism against the oppression of the Philippine government to the Moro people. Different Moro revolutionary groups were established during the resistance including the MNLF and the MILF, both of which entered into negotiation with the Philippine government and produced several agreements. 

“We are already in the implementation phase and there is no more hard negotiation”, Guialal told the participants when he explained the current status of the peace process between the MILF and the Philippine Government. He explained to them the different mechanisms of the three tracks of the implementation process — security-related measures, the normalization process, and the passage of the BBL. 

He also mentioned the several ways forward relating to the on-going peace process and encouraged the youth participants to read and learn more about the Bangsamoro struggle. He reminded the participants to stay true to the real purpose of the struggle, the right to self-determination, and to equip themselves to be better leaders in the future.