Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grant of Self-Rule

After the defeat of Japan in World War 11, the United States officially annexed Mindanao and Sulu into the territory of the Philippines in the grant of independence on July 4, 1946. This was a very painful decision. The Moros were never given the right to free choice and to national self-determination and to vote on the issue through a referendum. The hard fact is that they, after having been disarmed and rendered defenseless, were forcibly incorporated. Thousands of them resisted and died fighting in the process. But this decision had already been sealed as early as 1935 when the Commonwealth regime was inaugurated. Wider American interests were seen better served in an undivided territory under Filipino rulers.
The Moros, now faced with a situation never before experienced, slipped into "independence" with almost a closed mind. Those still with revolting hearts were rendered practically helpless. The many decades of bloody confrontations had practically sapped their energies to be able again to go into the field and fight. Those who by chance or by choice tasted power with the new political order were busy picking up the spoils of their collaboration.
As a whole, the Moros were poised at the crossroads. Either they went on fighting aimlessly or they must learn to accept the situation they had no chance to change. There was no clear distinction made. Everything rested in the hands of the new Filipino rulers, who inherited the Moro country in a silver platter. The Americans freely handed to them the "Promise Land" but not, of course, without inheriting the so-called Moro Problem. It was up for them to put the "house in order." The trouble may have been that they had already concluded that all would be well with the Moros after independence. This was the premise from which they started,
Together under one flag with the Moro, the Filipino must make good his pledge that he could govern the Moro well. The Moros had been outstanding in their opposition to Filipino rule, but the Filipinos were persistent in their desire to govern the Moros. This was the situation when the Moros were turned over to the Filipinos for governance.

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