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Castro, Gait, Zurita 4ABIS-AMST AMS 325 TTH/1:00-2:30/T204

The Bangsamoro, as people with distinct identity and common culture, and with long
history of political independence in the same territory they presently occupy, continuously assert
their right to freedom and independence as an expression of their right to self-
determination(Lingga, A. 2002). The claim of the right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro
has dragged on for more than a century. Since American rule the desire of the bangsamoro for
self-determination is nearly impossible. After the Americans declared all lands in the Philippines
as public land they technically lost their territory. The Americans imposed a culture that was
very incompatible with the customs and traditions of the bangsamoro. Since then the feeling of
resentment towards the Americans and Filipino elites increased. Even though the bangsamoro
successfully thwarted Spanish rule their efforts were futile as the Americans annexed the
entirety of Mindanao as part of the Philippines. The rest of the Philippines were happy upon
gaining independence from the Americans except for the bangsamoro who still struggled for
liberation.(Alim,G.1995) Reforms and activities towards independence and self-determination
intensified after the Philippine Independence up to Marcos era.
In 1976, the Marcos government led by First Lady Imelda Marcos signed an agreement,
called the Tripoli Agreement, with the MNLF, led by Nur Misuari, in Tripoli, Libya allowing for
areas in Mindanao (defined through a plebiscite) to be given autonomy. Hashim Salamat, one of
the leaders of the MNLF, vehemently opposed the said agreement and broke off from the
organization with 57 of its officers. The modern-day MILF was eventually created in 1984.
Three years later ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) was established under the
Organic Act of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao through Republic Act 6734. During the
Corazon Aquinos administration there were four provinces out of 13 provinces voted to join
namely Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi. The formation of ARMM was expected
to improved the lives and security of the people. Worse, ARMM was the place for corruption and
polarization of Bangsamoro (Alim, G. 1995).
In 2000, President Joseph Estrada declared an all-out war against the MILF after a
series of attacks. He justified the all-out war as a way to usher development in Mindanao
because, according to one of his State of the Nation Addresses, without peace, there can be no
development. By these actions of the government there are a lot of casualties; millions of pesos
worth of properties was destroyed and thousands of non-combatants were affected.
The exchange of bullets between the government and MIILF ensued up until EDSA II,
when President Estrada was ousted from office and Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
succeeded. President Arroyo restarted talks with MILF regarding the aborted Memorandum of
Agreement on Ancestral Domain. According to Justice Carpio-Morales MOA-AD is
unconstitutional by the following reasons: the constitution does not recognize any state within
this country other than the Philippines state and only Congress has the right to amend certain
provision in the constitution of the Philippines (Supreme Court, 2008).
Recently, the preliminary peace agreement known as the Bangsamoro Framework
Agreement was signed under the administration of Benigno Aquino III. It encompasses the
creation of a new and autonomous political entity that would replace the current ARMM or
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The primary idea of the framework agreement of the
bangsamoro is to finally resolve the decades- long armed conflict in what encompasses
present-day ARMM. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government of the Philippines
agreed upon a resolution that will provide a quasi- self- government of the future bangsamoro
while still under the sovereignty of the people of the Republic of the Philippines. In the
framework agreement it ensured absolute freedom of religion, be it Muslim, Christian, or Lumad
despite the formers majority. The current ARMM is still experiencing corruptions, unequal
distribution of goods and services. The peace and order is in the region is unstable because of
the conflict between the government and MILF.
The researchers chose this topic because of the sensitivity of the issue and as a
Mindanaon the researchers are very interested with this topic. As International Studies students,
this topic will help us in understanding the current situation in the area specifically Cotabato
City. Since Cotabato City is the proposed capital of the future Bangsamoro it is important to
know the views and perception of the people living in the city because they will be directly
affected on whatever will transpire in the coming years especially the Christian community
which is a strong and influential minority.
Statement of the Problem
This study sought to describe the views and perceptions of people living within the area
of Bangsamoro, specifically the Christian community in Cotabato City.
This study aimed to answer the following questions:
1. What are the socio-demographic profiles of the respondents in Cotabato City?
a. Age
b. Sex
c. Nationality
d. Religion
e. Occupation
f. Highest educational attainment
2. What are the views of the Christian community on the Framework Agreement on the
Bangsamoro (FAB)?
3. As residents of Cotabato City, what are their perceptions on the FAB?
4. What are the reservations or perceived difficulties of the Christian community on the
FAB?
5. What are the responses and recommendations of the Christian community concerning
the FAB?