PhilStar Opinion writer Federico Pascual Jr. had a very interesting point regarding the soon to be passed law on the creation of a Bangsamoro in Mindanao. Accordingly, once it becomes a law, a new state would be carved out right in the middle of the country’s second biggest island, Mindanao.
The proposed law spells out three major considerations like a defined population, a territory which is federal and administered by a government asymmetrical to the presidential central government. In effect, it could spin off as a soverign state once it gains international recognition.
Once it becomes a recognized state, it could formulate a social direction independently and it could chart its own fate, follow its right to self determination and wiggle out eventually from the apron strings of its mother country and eventually join the federation of other Muslim countries like Malaysia. A Philippine territory we refer to as Sabah has been annexed to Malaysia previously and it went through even without legislative fanfare.
The Bangsamoro State will naturally seek a friendly and culturally allied nation. It can apply as a member or as a federal state of Malaysia or as a long shot, as a satellite state of Saudi Arabia or any state in the Middle East. In a whiff of legislative fiat, its economy will increase several folds than its former economic standing while it was once a province of the Philippines.
The attempt at Statehood movement was an offshoot of another proposal by a group of disheartened citizens to submit a popular stand to declare the country as an applicant State for USA accreditation like what happened to Hawaii years ago. It never reached the plebiscite level though. As days went by, It gained quite a number of followers. Volunteers were imagining that once the Philippines becomes a state of USA, it will be the biggest state, bigger than California. Furthermore, there were even insinuations that eventually a Filipino may be able to send a native to the seat of US Presidency! That was the closest the proponents could envision. After a few media exposure, the nationalists regained their persuasive voice until the proposal faded in the din of political controversies.
Along the same term, there was another version of a Statehood movement which burst out from Mindanao. Emboldened by popular support, the same proponent even advanced the separation of the entire Mindanao into another State outside of the Republic. The proponents even submitted its own design of a separatist flag and its own currency system. It was challenged by tribal groups in the southern portion and it subsequently dimmed as soon as it gained traction.
With the positive development which the creation of Bangsamoro may bring forth, there is a possibility for such created State to join or be a federate state in another country say Malaysia. The advantage here is that the economy of said State would hew closely if not exactly how the main Federal government would extend to the new entry. There is therefore no need for any citizen of the new State to seek foreign affairs documentation to travel to the main State. It would just be an ordinary travel from one province to another. The currency system would also bloat relatively speaking.
This development may encourage other proponents to revive their earlier attempts and in the process may as yet succeed. If that happens and a law would passed accordingly, the country may be divided into several nation states.
One day, the map of the country would be reconfigured and renamed as UNITED NATIONS!