BANDUNG (West Java, Indonesia), 13 Rabi al-Thani/6 March (IINA)-The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under founding Chairman Nur Misuari is carefully mulling the establishment of a “parallel government” and its “officials” to be appointed soon, barring any unforeseen circumstances, to address what the national government had allegedly failed to do for the Bangsamoro, or Muslim Filipinos.
In the review since 2007 of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA), signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MNLF, under the aegis of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the MNLF has been asking for a provisional government, sharing of minerals, and expansion of the territory of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
However, no resolution has been arrived yet on the first and third issue during the 2nd Round of Formal Ad Hoc High-Level Group (AHHLG) Meeting here from March 1 to 2 at the Hotel Aston Primera Pasteur.
GPH is not likely to agree with the provisional government proposal, although this has been in the peace table already.
A source revealed the plan about a “parallel government” on the condition of anonymity.
Least the authorities get a wrong idea, the source hastened to add that the “parallel government” they are thinking about is a “super non-governmental organization (NGO),” not a threat to the established government.
“It is a parallel mechanism to work with the government. It is just an autonomy that needs no legislation. It is being planned to respond to the Bangsamoro needs which the government has neglected to provide,” the source said.
“It appears our people can no longer wait for the national government to address fully their welfare and needs. We have to do something on our own,” the source added.
He made the disclosure regarding the sensitive issue during the AHHLG.
For example, he said, poor Moros in the countryside have little or no access at all to the government’s medical and health services, education, housing, and justice, among others.
“On security matters, we will have to work with concerned government agencies,” he stressed.
The source said that the idea was suggested by well-meaning supporters of the MNLF from foreign lands, who are willing to help bankroll the parallel government’s activities.
Misuari, a founding chairman of the MNLF, which fought for independence in the early 70s to 80s, has encouraged further discussions on the “parallel government,” he said.
“There is no definite timetable yet on the parallel government’s establishment. It is like a ‘government’ within a government. It is non-political,” he said.
“Addressing the welfare and needs of the Moros is not an easy task, it is a gargantuan task,” the source acknowledged, promising the MNLF will persevere and prevail on its noble task.
He said the proposal to have the parallel mechanism is a reaction to the still unfinished implementation of the FPA.
“Its review appears to be going round in circles without end,” the source said.