Monday, August 11, 2008

Report: MILF talking about US military bases in Bangsamoroland?

UPDATE: Link from Mindanao Bob's blog fixed.

Yay, MLQ3-lanche!

(via) From Asian Times:

The MILF, the largest rebel group in the Philippines, has hinted on several occasions that it has been approached by undisclosed US authorities about the possibility of establishing US military bases in MILF-controlled territory as part of a final peace deal. “This is negotiable, it is possible,”said Eid Kabalu, the MILF’s spokesperson.

“We are facing reality. We know that Washington has its own agenda in Mindanao, and that this has mostly to do with terrorism,” said Kabalu from his modest residence in central Mindanao’s Cotabato City. “However, if the American interest is really in pushing this peace process, then we can talk about military bases.”

Matutuwa ba ang Fil-American blogger friend natin na si Dean J. Bocobo sa balitang yan?

Ellen Tordesillas among others are concerned about the "undue interest" the US gov't has shown in the peace deal (Memorandum of Agreement) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

If the report is accurate, here's are the reasons why I think both sides want this US bases deal done.

From the Moro's point of view
1) the US will help them rebuild and help them economically. Plus the US financial aid packages are nothing to sneeze at either.

2) they can concentrate on jumpstarting their nation-building while the US military provide security.

From the American's side:
1) To help the Muslims in this part of the world. (no, i'm not joking, kahit na walang oil dito.) the US would rather fund the reconstruction of Mindanao's infrastructure, building roads and schools, instead of letting saudi arabia get a foothold there and build madrassas that teach radical wahhabism.

2) To prevent Mindanao from becoming the next sanctuary/breeding ground of Al Queda or Jemaah Islamiya like what DJB fears might happen. Sila ang magga-guarantee na Mindanao will not become a threat to the security of the Philippine gov't.

3) and Military Bases.

UPDATE: Apparently, this is not an original idea. Pero mga Kristiano (Christians) ang nagsasalita dito. From Mindanao Bob in Sept 18, 2006:

Today, I had an interesting conversation with a man whom I have known for about 2 or 3 years now. He is a proud Filipino, and hails from Davao City. He has always displayed a lot of pride in his Philippine roots. Today, his tone was different, though. He had a number of negative things to say about the Philippines. He said that the country had squandered it’s resources and it’s natural economic advantages that it held after WW2. I was surprised, because I had never heard this man speak like this before. He was clearly depressed about the position that the Philippines finds itself in today.

After talking about the Philippines for a while, his tone changed. He started talking about Mindanao, and told me that he had come to the realization that it will soon be time for Mindanao to break away from the Philippines. He told me that he had become an active member in a group who were making plans for an Independent Mindanao.

How could this happen, I asked him. He said that in a few years, when it is time for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to leave the presidency, there will be a lot of turmoil in the Philippines. He and his group feel that this will be the right time for Mindanao Independence. He told me that under his group’s plans, Mindanao would not even need an Army, because they planned to invite in the American forces, and give them Sarangani Island to use as a base for operations. It was all very interesting to hear, especially coming from somebody who was always so proud of his Philippine roots, and had an obviously deep love for his country.

Remember, these are Christian Secessionist wannabees.

Tama si MLQ3, naunahan lang sila.

But there is something slightly underhanded in some Christian politicians suddenly wrapping the national flag around themselves, when the only thing wrong with separatism, it would seem, is that the MILF beat them to it, and they are excluded from it. These Christian politicians have themselves openly proposed and discussed secession, and of course virtual Commonwealth status, after all.

UPDATE: If Muslim Mindanao becomes pro-American/Western like Kosovo and Albania because of generous US assistance, wouldn't radical islam be less of a threat to us in that part of the country?

UPDATE: DJB responds in his new blogpost.

UPDATE: I think DJB is partially right. I really don't think the US are interested in any permanent bases. But they want to help the people in Mindanao rebuild. From MLQ3:

Much ado is being made of USAID’s Mindanao programs which grew from 18.9 million dollars in 2001 to 54 million dollars in 2005. The official American policy is reproduced in Small Wars Journal and you may want to take a look at this colorful map of USAID programs in Mindanao as of March, 2008: ( or click here: USAID Ongoing proj. as of March 2008 provincial.pdf“)

A whole lot of projects!

Yung mga MILF ang may gusto ng US Bases. Because a) they will benefit economically. And b) to re-assure the public and DJB that they will not become a terrorist sanctuary like Waziristan or Afghanistan.

8 comments:

DJB Rizalist said...

Billy Esposo, Butch Valdez, and Pastor Boy Saycon are crackpots who belong to the Lyndon larouche movement.

And no, I'm against a US Military base in Mindanao. I don't think the US needs or wants a military base in the Philippines.

DJB Rizalist said...

john,
i think that in fact there are people who fervently wish that the uS would have a desire to put a base here. So they'd have something to fight them about.

cvj said...

FWIW, i never thought i'd hear that "I'm against a US Military base in Mindanao" come from you DJB. In any case, the signs are there. You'd have to do more than call Esposo et. al. 'crackpots'.

john marzan said...

DJB responds: "I'm against a US Military base in Mindanao. I don't think the US needs or wants a military base in the Philippines."

plus this: "i think that in fact there are people who fervently wish that the uS would have a desire to put a base here. So they'd have something to fight them about."

But DJB, don't we already have what amounts to "US bases" in the philippines, kinda, sorta? just that it's not called that by both governments?

john marzan said...

cvj: "FWIW, i never thought i'd hear that "I'm against a US Military base in Mindanao" come from you DJB. In any case, the signs are there."

we already have US bases in RP, thanks to Arroyo. just that nobody in both administrations want to call it that.

another example, we had undeclared martial law at one point in 2006 even though Arroyo insisted that it was just a "State of Emergency"/Proc 1017.

Xiecix said...

Regarding Sarangani Island - too small for a U.S. base. It's a half mile wide by about 5 miles long and too mountainous. That’s not the piece sought – history should make that a bit clearer.

It’s funny, some of these comments are about the positive effects of U.S. infrastructure investment. Of course it would. It’s in their interest to be the motivators of this region’s integration into productive global society. The Philippine government seems unable to get it done as the population growth continues to widen the gap between what the economy can sustain; let alone improve. It cannot build enough roads, schools nor bring in enough global investment. Great job Catholic and other Church leaders in the Philippines! Like other aspects of the world, religion has evolved leaving you in the dust squabbling for soft power.

Poverty breeds population growth. Simply put, sex is free and fun. Unsustainable population growth drops average education and encourages more population growth – ultimately raising the level of angst, feelings of entitlement and young men with nothing better to do than belong to a gang. The perfect breading grounds for any terrorist group regardless of the religion or motivations of gang leaders providing the cause. That’s a good starting point for the education. That and birth control.

The Philippine government was suckered into denying U.S. base extensions just 17 years ago. This was passionately done in the name of the Philippine nationalism - masking real motivations. Bottom line, the U.S. saw less value in the bases as priorities changed and that ticked off a few people. Those who were both smart enough to realize that the pie is growing smaller and were in power chose to push the idea of breaking the chains. Let’s tear down this veil to see that less U.S. money per Philippine capita means less money to take from the ever decreasing per capita public coffer. So, in the name of Nationalism a few Senators / families chose to make more money using these bases for ‘economic development’. Nationalism is great when its pragmatic enough to realize that it’s a globally integrated economy. The country, collectively through the government, returned the last set of U.S. gifts as too small – preferring to make a bit more room for greed by a few.

Religion is most integral where secular education is week. In a country where much of the people’s mindset remains ‘more hands for the farm is better’, these institutions would best serve people in teaching personal responsibility to provide better for their children rather than trying to increase the size of their flocks.

The Philippines had it chance in the 40 years after WWII – it was tied to the hip of the most powerful nation on earth. Today, the U.S. and other modernized nations have moved on to where the education is better, English is encouraged (another blunder in the name of Nationalism), labor is cheaper and markets are larger.

A good route now is to change the direction of the population curve. In a generation or two, less people can then demand more of each other and their government. In the meantime, multi-national and direct foreign aid programs will try and go as direct to the trouble spots as possible to put out fires.

But, whatever happens, don’t allow separation of the region. Places like this all around the world prove over and over that gangs produce nothing – they take things from others. Just another form of organized corruption. Their leaders will profit both soft and hard until there is nothing left. Then, you will see the next wave of demands from an even larger and better integrated group of malcontents. There is no real reason for separation – no one is restricting free practice of religion. Terrorists gangs use the Muslim religion because they can make use of the idea that church and state cannot be separated – making a great rally cry to oust order. Allowing succession is giving in to not addressing the real issues. Supporting this is something you will not see the U.S. do. Maybe France could put a base there.

bitcipher said...

I believe that the United states should have a base here. Why? Let's go back why the US bases where remove and the government refused america's request to renew the contract.

1.) Prostitution
2.) Toxic Waste and Maritime Pollution
3.) Nuclear Weapon
4.) Human Rights Abuses
5.) AIDS

But after the bases have left did the above been eliminated. Nope why because there are more prostitutes and protitution dens now a days and mostly protected by politicians and high ranking official. Toxic Waste and Pollution much worsten because of continuing growth of squaters near rivers. Human Rights Abuses and AIDS it is still here and among us. Leaving us to one last excuse Nuclear Weapons. The fact that Nuclear Weapons do exist opposing it's existence in our territory will only prevent us from having them and mass producing them but can we prevent those weapons to hit us. Do we have the capability to stop an ICBM from hitting us? Of course we can't, if the US have bases here and because of the Mutual Defense Treaty rest assured that the Philippines will be protected. After all it also states that in anytime an attack on both nation exist both nations are hereby to support each other and defend each other. Leaving the President to agree with the US global anti-terrorism campaign.

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