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Filipino Muslims Vote in a Referendum to Create an Autonomous Region

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mikewright

Filipino Muslims Vote in a Referendum to Create an Autonomous Region

By Associated Press

January 21, 2019

(MANILA) — Muslims in the southern Philippines voted Monday in a referendum on a new autonomous region that seeks to end nearly half a century of unrest, in what their leaders are touting as the best alternative to a new wave of Islamic State group-inspired militants.

The vote caps a tumultuous peace effort by the government in Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the main rebel group, to seal a deal that was signed in 2014 but languished in the Philippine Congress until it was finally approved last year. Bloodshed including the siege of Marawi city by IS-linked militants and other bombings and attacks in the south threatened to derail it.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro rebels, has repeatedly said that the creation of a viable Muslim autonomous region is the best antidote to about half a dozen smaller IS-linked radical groups that remain a threat in Mindanao, the homeland of minority Muslims in the largely Roman Catholic nation.

“We can roughly conclude that all these splinter groups are a result of the frustration with the peace process,” Murad said in July, when President Rodrigo Duterte signed the legislation creating the new region, called Bangsamoro.

Under the deal, the rebels gave up their goal of an independent state in exchange for broad autonomy, although they originally wanted a federal unit with more powers. Their 30,000 to 40,000 fighters are to be demobilized. Murad has appealed to the international community to contribute to a trust fund to be used to finance the insurgents’ transition from decades of waging one of Asia’s longest rebellions.

Centuries of conquest — first by Spanish and American colonial forces that had ruled the Philippine archipelago followed by Filipino Christian settlers — have gradually turned Muslims into a minority group in Mindanao, triggering conflict over land, resources and sharing of political power. Uprisings seeking self-rule have been brutally suppressed, feeding more resentment. Insecurity is fueled by proliferation of weapons and armed groups that have resorted to ransom kidnappings and extortion for survival, such as the brutal Abu Sayyaf, which is not part of any peace process.

Bangsamoro replaces an existing poverty-wracked autonomous region with a larger, better-funded and more powerful entity. An annual grant, estimated at $1.3 billion, is to be set aside to bolster development.

Western governments have welcomed the autonomy pact. They worry that small numbers of IS-linked militants from the Middle East and Southeast Asia could forge an alliance with Filipino insurgents and turn the south into a breeding ground for extremists.

In 2017, Philippine troops backed by U.S. and Australian surveillance aircraft routed the militants who occupied Marawi for five months in battles that left more than 1,200 people, mostly Islamic fighters, dead and the mosque-studded city in ruins. Overall, the conflict has left about 150,000 people dead over several decades and stunted development in the resource-rich but underdeveloped southern region that is the country’s poorest.

The Commission on Elections said it has printed 2.1 million ballots for the plebiscite. Results are expected no later than Jan. 26. If the measure is approved, a second referendum on Feb. 6 will ask residents of Lanao del Norte province and seven towns in North Cotabato province with a sizeable Muslim population to decide whether they want to join the new region as well.

Possible pitfalls include petitions to the Supreme Court to strike down the autonomy deal.

http://time.com/5508352/philippines-muslims-referendum-autonomous-region/

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SkyMan
9 minutes ago, mikewright said:

Insecurity is fueled by proliferation of weapons and armed groups that have resorted to ransom kidnappings and extortion for survival, such as the brutal Abu Sayyaf, which is not part of any peace process

And will continue their activities undeterred or more likely increased to gain more as they see the rewards for such actions.   :popcorn:

Edited by SkyMan
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RangerUp
44 minutes ago, mikewright said:

what their leaders are touting as the best alternative to a new wave of Islamic State group-inspired militants.

I can think of a better alternative: gtfo

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RogerDuMond
1 hour ago, RangerUp said:

I can think of a better alternative: gtfo

Get out of their own country?

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TequilaSunset

They will NEVER be satisfied

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oztony

The Kidnap for ransom association must be rubbing their hands together with thoughts of future lucrative business deals ...hell it filters down to the masses eventually .....

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RangerUp
1 hour ago, RogerDuMond said:

Get out of their own country?

 "a new wave of Islamic State group-inspired militants" implies movement, so  "their own country" would be where they are invading from.

 

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oztony

Maybe the "New wave" is the offspring from the old crew ...already ensconced and ready to make unreasonable demands to ensure The lifestyle and legacy of past lives on ....which is already proven to be murderous and have no respect for the life of other people ...or just unable to control their own constituents...either way about as much control as a chook raffle would still be a risk ....the chicken could end up for ransom....

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RangerUp
10 minutes ago, oztony said:

Maybe the "New wave" is the offspring from the old crew

Maybe, and a far more difficult problem to solve, which is why limiting Muslim immigration is so important to any free nation's well-being.

Hopefully for everyone it doesn't get approved.

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RR3

Just for the record:

PI was predominantly Muslim before Spain made them catholic by sword; convert or die. Plz have some perspective, respect for people.

Spain and USA tried to exterminate Islam and Muslims but never succeeded in Mindanao. Read in history how good they did.

Edited by RR3
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RangerUp
4 minutes ago, RR3 said:

PI was predominantly Muslim before Spain made them catholic by sword; convert or die. Plz have some perspective, respect for people.

Spain and USA tried to exterminate Islam and Muslims but never succeeded in Mindanao. 

Fast forward to 2019, comparing Muslim-dominated regions of Mindanao to the rest of the developing Philippines, I think the proper reaction to Spain is "thank you".

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Davaoeno
13 minutes ago, RangerUp said:

limiting Muslim immigration

Is it your contention that many Muslims are immigrating to the Philippines ? Where are they coming from ?

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RangerUp
5 minutes ago, Davaoeno said:

Is it your contention that many Muslims are immigrating to the Philippines ? Where are they coming from ?

Again:

1 hour ago, RangerUp said:

 "a new wave of Islamic State group-inspired militants" implies movement, so  "their own country" would be where they are invading from. 

If "a new wave" does not refer to a "a new wave of immigration" that's a far more difficult problem to solve.

 

Edited by RangerUp

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RogerDuMond
7 minutes ago, RangerUp said:

If "a new wave" does not refer to a "a new wave of immigration" that's a far more difficult problem to solve.

 

5 hours ago, mikewright said:

“We can roughly conclude that all these splinter groups are a result of the frustration with the peace process,” Murad said in July, when President Rodrigo Duterte signed the legislation creating the new region, called Bangsamoro.

So it is not being said that the groups are immigrants, but are inspired by external groups.

27 minutes ago, RangerUp said:

Maybe, and a far more difficult problem to solve, which is why limiting Muslim immigration is so important to any free nation's well-being.

Hopefully for everyone it doesn't get approved.

The Autonomous Region will not have control of immigration, that will remain in the purview of the federal government.

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oztony
4 minutes ago, RR3 said:

Plz have some perspective, respect for people.

More than happy to ...I am all for a square deal all round ...you give what you get and all that....not much to ask for is it...?

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