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Williams 2008 Bimp Eaga Paradox As Pubd

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Exploring the apparent discrepancy between Manila and Mindanao wanting the ASEAN program of BIMP EAGA to succeed.

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Williams 2008 Bimp Eaga Paradox As Pubd

  1. 1. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 1 [p 1] Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox Mark S. Williams Abstract The BIMP EAGA – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area – forms an apparent paradox with the social, political and economic structures of the Philippines, especially in Mindanao. As viewed by Manila in the north and Mindanao in the south, BIMP EAGA affects the political economy of Philippine governance in this new millennium, and comes at the issue from differing viewpoints – one political, and the other, more economically motivated. The Manila motivation is economic and seeks to continue the power structure of politicos in search for ‘rents’ from various economic ventures. The Mindanao motivation is political due to the Filipino Muslims’ desire to reunite the pan-Malay dar-ul Islam which had been existent until the arrival of and colonization by Spain, America, and Manila. Introduction Interaction and trade among indigenous Malays and Filipinos in the region was flourishing even before the colonial era, and it was the birth of nations and the subsequent establishment of national boundaries just slightly over a century ago that disrupted these linkages. In the wake of this interesting historical fact is the decade-old formation of an economic network called BIMP EAGA [Brunei- [p 2] Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area] that seeks to benefit those four particular nation-states of insular Southeast Asia. Those more knowledgeable of the socio-religious constitution of this growth-area realize that these specific states have majority Muslim populations, except for the Philippines which has a vocal (and sometimes violent) Muslim minority. Whereas Islam has had its influence on the governance and societal values of the first three states in the BIMP coalition, the Spanish and American colonial legacy of the Philippines has placed Christian values in control of politics and society there for over four hundred years. Although the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) has encouraged qualified Muslims to hold various offices in Manila since the late 1940s (in order to foster national integration measures ), the Philippines has continued to be involved in a protracted conflict against Muslim separatist movements in Mindanao – similar to the agitation between north and south in the peninsular state of Thailand. Despite the implementation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 1989 as a first-step towards fulfilling the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, the Manila  Williams, Mark S is development consultant and research anthropologist for the SEC-registered non- government organization, SIM Philippines. He holds his master’s degree from Biola University, California, and is completing his Ph.D. in Development Studies at Ateneo de Davao University.
  2. 2. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 2 perspective on “some implications of autonomy” is clearly for “the ‘unitary approach’ to integration.” The more vocal Muslims in Mindanao see this only as an accommodation, and not in keeping with the traditional way of life and long-standing cultural values of dar-ul Islam in the Malay world. If the main point of the formation of BIMP EAGA “…was to boost trade among Muslims in the region,” then an apparent paradox exists, producing two important questions for examination. First of all: Do Filipino Muslims place more hope in BIMP EAGA (than in the ARMM) to initiate a veritable re-unification of the Malay dar-ul Islam of old – almost by economic and political default? Secondly, and more significantly: Since the very nature of this economic network seems to be inconsonant with the national purpose of integrating the Muslims into the greater unity of the Philippines, what possible motivations have led Malacaňang to champion and encourage the formation of BIMP EAGA? [p 3] BRIEF HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE BIMP NATIONS As a preface to examining the above questions, it is prudent to understand some historic social, political and economic factors in the whole of Southeast Asia, with special emphasis on the insular nations which comprise the BIMP region. What do Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, and Indonesia have in common? First, they were all subject to foreign colonial subjugation except Thailand. Colonialism disrupted traditional political, economic, social and ethno-religious patterns, particularly the predominant role of Islam. The local people in these [insular] states and in southern Thailand were Malay- Polynesians ethnically. Indigenous Malays and Expatriate Indians In South and Southeast Asia, it is well-attested that the populations of the Indian subcontinent have had a long history of maritime travel and exploration. This is not only true in the Arabian Sea (between Africa and India) but also east of the subcontinent in the Bay of Bengal, which then swells into the Andaman Sea (near Aceh in Sumatra) – continuing through narrow straits in between present-day Indonesia and Malaysia to the South China Sea. While the Indians did not populate these islands themselves (Mongol- Chinese Malays were indigenous there for a long time ), their reliance on the monsoon wind patterns to guide their maritime travels would often leave them marooned in such insular locations as “…the tip of Sumatra or the Malaysian peninsula.” Therefore, it was not long before intermarriage and “cultural osmosis” led to a mixing and synthesis of Indian ideals and existing Malay societal and cultural values. A detailed history of the presence of Indian incursions in the Indonesian archipelago is beyond the scope of this article, but understanding their significance and influence in the whole Malay insular geographic setting is indispensable. “The first Indian [p 4] Buddhists arrived in Indonesia between the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD,” and many successive Indian Buddhist “kingdoms” were to be found in “South Sumatra” and “Central Java.” For the next fifteen-hundred years, “…major Hinduised states of island
  3. 3. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 3 south-east Asia…” emanated chiefly from Sumatra and Java in Indonesia – “…the best remembered” of these was Majapahit. [F]ar from being an empire derived by conquest, Majapahit appears more to have been a kingdom controlling East Java, Madura and Bali, with widespread reciprocal commercial contacts with the spice-growing Indonesian islands on one level; on another, trading relations with China and with Europe, via the Mameluke Empire of Egypt, which passed commodities on to Venice. Majapahit appears to have been at its zenith during the prime ministership of Gaja Mada in the latter part of the fourteenth century. One hundred and fifty years after Gaja Mada’s death, Indian Muslims, “…based [i]n the port of Demak,…conquered Majapahit” and the turnover from Hindu to Islamic influences began. Advent of Islam The variant of Islam which had reached the Malay world was peculiar to India, somewhat different from the Middle Eastern Arabic variety from whence Islam was born: The Moslems who spread the faith of Allah to south-east Asia were mostly Indian. When Islam reached Indonesia and Malaysia it was substantially modified from the stern ascetic faith of the [Arabian] desert, and because of this was more readily acceptable. The mystic Sufist school of Islam had elements of magic, and a certain flexibility which allowed the incorporation of ancient animist beliefs when it reached south-east Asia. [p 5] Besides the differences in religious aspects, this “flexibility” also manifested itself economically and politically: “[S]ince Islam did not have professional priests, the missionaries were traders; adoption of Islam gave a definite commercial advantage to ambitious local rajahs.” Indeed, some have postulated that, after centuries of social hierarchies and a caste-system within Hinduism, these Malay indigenes may have been attracted to the apparent egalitarian social and economic qualities of Islam. Whereas Indian Buddhists and Hindus imposed their religion and societal values upon the Malay populations wherever they settled and conquered (i.e., present-day Indonesia, Malaysia, and certain major islands in the Philippines), Islam came to these insular locations and gradually introduced Muslim ideals and values, ultimately supplanting the Hindu strictures on society. Even though pockets of Muslim settlements had been in various sections of Sumatra and Java since the late 800s A.D. (even making gradual incursions into the Malaysian archipelago on into the 1400s ), Islam did not completely subdue the Malay world until the fall of Majapahit empire in the early 1500s. From the late 1200s to the early 1500s, Muslims made headway not only in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, but also on other northern Philippine islands – namely, Mindoro and Luzon, specifically establishing “…the settlement of Manila and Tondo….” there. Besides the “Sulu Zone” of the Sulu sultanate and Tausug Muslims engaging in expansive trade with China in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Bornean progenitors of the Sultanate of Brunei were also
  4. 4. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 4 very heavily entrenched in trade and political alliances with the present-day insular and peninsular Southeast Asian countries of ASEAN, as well as mainland China itself. In summary, then: Most if not all of peninsular and insular Southeast Asia was Buddhist or Hindu in socio-political rulership by the turn of the first millennium. From the 1000s A.D. onward, however, Muslim seafaring merchants mixed and traded with the Malay insular regions of Southeast Asia, superseding the Hinduized values and polity on those island archipelagos with Islamic ones. The result was the solidification of dar-ul Islam in the Malay world. On the other [p 6] hand, Spain’s discovery of what she called ‘the Philippines’ in the 16th century, the subsequent “Moro Wars” period, and the eventual takeover of the Philippines from Spanish control by the Americans in 1898 (until 1946), has led to the disruption of the pan-Malay dar-ul Islam, since Mindanao Malay Muslims have become a minority socio-religious community within their own homeland. INTEGRATION, AUTONOMY, AND ‘BIPOLAR APPROACHES TO DIVERSITY’ The fact that the Philippines became a colony first of Roman Catholic Spain (for more than 300 years) and then the colonial venture of the ‘Christian’ United States (for nearly 50 years) has led to a religious polarization between the longer-resident Muslim Filipinos and their Christian Filipino counterparts. The Filipino Muslim anthropologist, Eric Casiňo, describes and expounds on this “bipolar image” – If you have two points along the equator, be they close to, or far from each other, their lines can be made to unite either by going up the North Pole or by going down the South Pole. The Christianized and Islamized peoples of the Philippines are like these two equatorial points. Theologically, we can find unity by rising up to the North Pole of a Semitic divinity through the line of patriarchs and prophets beginning from Christ and Mohammad…. …Christians and Muslims have no difficulty talking this language because it is about Adam and Eve, Jesus, Joseph and Mary, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; it is about sin and forgiveness…. This is not to say that there are no differences in the interpretation of these common elements. But why focus on differences before we have explored the similarities?… [W]e can also turn our eyes to the South Pole through anthropology, there to find an Asiatic humanity that [p 7] links the Indonesians, the Malays, and the Filipinos in a common ethnic foundation. It is certainly in the “similarities” where the advocates for Philippine national integration get their ideological motivation. Yet, it is also in the “differences” where the Muslim detractors (especially in Mindanao) – focusing strongly on their Malay-ness – get their inspiration for autonomy (which they feel is a prelude to secession). Efforts to Neutralize the ‘Polarization’ – MINSUPALA and the CNI The vehicle by which the vision for national integration is carried out is the Commission on National Integration (CNI), which was created in Manila in 1957. The story of the CNI is closely linked to that of another interesting organization – MINSUPALA:
  5. 5. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 5 In 1957, [a Magindanaon, Salipada] Pendatun won the congressional seat for Cotabato, attributing his victory to the restoration of harmony between [non-Muslim] settlers and Magindanaos…. This was not the complete story. Pendatun won because he did not rely solely on his provincial base, but was backed by the Nacionalista leadership and by the Mindanao-Sulu- Palawan Association (MINSUPALA), a bloc of Mindanao political leaders whose purpose was to “get concessions from both the ruling party and the Nacionalista administration of [new president] Carlos Garcia” (Mindanao Times, 26 March 1960…). Amidst growing religious tension, calls to defend and preserve the “Muslim community” [i.e., dar-ul Islam] began to be heard in the political arena…. Pendatun helped transform the Muslim Association of the Philippines (MAP) into a bloc to fight for “Muslim interests” within MINSUPALA. MAP’s and MINSUPALA’s intensive lobbying eventually led the [national] government to create a Commission on National Integration (CNI)…. [p 8] MINSUPALA, therefore, had been formed so that Mindanao-based politicians, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, could have a stronger voice in the GRP based 500 miles north in Manila. Its purpose in “getting concessions” from Malacaňang indicates that this bloc had no ethical problem in manipulating political, social and economic situations in order to improve the situation for Mindanaons of any and all creeds. The CNI, for its part, also did not hesitate to manipulate events to Philippine national (GRP) advantage. By the time Marcos became president, a Maranao, Mamintal Tamano, had been named as ‘Commissioner on National Integration’ (even though he was Filipino Muslim, he was also sympathetic to the national ideal for integration). In one notable circular, Tamano wrote on “four possible solutions” to the “Moro problem” in Mindanao: “annihilation, secession or separatism, assimilation and integration.” The first three solutions are dismissed eloquently by Tamano and, without direct mention, integration is inferred to be the better solution to the ongoing Mindanao problem. At this point, the intriguing question of ‘who is manipulating who?’ might be pertinent indeed. Did Filipino Muslims, such as Pendatun and Tamano, feel that they were wielding the national machinery of the CNI to “get concessions” towards greater autonomy in Mindanao? Or were these Muslims and other Mindanaon politicians merely duped into thinking that they were in control of the situation of ‘integration,’ whereas in fact Malacaňang had the upper-hand all along? These pointed questions reflect the differing viewpoints from Mindanao and Manila on this subject. The Elusive Promise of ‘Autonomy’ Whatever optimism came from the early Marcos years in the late 1960s had all but eroded and dissipated by the early 1980s when Marcos officially ended martial law. When Marcos was finally divested of his office through the People Power movement, Ninoy’s widow, Corazon Aquino, assumed the presidency in 1986. This precipitated a re-examination of the so-called ‘Moro Problem,’ as well [p 9] as Malacaňang’s response to being supported by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The action, emanating from changes in the 1987 Constitution, set events into motion such that “two years later [i.e., 1989], Congress passed an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).”
  6. 6. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 6 Despite optimism that this would lead to the peace that all had hoped for, “…both the MNLF and MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front]…refused to take part in the ARMM and demanded that the Aquino government implement the Tripoli Agreement [of 1976].” While the Organic Act to formulate the ARMM is touted by Malacaňang as fulfilling the essence of the Tripoli Agreement, one learned Muslim commentator states that the Act “…betrays an ill-conceived law that my [sic] stay for sometime as a puzzle to our legal experts.” A few years after the “formal inauguration of ARMM,” this same commentator assessed the ‘polarized’ situation: Three ARMM anniversary celebrations have passed and we are still asking why RA 6743 should not be returned to Congress for overhauling. That suggestion from a certain congressman about the imperative of abolishing ARMM may be borne of a concrete realization of ARMM’s failure to achieve its purposes. This comment was found in an article originally published in 1994, the same year that BIMP EAGA was “…officially launched…in Davao City….” In the face of disappointment and disillusionment with the GRP’s attempt at ‘autonomy’ for Mindanao, BIMP EAGA suddenly emerged as a network that Mindanao Muslims could definitely champion and support. A compelling question, therefore, presents itself: If ‘autonomy,’ as embodied in the ARMM, falls more in line with the aspirations of Malacaňang for eventual integration, why did the Philippine national government host the meetings that allowed BIMP EAGA to push through in the first place? [p 10] Riding the Fence: Ulterior Motivations on Both Sides Consistent with the presentation of other findings in this article, the answer to the above question finds two viewpoints: the Mindanao ‘answer;’ and, the Manila ‘answer.’ Not too surprisingly, both answers wrestle with issues of ‘political economy’ in the Philippines, but each emphasizes a different aspect – the ‘political’ or the ‘economic.’ For Mindanao: Political Economy with emphasis on the ‘Political’ Many in Mindanao, especially Muslim Mindanao, see a crisis in political institutionalization in the Philippines. Coming from a long history of Muslim sultanate and Mindanaon datuship “sociopolitical systems,” the indigenes of Mindanao have been used to more direct input into the governing institutions which guide and direct political, social, and economic activities for the people at-large. This, no doubt, accounts for the recent interest by knowledgeable Mindanaons to push the Philippines to adopt a federal form of government. While the issue of federalism in Philippine governance is beyond the scope of this article, two symptoms which prompted discussion and action towards Mindanao looking at federalism have direct bearing on the examination here: 1) governance of weak states; and 2) contending with a political institutional vacuum.
  7. 7. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 7 “Structurally Weak States” Perhaps it is because the Philippines is comprised of nearly 100 different ethnic groups (most of them of Malay heritage) that is has been difficult to achieve the ideal of isang bangsa, isang diwa, as the essence of Marcos’ Bagong Lipunan. Indeed, Bello argues that, while EDSA dethroned Marcos as would-be dictator, the “EDSA system” that unseated him over-reacted and gave birth to a weakened governance structure, over and above a “strong state.” Abinales concurs with this assessment as he comments that “Southern Mindanao politics shows [p 11] that in structurally weak states like the Philippines, state capacity is defined by an exchange between state and society,…” rather than the interchange and participation by both society and state. Mindanaons within the sphere of the ARMM, then, have not been convinced that the ARMM has offered anything more than a ‘phantom layer’ of pseudo-government to placate certain demands stemming from the Tripoli and subsequent agreements. It has not embodied the ideals of a “true state” since “…the true state is one that has achieved a certain level of differentiation, autonomy, universality and institutionalization.” Instead, Mindanaons – especially Muslims – feel as though they have been left only with an institutional ‘vacuum.’ Political “Institutional Vacuum” Sometimes, the people of Mindanao scratch their heads and wonder, ‘Are these politicians really here to help us – or to help themselves?’ A recent case-in-point is the nepotism and favoritism that seems to be apparent under each successive Governor for the ARMM: when it was Candao, Magindanaons benefited; when it was Misuari, the Tausugs benefited. There was a shorter-lived tenure by a Maranao Governor and, to be sure, the Maranao geographic areas and interests benefited more under him. Generally speaking, Filipino Muslims have become disappointed because, rather than reflecting the power and integrity of the sultanates of old, these Governors (and the extended families they represent) seem to be emulating the corrupt and rent-seeking practices of their Manila counterparts. There is, for Mindanao Muslims especially, a political “…institutional vacuum” – The militarization, lawlessness and land-grabbing which are such an important part of the Mindanao story provide us with more of a clue about the nature of society and revolution on the island. Rather than seeking to restore traditional institutions, it seems possible that revolutionaries in frontier societies are attempting to create [p 12] structures of their own to fill an institutional vacuum. Where the state is not only unable to enforce some measure of judicial security but in fact becomes an accomplice in the dispossession…, it should not be surprising if they try to establish alternative structures of their own…. In this burning desire “to establish alternative structures of their own,” the ‘political’ proactive quality of the BIMP EAGA economic network has given Filipino Muslims (and even non-Muslim Mindanaons) the hope that “interaction and trade” will “flourish” again, bringing not only economic benefits but also “…renew[ing] cultural and ethnic ties with their East ASEAN neighbors and build[ing] upon historical trade ties
  8. 8. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 8 that date back to the 17th century.” In other words, allowing for a de facto reunification of the pan-Malay dar-ul Islam of old. For Manila: Political Economy with emphasis on the ‘Economic’ By now, it should appear that the last thing Malacaňang would want is to foster and support such an economic network as BIMP EAGA which has a ‘hidden’ (yet inherent) political agenda that counters the aspirations of Philippine national integration ideals. Despite uncertainty in the aftermath of the Asian crisis of the late 1990s, as recently as December 2004, BIMP EAGA was “back on track,” undergirded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), as well as GRP support and assistance. One reasonable answer to the apparent political schizophrenia on the part of Manila is the economic practice of rent-seeking. By definition, rent-seeking involves the use of resources to attain benefits for a minority while reducing the total product of the economy…. [T]he term [also] "…describe[s] behavior in institutional settings where individual efforts to maximize value generate social waste rather than social surplus." As applied, [p 13] the term is generally used to describe the process by which private citizens vie for government privilege in order to erect, displace, or maintain some competitive advantage. This has been an age-old practice among many of the wealthier families of Manila and Luzon in general, and is one of the best explanations for why the Philippine state has always been weak. It is not a far stretch, therefore, to suggest that this is a prime motivation for Manila’s support of BIMP EAGA. As documented in recent press releases, such well- funded entities as the ADB, ASEAN “economic framework[s],” and USAID’s GEM Program will be some of “many donor organizations” to bring capital into the Mindanao EAGA target region. With so much monetary capital pouring into Mindanao for development and economic growth stimulation, the temptation for Manila-based politicos and other established kin groups to ‘seek rents’ will be overwhelming indeed. Since the history of this practice is well-documented among established Filipino families, making their home – and influence – near Malacaňang, it is no wonder that Manila can champion the economic result of the BIMP EAGA network while ‘looking the other way’ with regards to its underlying socio-political agenda. Conclusion In the social, political and economic structures that seem to be uniquely ‘Filipino’ comes an apparent paradox called the BIMP EAGA economic network. And yet, as this article has sought to reveal, it really is not a paradox at all when examined from the two primary points of view in this case: Mindanao and Manila. Both views deal with the political economy of Philippine governance in this new millennium, and both come at the issue from their respective (favored) viewpoints – one political, and the other, more economically motivated. The political motivation is the Filipino Muslims’ desire to reunite with their Malay Muslim brothers and sisters from Brunei, Indonesia and [p 14] Malaysia – to form, once again, the pan-Malay dar-ul Islam which had been existent until the arrival and colonization of Spain. The economic motivation comes from Manila –
  9. 9. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 9 and the politicos which continue to remain in power over time and governments – as there will be an ongoing search for ‘rents’ from various economic ventures which will continue to give these extended families and kin groups the economic and political power which comes from such ‘rent’ activities. Unfortunately, this seems symptomatic of a situation that will not go away any time soon. In fact, the attitude it embodies even permeates to non-government levels. This author has first-hand knowledge of a network of non-government organizations working in Mindanao for the welfare of Filipino Muslims that wants to ‘throw off the yoke’ of sister NGOs based in Manila and Luzon since they seem to impose their ‘imperial will’ and ‘integration tactics’ upon the Mindanaon NGOs. If this illustrates the lack of trust there is between Mindanao Filipinos and their Luzon counterparts, then federalism will certainly be seen as the only way that such factions can live and co-exist together (but that is another research topic altogether). Many government and non-government organizations are charged with the task of working for peace and development in Mindanao, especially those Muslim areas in western and central Mindanao that have been assaulted and sabotaged in the name of ‘national progress’ and ‘integration.’ The words spoken by Jesus Christ – “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall” (Luke 11:17) – set the agenda for the Philippines also in searching for a way to be truly united as ‘one nation,’ or to suffer the continuing consequences of divisiveness and factionalism. NOTES  Andrew Dy, “The BIMP EAGA Portfolio.” 1999. [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, [p 15] August 25).  A good summary of the historical policy of ‘integration’ is found in Gowing 1979:208-212.  The history of this ‘war’ is very well-documented. A few of the most notable sources on this are Gowing 1979, Jubair 1999, and Majul 1999.  W.K. Che Man, Muslim Separatism: The Moros of Southern Philippines and the Malays of Southern Thailand. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1990.  Sukarno D. Tanggol, “Regional Autonomy and Social Development: Some Notes on the Case of Muslim Mindanao.” In: Local Government in the Philippines: A Book of Readings, Volume II. Proserpina D. Tapales & Jocelyn C. Cuaresma, eds. pp. 631-662. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Center for Local and Regional Governance, 1998a, p. 657.  Ibid., pp. 650-651.  Sylvia Concepcion, Larry Digal, Rufa Guiam, Romulo de la Rosa, & Mara Stankovich, Breaking the links between economics and conflict in Mindanao. Davao City, Philippines: Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), 2003, p. 21.  Leslie Palmier, “Islam the Protector.” American Diplomacy, April 29, 2005, pp. 1-2. [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, August 18).  “By the time of the first contacts with India, however, the islands and coastlines had long been settled by people who are Malay in type. Basically Mongoloid, they came from southwestern China, through a gradual process of cultural osmosis that must have occupied many [p 16] centuries.” Colin Mason, A Short History of Asia: Stone Age to 2000 AD (Philippines Reprint). Manila: Cacho Hermanos / National Book Store, Inc., 2000, p. 31.  Ibid, p. 29.  Ibid., p. 31.  Asia, The Period of Hindu Kingdoms, 2000, pp. 1-2. [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, September 9).
  10. 10. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 10  Mason 2000, p. 134.  Ibid., p. 135.  Ibid., p. 136.  Ibid.  Ibid.  The noted anthropologist and expert on Indonesia, Clifford Geertz, has remarked: “For Hinduism’s attempt to sacralize a political community built around the inequalities of military power, Islam substituted an attempt to sacralize a commercial community, built around the commonalities in economic motivation.” Clifford Geertz, Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968, p. 19; quoted in: Datumanong Sarangani, “Islamic Penetration in Mindanao and Sulu.” Mindanao Journal 1(January 1974):49-73, 59.  Cesar A. Majul, Muslim in the Philippines (1999 Edition). Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Press, 1999, pp. 44.45. [p 17]  Mason 2000, p. 136.  Robert D. McAmis, Malay Muslims: The History and Challenge of Resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002, p. 21.  Ibid., p. 22.  James F. Warren, The Global Economy and the Sulu Zone: Connections, Commodities and Culture. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 2000, p. 2.  “[A] Spanish governor of the Philippines, in 1578…, states that in Borneo he found people from China, Cochin [Vietnam], Cambodia, Siam [Thailand], Malaya [Malaysia], Java, Sumatra, Minangkabao, Acheh, the Batak area, the Moluccas [all six island areas in Indonesia], Mindanao, and other islands. This suggests the possible Muslim influence on the southern Philippines by virtue of trading contacts with merchants from these other parts of Southeast Asia….” McAmis 2002, p. 23.  Especially, “the coming of Muslim Malays from Sumatra at the beginning of the fifteenth century…may have served to preserve the work of the missioners and the prestige of the older Muslims.” Furthermore, “by the start of the sixteenth century, increased political and commercial contacts with other parts of the Islamized Malay island world served to integrate Sulu into an expanding dar al-Islam in insular Southeast Asia.” Peter G. Gowing, Muslim Filipinos – Heritage and Horizon. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1979, p. 20; cf. Majul 1999, pp. 68-69.  Cesar A. Majul, The Muslims in the Philippines: An Historical Perspective. In, The Muslim Filipinos: Their History, Society and Contemporary Problems. Peter G. Gowing & Robert D. McAmis, eds. pp. 1- 12. Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1974, pp. 7-9. [p 18]  The classic treatment on the American takeover in the Philippines is Peter G. Gowing, Mandate in Moroland: The American Government of Muslim Filipinos 1899-1920. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1983. A more recent assessment is Donna J. Amoroso, Inheriting the “Moro Problem:” Muslim Authority and Colonial Rule in British Malaya and the Philippines. In: The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives. Julian Go & Anne L. Foster, eds. pp. 118-147. Pasig City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing Inc., 2005.  McAmis 2002, pp. 20-21.  Twenty-five years ago, Gowing had this optimistic comment: “There are Muslim Filipinos who feel that Moroland is now in an intermediate position between dar al-Islam [abode of Islam] and dar al-Harb [abode of infidels]. This intermediate position is called dar al-Aman, the “Abode of Trust,” meaning that in Moroland Islam is, for the sake of peace and safety, protected to some extent by the laws and official policies of the non-Muslims.” Gowing 1979, p. 203; italics in original.  Eric S. Casiňo, The Anthropology of Christianity and Islam in the Philippines: A Bipolar Approach to Diversity. In: Understanding Islam and Muslims in the Philippines. Peter Gowing, ed. pp. 36-45. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1988, pp. 36-37.  Patricio N. Abinales, Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation- State. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000, pp. 141-142; italicized phrase added.
  11. 11. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 11  Mamintal A. Tamano, National Integration – Antidote to Secession (June 16, 1968). In: Understanding Mindanao Conflict. Patricio P. Diaz, ed. pp. 324-325. Davao City, Philippines: MindaNews Publication, 2003. [p 19]  “Datu Pendutun’s early career was one of the most successful of any of the second-generation colonial datus. He is representative, however, of a number of other Philippine Muslim political figures of his generation…. By the founding of the Philippine republic in 1946 they were politically well established with ties to the apparatus of national rule in Manila and able to command local allegiance on the basis of traditional social relations.” Thomas M. McKenna, Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines (Special Reprint). Pasig City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing Inc., 1998, p. 112. Still, the question remains – ‘who was manipulating who? Did Pendatun “command local allegiance” ultimately for ‘autonomy,’ or for ‘integration’ purposes?  Two years into the Marcos presidency, in 1968, Tamano opined: “The present administration of President Marcos who, in a speech at the Eleventh anniversary dinner of the Commission on National Integration, promised the minorities a ‘Better Deal,’ has begun to show definite concern for the Muslims through programs initiated to bring about their socio-economic advancement.” Quoted in: Diaz 2003, p. 325.  “During his exile in the United States, the former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. got in touch with [MNLF Chairman] Nur Misuari. During the meeting, Aquino said that the Mindanao conflict could only be resolved through the full implementation of the Tripoli Agreement. This accounted for the MNLF’s support of Cory Aquino during the snap presidential elections in February 1986. As soon as Mrs. Aquino took over as President, after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, she set up a commission tasked to draft a new constitution. Her government strongly pushed for new provisions favoring autonomy for Muslim Mindanao.” Karl M. Gaspar, Elpidio A. Lapad & Ailynne J. Maravillas, Mapagpakamalinawon: A Reader for the Mindanawon Peace Advocate. Davao City, Philippines: Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), 2001, p. 43.  Ibid. [p 20]  Ibid., p. 44.  “Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the principal sponsor of the [Organic] Act, asserted that it is 99 per cent consistent with the Tripoli Agreement.” Tanggol 1998a, p. 657.  Ibid., p. 658.  Ibid., p. 672.  Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), History of BIMP-EAGA, 2004a, [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, September 7).  “Gowing [1979] asserts that Islam did not introduce a totally alien type of social and political organization among the peoples of the southern Philippines. Rather it reworked the existing structure and produced what might be termed an ‘Islamic variant’ of the barangay type of society…. Other forms of government which were indigenous were also known. One of them is the tribal principality (bangsa) which is ruled by a Datu. This form of political institution was introduced by the early Malays.” Albert E. Alejo, Mapping of Indigenous Governance Practices in Mindanao (Project Research Team Report). Davao City, Philippines: Ateneo de Davao University Research and Publication Office, n.d., p. 124.  Rey M. Teves, Part V. Towards Federalism (Occasional Papers of the International Conference on Decentralization, July 25, 2002. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Center for Local and Regional Governance, 2002, p. 192.  Walden Bello, The Anti-Development State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines / CORASIA Inc., 2004, p. 1-2.  Ibid., p. 328. [p 21]  Abinales 2000, p. 183.  Ibid., p. 181.  Kit Collier, The Theoretical Problems of Insurgency in Mindanao: Why Theory? Why Mindanao? In: Mindanao: Land of Unfulfilled Promise. Mark Turner, R.J. May, & Lulu Respall Turner, eds. pp. 197- 212. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1992, p. 209; italics in original.  Dy 1999, p. 2.
  12. 12. Williams, Mark S. 2008. Views on BIMP EAGA from Mindanao and Manila: An Apparent Paradox. Kinaadman XXX(4):1-22. [Page numbers in bold-lettering ‘as published’] 12  Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), Significance, Vision, Goal and Objectives, 2004b [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, September 7).  “During the short history of nine years of BIMP-EAGA, it is encouraging that the four [pan-Malay] nations have together sustained the momentum of economic cooperation through policy dialogue and exchanges despite the serious setback due to the Asian financial crisis and persisting global, regional and national security concerns. The sustained recovery and development after the crisis and the resolute efforts being undertaken by the participating countries to address security concerns are paving the way towards a brighter future for BIMP-EAGA.” Tadao Chino, New Era of Sub-regional Economic Cooperation and Development in BIMP-EAGA. Bali, Indonesia: BIMP-EAGA Leaders’ Meeting, 2003, p. 1[on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, August 25).  Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM), Bimp-Eaga: Back on track. Sun Star December 12, 2004, p. 1 [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, August 25). [p 22]  Paul A. Cleveland, Public Theft is not an Example of Entrepreneurship, 2002, p. 4 [on-line]. Available: (accessed: 2005, September 13).  Alfred W. McCoy, Rent-Seeking Families and the Philippine State: A History of the Lopez Family. In: An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines. Alfred W. McCoy, ed. pp. 429-536. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994, pp. 429ff.  “Although no single factor can account for such a cluster of problems [in the GRP], the role of rents explains a good deal about the weakness of the Philippine state and the corresponding strength of Filipino political families.” McCoy 1994, p. 430.  GEM 2004, p. 1.  For example, “…a 10-member delegation from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) met with Secretary Dureza to discuss potential areas of investment for future Swedish development assistance. Other donors and investors are also re- engaging with Mindanao in anticipation of peace and the economic benefits that will stem from it.” GEM 2004, p. 2.  International Business and Service Consultancy Ventures Co. Ltd. (IBSCV), Business Advocates Conference proceedings. Davao City, Philippines: DIBC, 2005.