Cayetano is stirring up anti-Moro sentiments–IP group

KAMP New Release

January 28, 2014

Indigenous peoples’ alliance Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) said that Senator Alan Cayetano’s reactions on the clash between Moro rebels and the Special Action Forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP-SAF) as “stirring up the public opinion against the Moro people” and described the senator as “painfully unversed in the intricacies of the peace problem in the country.”

The senator announced his withdrawal of authorship in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Tuesday, citing the MILF’s “lack of commitment, to peace, development, and the rule of law” and have consequently resulted into the “killing” of the BBL.

“The senator must understand that the ‘rule of law’ inscribed in the Philippine constitution is not the basis of the peace talks. The peace talks should be based on the unity to address the root causes of insurgency, that is necessary for a just and lasting peace. To demand to play by one side’s rules is a display of condescension which is unfruitful in the negotiating table,” Piya Macliing Malayao, spokesperson of KAMP said.

The senator also remarked that the MILF wants power more than peace, and the MILF is planning to put up a “totalitarian kingdom” that will be a safe haven for terrorists.

“Senator Cayetano is determinedly fanning the flames of the people’s condemnation over the killings of the police troops, and places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the MILF. This is a grave and baseless allegation against the MILF, but it is revealing of the Senator’s attitude towards the Moro people and the peace process,” Malayao said.

“In the same way, the peace talks not a mere question of power. The peace process is aimed to address the long-wrought oppressions of the Moro people, and empowering the Moro people to realize their right to self-determination,” Malayao said.

The bloody encounter, which resulted to the killing of at least 44 PNP-SAF personnel and injured several others, also proves that not all lands in the Philippines are under control of the Philippine government, Malayao said. “Senator Cayetano is mistaken if he feels that permission or consent is unnecessary if a band of heavily armed men are to enter a rebel territory. This bloodshed attests to that fact,” Malayao said.

“It is sad that a legislator, more so a senator, harbors such ignorance of the peace process,” Malayao added.

Malayao added that Sen. Cayetano is stirring up the anti-Moro sentiment among lawmakers and general public. “Instead of focusing on how to address the historic injustice against the Moro people, Senator Cayetano’s words and actions is adverse to the pursuit of a just and lasting peace in Mindanao,” Malayao added.

The overarching issue here is the non-recognition of their right to self-determination, Malayao argues. “There is a need to empower the Moro people so that their right to self-determination is realized, which our Constitution itself does not recognize. Until this is resolved, there could be no lasting peace in Mindanao,” Malayao added.

References: Piya Macliing Malayao, Spokesperson 0917-3631576
Lea Fullon, Public Information Officer 0998-2972500

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP)
National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines
Room 304 NCCP Building, 876 Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines
(02)412-5340 | |