Manila Govt irritating Visayas – Mindanao Call Unity for Independence from Manila Government

An Online petition signed by some Visayan and Mindanaoan for a change

The Visayas and Mindanao Language and Culture

The majority Visayas and Mindanao Language and culture have been rejected by the manila Government and discrimination persist to these groups.

In spite of the majority spoken language by the whole country is Binisaya or also called Bisayan (Cebuano), the Manila government insisted that the national language must pattern to Tagalog as the language of the people in the capital.

People in the remote Visayas and Mindanao strive hard to understand Tagalog but always failed and finally give up to get involved in the Manila political discussion as it could not be understood by the majority Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao.

People from Visayas and Mindanao are always at the last priority in anyway. Job applicants from Visayas and Mindanao are less entertained compared to the people from the Katagalogan regions.

The discrimination of Visayans and Mindanaoan seems to be never ending which independence from the Manila Government is the best solution. An independence that doesn't need to be a separate country from the Philippines, a genuine independence that the discrimination will end, and independence that the majority Spoken language "Binisaya" could be recognized as official language for both Bisayans and Mindanaoans.

Huge amount of taxes from Visayas and Mindanao are also sip by manila Government for its own development and less prioritized the impoverished remote Visayas and Mindanao Islands. Independence of Visayas and Mindanao could be the solution to have an even development in these regions in par with what is in Manila now.

The root of Conflict

Manila government is so bold to intervene the Mindanaoan government in selective way.

Manila could easily jump in and intervene the governance of any part of Visayas and Mindanao for publicity but not heartily.

Until now the Maguindanao Massacre is not properly addressed. The victims are still hungry for justice but the Manila Government is picky to give justice for the victims.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) wants to focus on the Davao Death Squad (DDS) which victims are drug pushers and drug lords but could not focus on the Maguindanao Massacre which victims are innocent civilian and media people.

It is right that we must not put the justice in our hand but the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) must prioritize the case which victims and innocent civilians and good people. The move of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is seems to get in favor for giving justice firs for the sore of the society than the innocent people who are victims of the massacre.

Manila Government jump into how Davao governs its people but it could not jump into giving justice for the Maguidanao Massacre.

 Manila culture and Mindanao Culture is absolutely different and direct exposure is important for them to understand what Mindanao is.

What is the root of conflict in Mindanao by the way? Conflict begins when a person is in the state of hunger and could not find any sources of bread to feed the aching stomach. The root of all conflict in Mindanao is hunger, hardship in life, joblessness, and injustice.

As long as the Manila government could not address the needed development in Mindanao, as long as there is not justice, as long as there is no Job; the Iron hand is needed to guide the people.

Rights group finds reason to probe Davao killings

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it had found a pattern of selective and systematic extrajudicial killings of 206 individuals accused or suspected of committing various offenses by a vigilante group in Davao City from 2005 to 2009.

CHR Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales presented the commission's findings on the activities of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) in a statement issued Wednesday.

The CHR faulted local officials for failing to conduct any meaningful investigation into the killings, thereby violating the state's obligation to protect the rights of its citizens.

It said the then city mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, as the local chief executive and deputized Napolcom representative with general and operational control and supervision over the city police force, had clearly disregarded information on alleged human rights violations in Davao City, and did not act on them.

Rosales asked the Office of the Ombudsman to look into Duterte's administrative and criminal liability for his inaction and for tolerating such violations in his jurisdiction.

"It is axiomatic in human rights law that where there are human rights violations, there must be accountability," Rosales said.

The CHR investigation was prompted by the search for accountability for the many lives taken arbitrarily by the DDS, a group allegedly responsible for summary executions of delinquents and drug traffickers in Davao.

Rosales said the number of persons killed could even be higher as the 206 figure was only based on what the CHR had in its records.

According to Rosales, dead bodies were piling up in Davao City during that period, consisting mainly of addicts, drug pushers, thieves and young people with police records for petty crimes. Many of the victims were minors.

Then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo established the Melo Commission to look into the killings. Official concern from the United Nations came with the visit of Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who visited the country in February 2007.

In his report to the UN Human Rights Council in 2008, Alston observed that "it is a commonplace that a death squad known as the 'Davao Death Squad' (DDS) operates in Davao City. One fact points very strongly to the officially sanctioned character of these killings: No one involved covers his face."

The New York-based Human Rights Watch observed that the DDS "typically make greater efforts to conceal their weapons than their identity."

The CHR at the time, then headed by now Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, decided to conduct an investigation into the killings.

The CHR conducted public hearings in Davao City in March, April, May and September 2009.

According to Rosales, the CHR's investigation was hampered by a climate of fear gripping witnesses and by official denials from local government and law enforcement officials that the Davao Death Squad even existed.

Still, enough evidence emerged that there was a pattern in the victims targeted and in the methods of attack, she said.

"The killings were selective: The victim was usually involved or suspected to have been involved in some type of illegal activity. The manner of killing was also distinct: The assailants were usually motorcycle-riding gunmen," she said.

Freedom and Independence of the Visayas and Mindanao Islands

Visayas - Mindanao Independence Not in Hand of Moros but for the Majority People.

It has been several decades which the Manila government controlled the Islands of Visayas and Mindanao Politically but not the economy as it missed the Development Target for the Region because of Priority Development which focused in the Capital Manila.

A call for unity and independence in Visayas and Mindanao is over shadowed with fears and divided the people's vote because of the threat from the migrants Muslims from the islands of Borneo who are in thein the Island who want to dominate over the lumad and the majority Christian Populations in Mindanao.

For several years, Moro group called for the independence of Mindanao but gain only a very less support as their advocacy is over shadowed with crimes, land grabbing and killings of the civilians in the island.

 Recently a mask group of majority Christians and Lumad advocates starts drafting for the "Movement for Independence for Visayas and Mindanao from Manila Government for Peace and Development to attain the dreamed progress and development without Manila intervention to assert their right to freedom and independence as an expression of their right to self-determination..

Right of Self-determination

The right of self-determination is the collective right of peoples to determine their own future free of any outside interference or coercion. It is the right to choose the kind of political status the peoples want and to freely pursue their economic, social, spiritual and cultural development.

The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressly provide that "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development".

In the exercise of that right, the peoples have wide latitude of choice. At one end, they can demand and pursue within the nation state more political power, active participation in the decision making and administration of government affairs, equitable redistribution of economic benefits, and appropriate ways of preserving and protecting their culture and way of life. On the other end, they have also the right to organize their own sovereign and independent government, or reclaim their lost freedom and independence.

In pursuing that right to self-determination the Christian and Lumad Advocates are opting, as manifested both by the liberation movements and the civil society, for the restoration of their freedom and independence that they enjoyed for more than six centuries prior to the establishment of then country the Philippines in honor of the invader king of Spain.

Long History of Independence

The historical experience of the Mindanaoan people in statehood and governance started as early as 10 century under the Sultanate of Sulu which Mindanao, Sulu and North Borneo as part of this old Kingdom.

By the time the Spanish colonialists arrived in the Philippines the Muslims of Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi archipelago and the islands of Basilan and Palawan had already established their own states and governments with diplomatic and trade relations with other countries including China. Administrative and political systems based on the realities of the time existed in those states.

 For centuries the Spanish colonial government attempted to conquer the Sulu states to subjugate their political existence and to add the territory to the Spanish colonies in the Philippine Islands but history tells us that it never succeeded. The Mindanao states with their organized maritime forces and armies succeeded in defending the Sulu territories thus preserving the continuity of their independence.

That is why it is being argued, base on the logic that you cannot sell something you do not possess, that the Mindanao and Sulu territories are not part of what where ceded by Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris of 1898 because Spain had never exercise sovereignty over these areas.

The Mindanao resistance against attempts to subjugate their independence continued even when US forces occupied some areas in Mindanao and Sulu. At this time the resistance of the Sulu governments was not as fierce as during the Moro-Spanish wars but group- organized guerrilla attacks against American forces and installations reinforced what remained of the sultanates' military power. Even individual Sulu and Mindanaoan showed defiance against American occupation of their homeland by attacking American forces in operations called prang sabil (martyrdom operation).

Opposition to Annexation

When the United States government promised to grant independence to the Philippine Islands, the Mindanao and Sulu leaders registered their strong objection to be part of the Philippine republic. In the petition to the president of the United States dated June 9, 1921, the people of Sulu archipelago said that they would prefer being part of the United States rather than to be included in an independent Philippine nation.

In the Declaration of Rights and Purposes, the Sulu and Mindanao leaders meeting in Zamboanga on February 1, 1924, proposed that the "Islands of Mindanao and Sulu, and the Island of Palawan to the Spratly Islands be made an unorganized territory of the United States of America" in anticipation that in the event the US would decolorize its colonies and other non-self governing territories the Mindanao and Sulu homeland would be granted separate independence. Had it happened, the Mindanao and Sulu would have regained by now their independence under the UN declaration on decolonization.

Their other proposal was that if independence had to be granted including the Mindanao and Sulu territories, 50 years after Philippine independence a plebiscite be held in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan to decide by vote whether the territory would be incorporated in the government of the Islands of Luzon and Visayas, remain a territory of the United States, or become independent. The 50-year period ended in 1996, the same year the MNLF and the Philippine government signed the Final Agreement on the Implementation of the Tripoli Agreement.

The leaders warned that if no provision of retention under the United States would be made, they would declare an independent constitutional sultanate to be known as Sulu and Mindanao Nation.

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