The Ilagas are back!
In the early 1970s, the Ilagas (Ilonggo LAnd Grabbers Association) wrecked havoc in Mindanao by killing as many Moros as they could. Ilaga is the Visayan word for rat. The Ilonggos are the people of the Ilo-ilo / Negros region. They were then supported by the Marcos military to create trouble in Mindanao. The Moros, led by the more prominent families, fought back. The MNLF wars were born.
Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Pinol, an Ilonggo and allegedly an Ilaga, is raising such a fury, calling on all Christian Filipinos to come to his rescue and destroy the GRP-MILF Agreement on Ancestral Domain. He claimed that his towns were attacked by the MILF and that the military did not want to defend his constituents.
Fellow Ilonggos Senator Mar Roxas and former Senate President Frank Drilon immediately came to the rescue. They filed a case to the Supreme Court to junk the said agreement. Senator Roxas’s girlfriend, TV personality Korina Sanchez, joined the Ilaga bandwagon and continues to lambaste the agreement in her radio and TV programs.
The fact that Pinol, an alleged Ilaga, is now a Vice Governor and owner of a 2000 hectare plantation should remind the Moros that they have gone practically nowhere since the 1970s war despite the several agreements the Philippine government has signed with the Moro fronts. In fact, Moroland has been “officially” reduced to a handful of provinces where not even half of the Moros live.