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菲律宾:小心翼翼地在棉兰老岛重返谈判桌
菲律宾:小心翼翼地在棉兰老岛重返谈判桌
A Young Leader in the Philippines’ Battle-scarred ‘Islamic City’
A Young Leader in the Philippines’ Battle-scarred ‘Islamic City’
Briefing 119 / Asia

菲律宾:小心翼翼地在棉兰老岛重返谈判桌

概况

菲律宾政府和摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线(MILF)之间的和平谈判回到了正轨。2011年2月双方已在吉隆坡进行了第一轮谈判,下一轮谈判已安排在四月底。虽然实现最终和平面临着巨大障碍,但总统贝尼格诺·阿基诺三世的执政至少为整个进程带来了一些新气象。新政府的和平问题小组似乎决意寻找办法摆脱谈判者的噩梦:多方卷入并行甚至有时相互矛盾的会谈;强大的潜在破坏者;由于民族分裂、部族不合、在摩洛人民(Bangsamoro)——棉兰老岛和苏禄群岛的穆斯林——中的政治利益分歧,而令摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线支持者内部的统一难以实现。

尽管存在这些障碍,谈判双方都对继续前进给予足够承诺,但双方也需要认识到一些严酷的事实。一是与摩洛民族解放阵线(MNLF)和摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线(MILF)之间相互独立的和平进程迟早要殊途同归,所以现在就需要对如何促使两个进程聚合多加考虑。另外一个事实是,不仅在马尼拉,而且在摩洛中心地区,都存在着对于在棉兰老岛的任何自治政府是否有能力执政的深切疑虑。摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线因此需要在和平协议签署前开展更多工作,以具体行动显示其最终成果将使现有棉兰老岛穆斯林自治区(ARMM)发生质变。

摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线仍然致力于与菲律宾“联合”建立一个下属自治州。过去,反对者一直将这视为对菲律宾主权的侵犯,所以对于这一概念和所提议的摩洛自治州边界都极力反对。另外,棉兰老岛穆斯林自治区本身也阻碍着建立一个下属自治州,这一自治区是由菲律宾国会在1989年建立的一个非正常运转的的政治单元,它最初是作为后马科斯政权为化解地区叛乱活动所做努力的一部分,后来在2001年略有扩大。它的命运在政府与摩洛民族解放阵线和摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线之间的对话中是个争端,因此也是成为协调两方和平谈判的主要原因。自棉兰老岛穆斯林自治区建立以来,该区贪污腐败和管理不善的历史也一直被批评者用以反对任何可能导致自治区权力或领土扩张的计划。阿基诺政府还未公开其谈判立场,但似乎原则上接受这一下属自治州的想法,只要其领土是接壤的;但细节的确定将是难点。此外,阿基诺政府也了解需要与潜在反对者进行协商并取得支持的必要性,决意避免那些曾导致2008年谈判破裂的失误。

如果这些就是谈判者需要对付的所有问题的话,和平谈判就已经将会相当困难,但实际上情况还要更为复杂。政府对马来西亚籍的调解人拿督·阿卜杜尔·奥斯曼·阿都拉的不满使得谈判的重新开始推迟到了2011年,因为马尼拉方面施压要解除他的职务;而现在他很可能被替换,但至于马尼拉是否认为他的继任者更为公正还有待观察。2010年12月,一位主要的指挥官阿梅尔·布雷加藤脱离了摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线军队并建立自己的部队,这一行动引起了人们对于摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线指挥和控制能力的担忧。2011年1月底,马尼拉中心商业区发生了公共汽车爆炸事件。虽然肇事者从未被查明,但这导致媒体猜测是否有阿布沙耶夫组织(ASG)或摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线的极端分子参与其中,令人再度联想起恐怖分子。

面对所有这些困难,政府与摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线和平进程的复杂架构一直是其优势之一,它为监控和解决争端提供了一个框架,这一框架不受行政变化的影响并保证一系列的利益相关者参与其中。目前的情况是停火变得无限期,但却尚未达成能令足够多人可以接受,并使其合法和得到执行的政治解决方案,而政党们需要找到超越这一现状的出路。

目前正在进行的和平谈判可以产生三种可能结果中的任一种。一是达成最终的全面合约,结束冲突并建立一个新的自治区。另外一种结果是旷日持久的谈判,虽然可能永远无法完整结束,但具有足够的前进势头,以使得摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线的地位和文件有效,以及确保停火机制就位。第三种可能性将会是谈判破裂,这种情况或是由于摩洛伊斯兰解放阵线一方对于谈判缺乏进展而倍感受挫而引发,或是由于外部事件,如区域内的袭击和报复事件而导致。从历史上来看,最终获得成功的解决方案并不太乐观。然而,有马尼拉真诚的政治意愿,就仍有保持谨慎乐观的余地。

雅加达/布鲁塞尔, 2011年3月24日

Faykha Ala, Marawi's youngest barangay chair. CRISIS GROUP/Matthew Wheeler
Commentary / Asia

A Young Leader in the Philippines’ Battle-scarred ‘Islamic City’

It is a challenge to represent South Madaya Proper, a district in Marawi, the Philippines’ historic “Islamic city”, depopulated two years ago in a battle between government forces and jihadists. To do so, a young council chair says, she acts as both official and activist.

Marawi’s Youngest Barangay Chair

Faykha Khayriyyah Alonto Ala is the youngest official in Marawi, a Muslim-majority city in the west of Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines. Having just reached her nineteenth birthday, she is surely one of the youngest in the whole archipelago. Last September, Faykha Ala was elected chair of a barangay (village) council, the smallest political subdivision in the Philippines, an achievement of which she and her family are proud. But her village, South Madaya Proper, sits empty and off limits, littered with unexploded ordnance, many of its buildings half-destroyed.

In May 2017, militants acting in the name of the Islamic State, or ISIS, seized a zone of 24 barangays in Marawi’s centre, holding the territory until that October. This “most affected area”, as the government calls it, was the epicentre of the Philippine military’s five-month battle to oust the insurgents. The military’s airstrikes and artillery barrages, as well as pitched battles with the militants, forced some 600,000 people to flee from Marawi and environs, including all the residents of South Madaya. Residents feel that the government has done too little to hasten their return to what they call “ground zero”.

Camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) on the outskirts of Marawi, Mindanao. March 2019. CRISIS GROUP/Matthew Wheeler

“You’re Old Enough”

I met Faykha Ala at a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) on Marawi’s outskirts, where many of her constituents have lived for the past two years. Elevated above the shore of Lake Lanao, Marawi is a one-time American hill station, as Asia’s Western colonisers called their upland summer retreats. Today it is the capital of Lanao del Sur province and a centre for commerce, education and religion for the Maranao people, one of the three largest Muslim ethno-linguistic groups on Mindanao. In 1980, the city council designated Marawi, known for its mosques and Islamic schools, as the Philippines’ only “Islamic city”.

Muslims are a minority in the Philippines, making up about 11 per cent of the population. On Mindanao, however, that proportion rises to roughly 23 per cent, concentrated mostly in five central and western provinces, where 90 per cent of the population is Muslim. The island’s Muslims, or Moros, have long felt disenfranchised, voicing demands for autonomy or independence that were championed for decades first by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), an armed insurgency, and later, after its leaders signed a peace deal with the government in 1976, by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). After more than twenty years of talks with the government, the MILF itself reached an agreement with the government in 2014, which envisaged a new autonomous region, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, inaugurated in March 2019 (Bangsamoro means “Moro Nation” and refers both to the Moro people and the autonomous region). The ISIS-linked coalition of militant groups that captured parts of Marawi in 2017 included splinters of the MNLF and MILF that reject the peace deal and the new autonomous region.

Many IDPs resent the government for bombing the city centre and then failing to facilitate a return to their homes.

Many IDPs resent the government for bombing the city centre and then failing to facilitate a return to their homes. Some analysts warn that militant recruiters may exploit this bitterness. In the aftermath of the battle for Marawi, Faykha Ala acknowledges, some local people were vulnerable to the jihadists’ appeals. Recruiters told young Maranao that the government had disrespected their people. “So, it was a normal reaction for people to look for a refuge ... and some people found the wrong refuge”. But she does not see pro-ISIS militants as an imminent threat.

After fleeing the barangay, the vast majority of South Madaya’s people had other concerns, such as when the government would let them return. Faykha Ala joined the Let Me Go Home movement, which staged rallies and other activities advocating for IDPs’ rights. As the council elections approached, some villagers encouraged her to run for chair. She was hesitant, seeing herself as a government critic rather than a politician. Some of her friends told her to stick to activism, but her mother counselled her to consider how she might use a council position to achieve the same ends she was seeking in the movement, that is, to help the displaced.

Politics runs in the family. Faykha Ala’s father served as barangay chair, and her grandfather before him. It is not uncommon for women to seek and hold elected office in the region. Most often, as in Faykha Ala’s case, novice politicians – men and women – fill posts vacated by male relatives who have reached term limits.

But some conservative villagers disapproved of her following in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. “We are at the stage of women’s empowerment”, she explained, “but still, the culture, the religion itself, teaches us that the man will always walk ahead of the woman”. Some told her to get married, so that she would have a man to support her. “Somehow, it is still weird for women to have a say. When I became barangay chair, it was considered a flaw to be young, single and a woman”. But Faykha Ala believes that, in her own way, she is acting in accord with traditional mores. “My father and grandfather, they walk ahead of me, and I will always get advice from them”. And when her views diverge from those of her older and all-male predecessors? “It’s my decision. My father will say, ‘You’re old enough’”.

Serving a Scattered Constituency

The barangay chair’s job is challenging. Her constituents are scattered across three provinces and have diverse concerns. “It’s challenging because when we were in the barangay, people had the same needs. If there was a damaged road, the entire barangay would complain about it. You know you have to fix the road. Now, our constituents have different problems”. The most pressing of these is access to water. But many constituents, accustomed to Marawi’s temperate lakeside climate and now displaced to areas near the humid coast, also complain about the heat. “You want water, I can help”, she says, “but the weather?”

Faykha Ala worries as well that extended displacement is killing off a way of life. The Agus River runs through South Madaya, which flows from Lake Lanao to the sea at Iligan Bay. Most of the residents were lavanderas, people who launder clothes in the river, or fishermen, diving for fish. She notes that in their absence the government has built an embankment that will impede access to the water and has encouraged some to take up farming in their temporary homes: “Then you give them seeds and tell them to plant. Why would you teach that man to plant if he has spent his whole life as a fisherman?”

The government’s plan seems to revolve around business and profit rather than Maranao culture and traditions.

Life as an IDP is not easy. She feels that some of her compatriots regard the Maranao as a threat. In Cagayan de Oro, 100km north of Marawi, where her family first lived after fleeing the fighting, guards sometimes followed her in the shopping malls: “They see us in our veils, talking in our strong Maranao accents, and next thing you know there’s a security guard walking around us. And my reaction is, ‘I’m in pain. Why are you labelling me like this?’” Faykha Ala supports Rodrigo Duterte, the first Philippine president from Mindanao. But she cannot forgive him for saying that Marawi’s residents brought destruction upon themselves by “coddling terrorists”. This remark, she said, twisted perceptions of the Maranao across the Philippines. “We are the unconquered Maranao, unconquered by the Spanish. We have the Battle of Bayan [in 1902 against the U.S. Army], we fought against guns with swords and arrows. This is what people should know about us, not that we are ‘coddlers of terrorists’”.

In representing her constituents, and reconciling her identities as activist and official, Faykha Ala sometimes ruffles the establishment. “I go to [government] offices and ask questions. If I am not satisfied with the answer, I have to find it, even if it means talking to the media. I am not scared. ... The welfare of my people is supreme. I do what I have to”. Her persistence and outspokenness are assets in her job. “I have always been loud”, she says. “And I like arguing. Only my mother can ‘shush’ me”.

Faykha Ala is also a full-time second-year student at Mindanao State University, studying public administration, majoring in local and regional government. The demands on her time are heavy, requiring constant shifting between studies and official duties. And the job can be emotionally taxing. “People break down in front of me. You have to deal with it. You sit there and feel sorry. You can only do so much. I’m not Superwoman who can solve all your problems. Sometimes the best thing I can do is listen”. As the link between her constituents and the government, she must draw on reserves of patience.

Colossal Tasks Ahead

Like many in Muslim Mindanao, Faykha Ala and her constituents have high hopes for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. An interim Bangsamoro Transition Authority, lead by the MILF, is responsible for establishing a parliamentary-style sub-national government in the region before an election in 2022. In a plebiscite early this year, Faykha Ala’s constituents voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the legal instrument establishing the new autonomous region.

Amid these expectations, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority faces a colossal task, as outlined in Crisis Group’s report The Philippines: Militancy and the New Bangsamoro. It must erect an entirely new institutional edifice in the poorest part of the Philippines in just three years. The new Bangsamoro autonomous entity replaces a previous autonomous region established in 1989 as part of the peace deal with the MNLF and must contend with the legacy of this “failed experiment”. Faykha Ala is optimistic, though, that the Bangsamoro can succeed “as long as there is clear communication between local government and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region”.

Damage at the epicentre of the Philippine military’s five-month battle in 2017 to oust Islamic State insurgents. March 2019. CRISIS GROUP/Matthew Wheeler

Faykha would like to see the national government lift martial law, which the president imposed on all of Mindanao on 23 May 2017, the first day of the Marawi siege. Congress has since extended it three times, most recently until the end of 2019. Faykha says martial law has helped bring a sense of security, especially in tamping down rido, or clan feuds, but that it comes with a cost. She is concerned about the impact on Marawi’s children. “I want the next generation to see that you do not need the military to have peace and order in your place. … Someone needs to tell them, ‘You don’t need to have a gun. If you have wisdom and values, you can be admired instead of feared’”.

Marawi’s youngest official appreciates the scale of the challenge she has taken on in helping the Bangsamoro region reap the benefits of its new autonomy. She is now “rowing in two rivers”, she says, meaning that she combines the roles of official and activist. “Now I have two perspectives. I can see clearly the government plans and at the same time, I see what the people want”. She embraces the opportunity to bridge the gap between the two. “You don’t have to be a man or be married. You can be single, widowed, have kids. Things will be easy if you love it. … Despite the stress, I can say I am grateful for having that honour”.