Bangsamoro and the Moro Problem

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Bangsa moro is a fusion of the word bangsa, meaning nation or people in Malay, and moro or moor which is a Spanish term for Arabs or Muslims. The Bangsa moro is the general name referring to the 13 ethnolinguistic Muslim tribes in the Philippines which comprise a quarter of the total population in Mindanao with an approximate population of 4.5 million Muslims (East, 1005). Their ways of life may differ from each other as well as the dialects they speak but it is their religion Islam that serves as a strong unifying factor that binds them together as a strong nation, a nation entirely different to the Philippine government, so they claim.

For centuries, the Muslims have been engaging in wars against different colonizers to maintain their independence but gone are the days of conquistadors, now the Filipino-Muslims from the last four decades has been at war not against foreigners but against their fellow countrymen. Five administrations has passed, major peace agreements have been signed, a number of cease fires have been declared, and countless lives have been sacrificed but still the Moro problem has yet to see a genuine solution that will bring to end this centuries-old national issue. And now more than ever, the Moro problem has received much attention when the call for Philippine constitutional amendment became the recent prospect of Arroyo’s administration as possible answer to the Muslim’s call for independent statehood. But with much publicity of the on-going war it is interesting to note that despite all the media coverage and news reports given to the public only but few are fully aware of the root cause of the Moro problem thus some coined it “a misunderstood war” which may explain why attempts to resolve the issue have failed countless times.

Review of Related Literature

The Importance of Land
According to “Contesting Land and Identity In The Periphery: The Moro Indigenous People of Southern Philippines” by M. Fianza land and ethnicity are



Bibliography: Amarille, Col. Roland C. (2006, March 15). Government of the Republic of the Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front Peace Talks: A Bold Move to Counter Terrorism Buendia, Rizal G. (2008). Looking into the Future of Moro Self-Determination in the Philippines Research Centre, Working Paper No.146. Retrieved August 30, 2008, from http://wwwarc.murdoch.edu.au/wp/wp146.pdf East, Bob (2005, October 28) Terror: The Muslim Independence Movement of the Southern Philippines. In Proceedings Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, QUT, Brisbane. Retrieved August 30, 2008, from http://eprints.usq.edu.au/840/1/East.pdf Engineer, Asghar Ali (1985, November 30). The Moro Struggle Seen in a Wider Perspective. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol Fianza, Myrthena L. (2004). Contesting Land and Identity In The Periphery: The Moro Indigenous People of Southern Philippines Kamlian, Jamail A. (2003, November 4). Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Southern Philippines: A Discourse on Self-Determination, Political Autonomy and Conflict Resolution Quimpo, Nathan Gilbert (2001). Options in the Pursuit of a Just, Comprehensive, and Stable Peace in the Southern Philippines Wolters, Willem (2002). Muslim rebel movements in the Southern Philippines: Recruitment Area for al-Qaeda Terrorists? Focaal - European Journal of Anthropology no

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