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PIA Press Release

Historian cites labeling problem in conflict situation in Mindanao

Cotabato City (10 November) -- A Mindanao historian disclosed labeling has become a problem in the current conflict situation in the island contributing to the confusion and misunderstanding among the people in the area.

Professor Rudy Rodil, a historian who specialized on studies about Mindanao explained to the police and military officers during a seminar on "Operationalization of PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (IPO) for Western Mindanao" held early this week in General Santos City by citing a TV broadcaster reporting about a news on a Kolambugan incident and shifting to a label which has now turned to be a Mindanao conflict. "Yong problema ay ang labels natin, hindi nagmamatch sa geography," Rodil commented.

Rodil revealed that when he was a member of the GRP-MNLF panel, he was cautioned on using Moro but consequently Moro problem was also used during discussions. "Ang sagot ng Moro, hindi kami problema, gobiyerno and may problema kasi pinoproblema nila kami na hindi naman kami problema. That is another perception," he said.

Rodil further said that not all of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan is involved in the conflict area which basically, according to him, covers 151 municipalities. He pointed out that the population of the indigenous people is small so with the Moro population of 18% only.

Based on my thesis, "Kasaysayan ng Pamayanan sa Mindanao" from 1565-1898 o sa loob ng tatlong centuries na yon, hindi nagkaroon ng large scale movement ng population from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao so itong pagpasok ng mga settlers sa Mindanao is a 20th century phenomenon. May kasaysayan din yan, Rodil narrated.

Mr Rodil further narrated that in 1903 census, the population was labeled as Christians (civililzed) and non Christians (Moro and wild tribes). (PIA 12) [top]

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