Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Modern Rationale

The actual "statehood" of the sultanate in the light of modern day contemplation is a timely or pertinent topic in this discussion, particularly the matter of the capacity of these sultanates for treaty-making. The value of this subject matter to our discussion cannot be overstated. However, even granting that the Moros had already constituted a nation, but a nation is primarily a racial or ethnic concept. It is not a juridical or political entity that is clothed with authority and responsibility to rule as imbued on a state. Nation and state are two different things.
However, before expounding on this further, let us understand first what is a state. One American authority defined state as a "community of persons more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, independent *of external control. and possessing an organized government to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience. From this definition, a state has four requisites for existence, namely, people, territory, government and independence or sovereignty. There is a minority view which added two more requisites: possession of a sufficient degree of civilization and recognition by the family of nations..
Since this work is not a legal thesis and therefore an exhaustive discussion of the subject of statehood is not within its province. It will therefore employ a more casual approach to the subject.
1. People - According to authorities on the subject of statehood. the number of people-inhabitants must be sufficient enough to ensure survival irrespective of race, color, religion or culture. The 'important thing is that they would be able to perpetuate themselves for political ends. The State of Vatican, as aforecited, has only a population of 1,000. Easily the three sultanates could pass this requirement.
2. Territory - The space by which the state exists must be more or less permanent, big or small. in order "to settle eventual disputes on jurisdiction." The jurisdiction of these sultanates were rendered more valid when they entered into treaties delineating their boundaries and jurisdiction.
3. Government - "As instrumentality of this political unity," these sultanates had organized political machineries by which their powers were expressed and to make real their will and functions. This is discussed earlier in this chapter on how the sultanate conducted its day-to-day state affairs.
4. Independence or Sovereignty - The state has the freedom from external control in the conduct of its internal and external affairs. The fact that the sultanate had survived for more than three centuries is the best testimony to this sovereignty or independence.
5. Sufficient Degree of Civilization - Is it not a fact that the Moros had a longer history than any group in the Philippines, and does not this follow that they had a richer and more colorful civilization? Long before the appearance of the Westerners in Asia, the Moros were already civilized. They possessed a Malayan civilization and then enriched by Indian, Chinese, and Arabic influences. Perhaps all that is necessary for the Doubting Thomases to prove or disprove this is to scan the pages of history books to verify for themselves the truth of this thesis.
6. Recognition by the Family of Nations - The United Nations was only organized in 1945. The League of Nations, though founded earlier in 1920, was practically an inutile organization. The United States was not even a formal member.

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