8 Backgrounders to Better Understand the Zamboanga Situation
With an issue as complex as the Zamboanga situation, and given the nature of the matter that we do not wish to treat lightly, here are 8 articles that we compiled to help readers gain a little understanding of some of the nuances surrounding the issue.
After that agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) felt left out and declared independence from the Philippine government, via Nur Misuari. He declared it “a peaceful revolution.” We briefly noted it on a previous list, and pointed out that the situation bears watching.
This reports the aftermath of the September 9 events, as the government figured in a standoff with armed rebels, who held 35 hostages in custody. The belief is that this attack was meant to sabotage peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), another separatist group that has been making strides in the peace process in the South.
In an attempt to contain the situation as quickly as possible, the president sent Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief General Emmanuel Bautista. This was done despite a fatwa issued against the AFP Chief in 2010.
Nur Misuari’s grievances against the government, including the apparent overruling of a 1996 peace agreement in favor of the MILF in 2012, is described here. Furthermore, the involvement of the MNLF in the Sabah Crisis earlier this year is also mentioned.
The plot thickens, as conspiracy theorists allege that this entire Zamboanga situation is an attempt to wag the dog and keep people from paying attention to the PDAF scam, since clearly, the past few sex scandals that went viral haven’t quite achieved that.
One thing people tend to forget: Filipinos can multi-task, too. We can care about Zamboanga, and the PDAF scam. This strange (Or is it convenient?) coincidence does little to change that.
Keep an eye out for Joel Torre in the vicinity, just in case.