Looking into the Future of Moro Self-Determination in the Philippines

  • Rizal Buendia


This essay examines the concept, theory, and practice of the right of self-determination as applied in some countries. The secessionist movement in the Philippines led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has focused and relied on the international community to support its struggle for a Bangsa Moro (Moro Nation) right to self-determination. However, the reality in the world state system is the protection of state’s territorial integrity rather than its impairment. The essay argues that the internationally-recognized right of self-determination is a shaky promise of independence to nations and peoples who seek independence from the state. Unless the state addresses the fundamental grievances of Muslims in the Philippines in appropriate, relevant, and timely policies that substantially and tangibly work toward greater democracy, deeper
participation, and better governance, secessionism as a political
alternative cannot be completely disregarded as a final option.