There has emerged a Filipino Islamic identity that is distinct to that of the overwhelmingly hispanicized Christian majority, not just on religious terms, but on ethnic and historical ones as well. A history of enmity over these cleavages has come to link that Filipino Islamic identity with the Moro peoples’ struggle for independence.
By Sam Ramos-Jones
Manila, October 7, 2012: Philippine President Noynoy Aquino poses for the camera alongside Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to celebrate the signing of a “framework peace agreement,” aimed at “ending a decades-long insurgency in the country’s south."1 The “insurgency,” has been a complex series of political tensions and open hostilities that began in 1968 between various rebel groups and the government. To date, 2 million people have been displaced and over 120 thousand have died in the fighting in Mindanao.2 Sadly, while Mindanao is one of the most resource rich regions in the country, its poverty rates are among the nation’s highest.3 For more on the background of this conflict read our briefing here. This most recent peace accord outlines the establishment of a new autonomous region called Bangsamoro. Bangsamoro would supersede the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which was created in a separate 1989 peace accord.4 Ebrahim’s fifteen hundred kilometer pilgrimage north from the MILF’s stronghold in Mindanao was strangely fitting. Before Spanish colonialism began in the 16th Century, before Manila became the country’s capital, before there was a country at all, Manila was simply Maynila – a small Islamic kingdom situated on the bank of the Pasig River.
Saint James Matamoros' depiction as a warrior on horseback remains emblazoned on Fort Santiago’s front gate.
But much has changed since the Philippine archipelago was home to scattered Islamic city-states. Currently, the Philippines is home to about twice as many Catholics as its former colonizer, Spain.5 Only 10% of the country’s 100 million Filipinos are Muslim6 and Islam has become largely isolated, though still dominant, in the southern Mindanao region.7 In the north, the Spanish conquered Maynila and in its place erected Fort Santiago: the citadel of Intramuros. The installation was so named for the Patron Saint of Spain: Saint James Matamoros – Saint James, the killer of Muslims. His depiction as a warrior on horseback, trampling over Moros, remains emblazoned on Fort Santiago’s front gate. From Fort Santiago, it is just 4 kilometers down the Pasig to the presidential palace of Malacañang, where Aquino and Ebrahim shake hands.
Contrary to the secularist theory that religion would “give way to the twin forces of economic modernization and nation-state formation,"8 the Mindanao conflict has illustrated that religion remains a significant force in the affairs of states. Rather, in accordance with the view of anthropologist Robert Hefner, this case makes it clear that the way to resolve the problems of religion and state is not to “[erect] a high wall between the two."9 Instead, the deep influence religion has on public affairs must be acknowledged. Moreover, there has emerged a Filipino Islamic identity that is distinct to that of the overwhelmingly hispanicized Christian majority not just on religious terms, but on ethnic and historical ones as well. A history of enmity over these cleavages has come to link that Filipino Islamic identity with the Moro peoples’ struggle for independence. That identity may threaten the ambition of an inclusive, modern Philippine nation-state because it has become synonymous with the resolve to secede from it.
Sowing the seeds of rebellion: a history of disenfranchisement
The movement to establish Bangsamoro, an independent Islamic state for the Moro people in the southern Philippines, can be broadly regarded as a consequence of and reaction against the systematic marginalization of Filipino Muslims. It is difficult to say exactly when the concept of Bangsamoro was born – Filipino Muslims had been fighting Spanish rule since the 1500s, and sustained a rebellion against the Americans from 1899 – 1913. Indeed, these historical narratives provided “the central components of the nationalist appeal” of rebel groups such as the MNLF.10 In truth, the emergence of an organized Islamic separatist movement was decades, if not centuries, in the making. Spain’s colonial legacy resulted in the close relation between social status and ethnicity and led to the rise of heavily hispanicized mestizo elites. Due to the nature of Spain’s administration of the Philippines, which relied heavily on the Catholic Church, hispanicization was also closely linked with Catholicism.11 As a result, Muslim Filipinos found themselves unable to integrate into the Christian-dominated Filipino mainstream, even after the end of Spanish colonial rule. Thomas McKenna, who has written extensively on the peoples of Mindanao, notes that the “Christian Filipinos who controlled the Philippine state regarded all unhispanicized citizens as impure and marked Philippine Muslims as especially untrustworthy."12
...severely marginalized peoples “aim to separate themselves…from those against whom they are judged unfavorably."
While marginalization may have begun with religious exclusion, over the course of three hundred years of Spanish colonialism, that prejudice evolved to encapsulate a distrust of Muslim Filipinos not simply because of their religion, but because of the ethnic and cultural cleavages that developed between them and the country’s hispanicized majority. This religious, and consequently cultural, divide placed Muslim Filipinos on the social and political periphery and made them targets of discrimination.The roots of the secessionist movement that began in the late 1960s lie in this history of marginalization and disenfranchisement. As an effect of “selective…national homogeneity,” severely marginalized peoples “aim to separate themselves…from those against whom they are judged unfavorably."13 The impetus for such separation came in 1968, with the alleged Jabidah Massacre.
Corregidor, March 18, 1968: Allegedly, “between 14 to 68 Filipino Muslim military trainees are massacred by soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),"14 after the trainees refused to fight fellow Muslims in the then disputed territory of Sabah.15 Or so the story goes. Curiously, evidence points strongly to the conclusion that this massacre never actually happened. In fact, after conducting his own investigation on the matter, opposition leader Senator Ninoy Aquino categorically proclaimed the entire incident as a hoax in a speech to the legislature on March 28, 1968.16
Nevertheless, news of the alleged incident “[galvanized]…the Muslim student community in Manila"17 and ignited long-held sentiments of disenfranchisement among Filipino Muslims back in Mindanao. In the wake of the massacre the Filipino Muslim population was saturated with discontent and was ripe for mobilization. Syed Islam, an anthropologist well versed in the struggles of Southeast Asia’s Muslims, argues that the use of force and other socioeconomic and political measures of suppression created the opportunity for minority elites to exploit long-held sentiments of alienation to gain support for separatism.18
Rebellion unfolds: education and activism
By 1972, the traditional Muslim elites, or datus, had, “virtually all aligned…with the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos"19 and renounced the rebellion. Datus were the traditional clan-based aristocracy; they derived their authority from material wealth and privileged political positioning within a feudalistic system.20 By the mid 20th Century, these leaders were heavily supported by “national party funds” from Manila as local Muslim strongmen.21 Instead, the articulation of Moro frustrations and subsequent calls for the establishment of Bangsamoro were spearheaded by a new generation of educated Muslims, or ulamas.22 These Muslim “counterelite,” as McKenna referred to them, actually emerged due to two different education initiatives that began in the 1950s. The first project was a Philippine government scholarship program that was expressly aimed at integrating Filipino Muslims into national life by sending them to university in Manila.23 At the same time, external funding provided for scholarships to send Muslim Filipinos to Islamic academies in the Middle East.24 These two groups, which formed the new Muslim intelligentsia in Mindanao, were able to provide the leadership and organization for the secessionist movement.
One of the most prominent of these ulamas was Nur Misuari. Misuari came from “a very poor family,"25 but was able to attend the University of the Philippines (UP) due to that government scholarship program, which allowed “a significant number of Muslim students to attend universities in Manila."26 By the time of alleged Jabidah Massacre, Misuari was a lecturer in UP’s political science department. The massacre moved Misuari to found the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the organization that would become the face of the Moro independence movement.27 In so doing, Misuari brought to manifestation the desire of the Muslim Filipino community to differentiate themselves, not only as ascribing to a different belief system, but as a distinct people. Hence, marginalization of Muslim Filipinos in the ethno-religious hierarchy of the country, begun during Spanish colonialism and sustained through the Marcos era, motivated Filipino Muslims and their new ulama leadership to decouple their identity from that of the hegemonic Philippine state and thus “proclaimed themselves Moros."28
As a result of isolation that was not only spatial, but also social and political, Filipino Muslims found themselves having few ties with those in government in Manila.
The complex role of religion
The Mindanao conflict can too easily be generalized as a clash of religions and ideologies. On the contrary, the government is not combating rebels on the basis of their belief in a different deity. Certainly, the historical roots of the hostilities lie in centuries of Christian-Muslim enmity and the social and political dynamics that developed because of it. Indeed, religion has been a significant force of the conflict, but it is important to note that it neither was nor is the only one. As McKenna notes, “the Islamic identity that motivated [separatism] tended to be hyphenated, inclusive, and ethicized."29 The emergence of a Moro identity, while catalyzed by Islamic intellectual and cultural resurgence, was an exemplification of the ethnic cleavage that developed between Filipino Muslims and hispanicized Filipinos. By the 1960s, Filipino Muslims and the Christian Filipino majority had a very limited shared identity. Muslims did not integrate well, if at all, into the modern Philippine society built by Spanish and American colonialism. As a result of isolation that was not only spatial, but also social and political, Filipino Muslims found themselves having few ties with those in government in Manila. These fundamental distinctions could be clearly observed when President Aquino met with MILF leadership this October. Aquino, who was of noticeably lighter skin tone compared to his Moro counterpart, wore a barong – the traditional men’s formalwear born during the Spanish colonial era. Ebrahim, whose features more closely resembled those of a Malay or Indonesian, wore a western business suit while donning a Muslim taqiyah on his head. The casual observer would be hard pressed to recognize that the two leaders shaking hands were countrymen. This is the heart of the issue – that the Moro people, as well as being religiously and culturally distinct, are also ethnically different from the majority of Filipinos. The characterization of the conflict as a purely religious one precludes an analysis of the more complex dynamics that have emerged.
In fact, of the various secessionist groups that formed in Mindanao since 1968, the most fundamentalist Islamic groups that emerged did so in large part due to external initiatives, rather than local Moro efforts. While some Filipino Muslims received education in Manila that inspired the proclamation of the Moro identity, others were beneficiaries of Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, who granted scholarships to over two hundred Filipino Muslims.30 While “the [Filipino] Muslim student community in Cairo became a center…of activism” as was the case in Manila, “student activism in Cairo was explicitly and exclusively Islamic in character,"31 in contrast to the nationalistic and ethnic influences that developed in Manila’s ulamas. It was one of these Cairo-educated ulamas, Hashim Salamat that would seek to “underscore Islam as the rallying point for the Bangsamoro struggle,” by splitting from the MNLF to form the MILF in 1978 after becoming frustrated with Misuari’s acceptance of a cease-fire with the government.32 It was only at this point that religion became a more prominent feature of the conflict, as the MILF was explicitly “more religion-oriented than the nationalistic-oriented MNLF."33 Salamat outlined the “establish[ment] of Islam in the Bangsamoro homeland” as the ultimate objective of the MILF’s “jihad,” which differed considerably from Misuari’s goal of establishing a separate state for the Moro people.34 With significant funding coming from overseas, and particularly the Middle East, the MILF became a more militant group, whose activities included sporadic cooperation with “small terrorist (and largely criminal)” organizations such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah.35
Ghosts in the forest: political, economic, and human costs of the conflict
The emergence of the MILF was not accompanied by a unified consensus among the Moro population to uniformly adopt a more hardline stance. In fact, the MILF was just one of the “many factions” that have “splintered from the main group."36 For the Philippine government, one of the most challenging aspects of mediating the conflict has been the sheer plurality of rebel groups that have emerged, whose leadership has “not been willing or able to agree on a unitary formula for Islam and the state."37 Even on ethnic terms the Moro community is divided. The clans of the ten ethnic groups that compose the Moro people, and the datuships that lead them, have their own rivalries and power struggles. Splinter groups like Abu Sayyaf, which gained notoriety for several high-profile kidnappings and ties to Al-Qaeda, have colored the conflict with terrorist elements. The opaque nature of the relations between these groups has made government efforts at both negotiation with, and combat against, these groups hit and miss. Between the warring clans, bandits, nationalists, and fundamentalists, virtually all of whom utilize guerilla tactics, the AFP and PNP often find themselves battling a faceless enemy, only learning the identity of their adversaries when the shooting stops – like fighting ghosts in the forest. Of course, civilians comprise the largest and most vulnerable group embroiled in the conflict. Muslim Filipinos in particular endure the double burden of social disenfranchisement, as well as doldrums of unending bloodshed.
Despite this, the hope of peace has remained constant, if elusive. The MNLF negotiated three separate peace agreements with three different Presidents, with a final treaty coming in 1996, which ultimately extended autonomy in the ARMM.38 With the signing of this Final Peace Agreement, Misauri acknowledged the end of his struggle while achieving tangible gains but failing to realize his ultimate dream of an independent state for the Moro people. Perhaps he had become exhausted by 28 years of war. Dealing with the MILF has been even more complex. Along with brokering and breaking multiple peace agreements with the government, the MILF has been involved in local disputes and rivalries that have resulted in drawn-out ridos, or blood feuds, which have led to further violence in the region.39
As a buffer against the MILF, past administrations have made questionable bedfellows of datu strongmen.
The challenge presented to every Philippine President since the beginning of Islamic separatism against Marcos in the 1960s has been the same – to maintain the integrity of the Philippine nation-state. Leaders are judged in large part on their ability to protect the borders over which they are given stewardship. Hence, few things undermine the credibility of a government like secession. As a buffer against the MILF, past administrations have made questionable bedfellows of datu strongmen. Such political arrangements have underscored the tremendous cost of violence in Mindanao. Perhaps the most notorious instance of the conflict’s spillover effects came in 2009. Maguindanao’s powerful Ampatuan clan had been engaged in a rido with the MILF since 2006, after a failed assassination attempt on the datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan’s patriarch and Maguindanao’s provincial governor.40 The Ampatuans had “close political ties” to the then President Gloria Arroyo,41 and it was suspected that the government was providing weapons to the Ampatuans in order to combat the MILF and because of the clan’s ability to “virtually guarantee victory at the polls."42 The ensuing rido between the MILF and Ampatuans displaced thousands of people and also allowed the Ampatuans to consolidate a veritable private army. In 2009 the Ampatuans utilized the strength brought to them by the Bangsamoro conflict to settle a separate rido against a fellow Moro clan. The event would become known as the Maguindanao Massacre.
Maguindanao, November 23, 2009: 58 people, composed primarily of journalists and lawyers, are kidnapped and murdered by 100 or so gunmen while en route to file the candidacy certificate of Esmael Mangudadatu. The mutilated bodies are found in a half-filled mass grave. Andal Ampatuan Jr. was poised to succeed his father as governor but Mangudadatu sought to challenge the dynastic succession. The Ampatuans blamed the MILF – an accusation that MILF leadership “branded as absurd."43 Meanwhile, questions regarding the Ampatuan’s ties to Malacañang and the Arroyos consumed national media. The massacre underscores how decades of conflict have had ramifications that transcend religious, ethnic and nationalist disputes and has led to a localized and multifaceted norm of violence.
Conclusion: a wall is no solution
With the signing of a new peace agreement between the MILF and the government there is genuine optimism that the violence in Mindanao can end. The creation of a new autonomous region bearing the name Bangsamoro would, at first glance, indicate the acquiescence of the government and the realization of a Moro homeland. While the MILF was reportedly “very happy” with the agreement, such bouts of optimism and apparent progress have historically been piecemeal and temporary.44 Recalling Hefner’s position that “erecting a high wall between” religion and state is an ineffectual way to resolve the tensions between those forces,45 the experience of the Philippines has certainly confirmed that religion is not, in fact, “a declining historical force."46 Undoubtedly then, ethnicity and culture have and will continue to heavily influence the trajectory of modernization of the Philippines and its Bangsamoro. But, just as a high wall cannot be erected between religion and state, it would seem to me that simply erecting a high wall around a people and simply granting them autonomy within its confines would also prove to be an inadequate measure to resolving the question of Mindanao’s decades-long ethno-religious conflict.
In the lead-up to the election this year the implementation of the BBL framework became a contentious issue. The then incumbent Aquino administration seemed eager to implement the BBL as a means of making that peace agreement a capstone for the Aquino legacy. On the other hand, opponents of the administration, most vocally Senator Bongbong Marcos, heavily criticized the bill for failing to consult with the region’s other stakeholders and leaning too heavily on a partnership with the MILF.47 As our historical experience has shown, such agreements, wherein one dominant group is able to monopolize concessions, runs the risk of alienating minor stakeholders, and fosters the conditions for the emergence of splinter groups. Already, the emergence of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), an offshoot of un-conciliatory MILF members has underscored this risk. The tragedy of the fallen SAF 44 – the Massacre (or miss-encounter, depending on whose narrative you prefer) at Mamasapano on January 25, 2015 – highlights the challenges that will likely continue to plague future attempts to reconcile overlapping and often conflicting notions of authority and jurisdiction in the region between national police and military forces and the myriad local militias (and criminal gangs) in that region. That incident, wherein both BIFF and MILF fighters engaged SAF troopers, remains largely unresolved – the Senate, PNP, and MILF have all wrapped up their separate inquiries on the incident, but have not come to a clear consensus.48 That 29 of the 44 slain troopers sustained gunshot wounds to the head strongly indicates that a majority of the fallen troopers were summarily executed on the field – a grave violation of human rights and a possible war crime.49 To date, nobody has been held responsible for these crimes, with the SAF 44 and their families receiving little more than prayers and condolences. Justice, as well as the whole truth of the matter, remains elusive.
The future of the BBL depends significantly on the constitutional reform agenda of the new administration.
At the recent Sulong Pilipinas conference held in Davao from June 20-21, 2016, then President-elect (now President) Duterte struck a refreshingly nuanced tone regarding the peace process. Known for his hardline stance on criminality and drugs, Mr. Dutere has not been shy about favoring the use of extrajudicial killings to eliminate drug pushers and criminal gang kingpins. However, he drew a distinction between his openness for utilizing violence as a means of coercion against these forces and his strategy for dealing with secessionist groups. “[You cannot kill them all…because they are motivated by an idea…you cannot kill an idea, so you must find a way to accommodate it]."50 This stance has been welcomed both by separatist group leaders of the MILF and NPA, as well as high-level officials in the state’s security apparatus. Our historical experience has proven Mr. Duterte’s assessment astute. President Estrada’s “all-out war” against the MILF proved to be disastrous not only for the peace-process, which this policy essentially torpedoed, but also in terms of the perpetuation of human misery and death: effecting the secessionist fighters, military and police personnel, and as has always been the case, most dramatically the civilians. At his inaugural address, this past Thursday, June 30, 2016, President Duterte declared: “[his] administration is committed to implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms."51 The latter part of this sentence is noteworthy: in step with constitutional and legal reforms. It seems the future of the BBL depends significantly on the constitutional reform agenda of the new administration. As murmurs of a new federalist, and possibly parliamentary system circulate, it seems that Mr. Duterte has calculated that the BBL may be superseded by broader reforms on the national-level, which would, in my view, be preferable to what is currently on the table.
The roots of this secessionist movement are based in historical cleavages: religious, ethnic, social, and political, which have largely rendered the Philippine Muslim community isolated, disenfranchised and marginalized. Therefore, while the establishment of an autonomously administered region may assuage some political and economic concerns, the sentiments of isolation and separation are unlikely to be significantly augmented. Lasting peace, I believe, would require more than the establishment of an autonomous region – it will require a supreme effort not only to provide better resources, administration, and justice to our disaffected Moro brothers. Rather, peace can only be secured once we, as a nation, properly recognize our own pre-colonial past – our shared, if but divergent historical ties to our nation’s Muslim community. Only when the Moro Islamic identity is accepted, integrated, and woven into the larger quilt of Filipino society, can lasting peace be secured.
Gomez, Jim. "Government, MILF Agree on Peace Pact." Inquirer News. Philippine Inquirer, 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.2
Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore, and Mary Judd. "The Mindanao Conflict in the Philippines: Roots, Costs, and Potential Peace Dividend." The World Bank: Social Development Papers (2005): n. pag 5. Web.3
Gomez, Jim. "Government, MILF Agree on Peace Pact." Inquirer News. Philippine Inquirer, 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.5
"Central Intelligence Agency." World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.6
Hefner, Robert W. (1997). Islam in an Era of Nation States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 3-42, 2518
McKenna, Thomas M. Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California, 1998. Print., 5611
"Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)." About the MILF. Moro Islamic Liberation Front, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.15
"The Corregidor Massacre - 1968." The Corregidor Massacre - 1968. Heritage Battalion, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.16
Aquino, B., Jr. (1968, March 28). Jabidah! Special Forces of Evil.17
McKenna, Thomas M. Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California, 1998. Print. 14118
Islam, Syed Serajul. "The Islamic Independence Movements in Patani of Thailand and Mindanao of the Philippines." Asian Survey 38.5 (1998): 441-56. Print. 44219
McKenna, Thomas M. (1997). Appreciating Islam in the Muslim Philippines. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 43-73, 5520
McKenna, Thomas M. Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California, 1998. Print. 11422
McKenna, Thomas M. (1997). Appreciating Islam in the Muslim Philippines. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 43-73, 5623
McKenna, Rulers and Rebels, 139 McKenna, Thomas M. Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California, 1998. Print. 13924
McKenna, Thomas M. (1997). Appreciating Islam in the Muslim Philippines. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 43-73, 5727
Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore, and Mary Judd. "The Mindanao Conflict in the Philippines: Roots, Costs, and Potential Peace Dividend." The World Bank: Social Development Papers (2005): n. pag 2. Web34
McKenna, Thomas M. (1997). Appreciating Islam in the Muslim Philippines. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 43-73, 5936
"Guide to the Philippines Conflict." BBC News. BBC, 18 Dec. 2009. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.37
Hefner, Robert W. (1997). Islam in an Era of Nation States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 3-42.38
"Guide to the Philippines Conflict." BBC News. BBC, 18 Dec. 2009. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.39
Jimeno, Jaileen F. "GMA News OnlineNews Â» Special Reports." GMA News Online. GMA NEws, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.41
Señase, Charlie. "'Absurd,’ Says MILF on Ampatuan Claim." Inquirer News. Philippine Inquirer, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.44
Gomez, Jim. "Government, MILF Agree on Peace Pact." Inquirer News. Philippine Inquirer, 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 201245
Hefner, Robert W. (1997). Islam in an Era of Nation States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Robert Hefner and Patricia Horvatich, Ed. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 3-42. 2846
Viray, Patrica. “Marcos slams OPAPP for 'failure to consult stakeholders' on BBL” PhilStar Global. Philippine Star. 25 May 2015. Ibid. 2015d July 03, 201615.BL"b.in the head - autopsy48
Taruc, Paolo “Massacre or misencounter? #SAF44 debate goes on” CNN Philippines. 24 March 2015.Web. Ibid. 2015d July 03, 201615.BL"b.in the head - autopsy Ibid. 2015d July 03, 201615.BL"b.in the head - autopsy49
“EXCLUSIVE: 29 of SAF 44 were shot in the head – autopsy reports” GMA News Online. GMA News. 13 February 2015. Web.50
The author was present at Sulong Pilipinas, Davao, June 20-21, and has paraphrased Mr. Duterte’s statements to the best of his recollection.51
"(FULL TRANSCRIPT) Inaugural Address of President Duterte." Mb.com.ph. Manila Bulletin, n.d. Web. 04 July 2016.