BEHIND THE LINES: Z-Nation PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 September 2014 14:08

BY BOB JALDON

 

Los Angeles, CA. — The ball is now in the hands of Congress to pass a law that will create a new Muslim government entity to replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). A Jesuit priest (never mind his name) once labeled those who vote against the ratification of the 1987 constitution as followers of the devil. Our charter, crafted by 50 fine, intelligent individuals hand-picked by then President Corazon C. Aquino, was overwhelmingly ratified. Some people knowledgeable about the history of Mindanao and its multi-cultured people voted “no” because of one provision in the constitution — that which created the ARMM. Their prognosis, nay prophesy, turned out to be true — the creation of ARMM isn’t the solution to ending the “war” in Mindanao.

Thrice we voted overwhelmingly against Zamboanga’s inclusion in the ARMM. Created to appease the Muslims, particularly those tilting towards the leadership Moro National Liberation Front Chairman Nur Misuari and the Arab community, the ARMM further divided, not the population, but the Muslims. That gave rise to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a breakaway force, led by Hashim Salamat, and created more troubles for the national government.

Zamboanga has drawn the line many years ago. Through the ballot, we have protected our borders and opted to stay out of the ARMM for many reasons, one of which is that we can handle ourselves in conjunction with the national government. Thus, we have become “Z-Nation” — Zamboanga Nation. We prefaced our stand long time ago by stating that we can stand alone — Muslims and Christians living together in perfect harmony. In so doing, did we join Satan and his legion of hellions as accused by that Jesuit priest?

We pray that the new Muslim entity will not draw more bloodshed but instead unite all Muslim communities — Tausogs, Maguindanaos, Maranaos, etc. Everybody wants to see the end of the “Mindanao conflict.” Thirty years ago, Dictator Marcos wanted to end the conflict by talking to the Arab world. By decree, Marcos created the LTP and the SP (it’s hard to spell it in Tagalog) for Regions 9 and 12. Most MNLF top commanders who had returned to the folds of the law were appointed to these twin bodies. That didn’t work, apparently. Marcos was overthrown and the new-look LTP and SP metamorphosed into what it is now, the ARMM.

Meanwhile, Z-Nation will remain independent from the new Muslim entity, as will Cagayan de Oro and Davao cities. We have proven that we can survive. Our annual budget continues to surge. Our resources are vast. We have enough provisions to feed our people. Employment is up and soon we will have our own dedicated power supply that will be provided by San Ramon Power, Inc. Prime Water will take care of our water demand as our population continues to grow, not by child birth but by urban migration. Pretty soon, we will lose our native dialect. If not that, people will be speaking it with a funny accent.

Z-Nation will rise from the ruins of 9/9/13. We just have to get our leaders to think more, act more and achieve more instead of getting their bellies well-rounded.