Bismillah Hirrahman Nirrahim.
The delegates to this very important and historic
gathering from different parts of Mindanao and the
Islands, our tens of thousands freedom fighters, our
ulama, the youth, our brave women, families of our
shuhada, my brothers and sisters, let me greet you with
the Islamic noble greeting of peace -- Assalamu alaikum
warahmatullahi Taala wabarakatuhu.
Once again, we are gathered here in this very
important and historic occasion, the 5th
Bangsamoro Peopleís National Congress, to decide our
future and the future of Homeland and our posterity.
I am very, very confident that we are in the
right side of history. I am very, very confident that
the peoples of the world will vindicate us, and I am
also very, very confident that our brothers in the
Islamic world, starting with the OIC, which is the
embodiment of the conscience and the aspiration of the
Islamic World including us, the none self-governing
Islamic nations in this world, I am very, very sure that
they, too, will vindicate us in the end.
So now your destiny is back in you hands. The
chain has been smashed. This past of a quarter of a
century now since we signed the peace agreement in
Tripoli, Libya in 1976, and in Malacanang Palace on
September 2, 1996, since the time we signed the peace
agreements we had put ourselves in a vine so to speak.
We had allowed them to put the chain on our
hands. That is why we lost our options. Despite the fact
that we had been betrayed so many times, yet we had no
choice but to continue to persevere. But alhamdulillah,
I am very, very sure, it is the wisdom of the Almighty
Allah that we are now back where we were before.
Donít forget the first time when they (OIC)
brought to me the Kuala Lumpur Resolution in 1974. I
have told you just as I have told the summit of Muslim
heads of states and also of the series of the ICFM
(Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers) meetings, I
told them that, to us in the beginning, to accept that
resolution of the 5th ICFM in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, could be likened to have pushing a bar of hot
iron down our throat. But we had no choice because we
could not go against the decision of our brothers in the
Now the Philippine government has chosen to
betray us, not only the MNLF and the Bangsamoro people
but also the OIC and the entire Islamic world. So,
therefore as I said earlier, it is now my feeling that
your destiny is back in your hands.
As your leader and as your chairman, it has been
always our policy for me not to make any decision at
all. It is you, who are many times wiser than I am,
members of the Congress and later on members of the
Central Committee, who are going to meet after your
session, to evaluate and to pass on your decision here.
It is you, my brothers and sisters, who are going to
decide the future of our people and of our beloved
homeland Mindanao and all its Islands, including Palawan,
Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Camiguin and all other
historic parts of the Bangsamoro homeland.
Now you must face your responsibility before our
people and before history. Donít run away from them,
because on the basis of your collective wisdom, you will
find the future of our people. And therefore, face the
challenge as brave men and women, scions of famous
warriors of the past centuries. Donít forget, we have
always been dubbed as the bravest warriors in the whole
world. You may not be the bravest but at least you are
one of the bravest warriors in the whole world. And as
brave people donít run away from this challenge. I
placed the whole decision in your hands and, therefore,
please do your part. This is the message I wanted to
deliver to you.
And in addition to that my brothers and sisters,
I ask you in your prayers, when you return back to your
homes, you must praise Allah for His guidance and for
his mercy because I believe that all of these are
blessings from Him. Because only Allah could have
decided for us, could have decided in all of these. Donít
forget that this is now the best moment in our life. I
would like to inform you that few days ago, by the
guidance of the Almighty Allah, a team of ten (10) from
the MNLF met a team of ten (10) from their brothers in
the MILF. And they have decided to continue with the
exploratory talks for unity and solidarity and common
While there are still some vagueness and
obscurity in their undertakings, but I am very, very
optimistic my brothers and sisters, that both the MNLF
leaders and the MILF leaders are now quite aware of
their responsibility before God and before our people
and posterity. And therefore you can expect that very
near they will come up with a final decision how to
unify the two fraternal organizations. And with this,
with the unity and solidarity of the MNLF and the MILF,
I am very, very optimistic that we can now rewrite and
rewrite our history.
Whatever political decision you may make, you can
rest assured tens of thousands of valiant warriors in
every part of Mindanao and the Islands will be behind
that. You will not be dismayed. You will not be
disappointed, biiznillah. I am sure our brave warriors
and fighters are listening to my speech.
It was all for the sake of peace that I agreed to
sign the peace agreement on behalf of the MNLF and on
behalf of our people. Nothing more and nothing less. The
Almighty Allah tells us ďWhen the enemy leans towards
peace so thou you must lean also towards peace.Ē So we
followed that. That is exactly what we did.
You cannot find in the annals of revolutions in
the world where you have such a powerful organization
like the MNLF signing 3 peace agreements. Ordinarily
after the signing of the peace agreement they should
have turned over to us the authority to form our
government here. But what did they do? They manipulated,
they dilly-dallied with all those in order to be able to
put one over us and ultimately to destroy the peace
They thought that the MNLF has been closing its
eyes. They donít understand that Nur Misuari goes to
bed only after 2 oíclock in the morning and he wakes
up among the first human being to wake up early in the
morning for his prayers. And throughout the day seldom
do I take any nap or any relaxation at all. I always
devote my time to the service of God, to the service of
my people and to the service of the MNLF and our Jihad
it is not possible for them to say that we are spent
force. Our brothers from the media, if you could only
see the forces all around, you will see thousands and
thousands of forces. If only those forces who are
stranded will be able to come and join us here together,
the more so you will see more forces who are ready to
defend the decision of the Congress and the decision of
the Central Committee of the MNLF, insha Allah.
you are seeing here is just a small fragment of the
forces of the MNLF. And that means we have not been
sleeping on our task because we knew all along the
Philippine government is going to betray us. They cannot
betray us without betraying themselves.
army general was asked by Malacanang if why Nur Misuari
and Salamat Hashim have decided to allow their people to
sign this declaration (of unity and solidarity). The
general said, ďMay be itís our fault. We have
already found the right man to work for peace in
Mindanao but we are only fooling him.Ē
now they want to anchor the future of this country on
the words and self-serving propaganda of those traitors
who have betrayed us.
(Gregorio) Honasan was quoted as saying, calling on
Malacanang. He said, ďBe careful of those people
who formed the so-called the Executive Council of 15.
They are like sons and daughters of the MNLF chairman.
It was he who brought them up. I was he who gave them
all those responsibilities and it was he who made them
what they are now. Now they have decided to betray him.
Do you think these people, after betraying Nur Misuari,
will not betray the government? If they can betray Nur
Misuari who is like a brother to them, who is like a
father to them, the more so they can also betray the
government the moment the government is not able to
cater to their greed anymore.Ē
me. This is not the first time. This is the 7th
time (to oust him as MNLF chairman). (Philippine)
government has always been conniving and conspiring and
colluding against us. But every time all they have done
have boomeranged on them. How many times they have done
this to us but what happened? They (government) gave
thousands and thousands of arms to those people. Were
they able to destroy the MNLF? Were they able to achieve
their objectives? No, they did not. Allah is protecting
us and the heroic people of Mindanao and the Islands are
protecting their own sacred cause. They will not abandon
is really wrong on the part of the government to do this
to us. But since that is what they want, then let it be.
What can we do? But I only hope that the good media
people and the people of this country, and the people of
the world will not blame us if something will happen, if
there will be adverse consequences of what they are
doing to us.
that is my great message to you. That is our perception
now. Therefore, we are now waiting for the OIC for the
final words from them. We cannot afford to do anything
only to be mistaken for having violated the peace
agreement. The OIC must be convinced that, like in the
past, it was not our fault.
signed the peace agreement with President Marcos. But
what happened? The OIC sat together and they decided
that it was the Philippine government that was at fault.
And therefore, they said, let us make Nur Misuari and
the MNLF observer in the OIC. And also when I asked them
to stop the flow of oil, immediately they stopped the
flow of oil (to the Philippine). I am not saying that I
will do that. No, I will not. We donít need to do that
to be able to redress our grievances. We will not call
on the OIC to punish them (government). It is up for the
OIC if what they want because they have to defend their
honor and integrity.
OIC met in November last year (2000). Fifty-six (56)
Muslim heads of states met in Qatar. I was present. They
read out the Resolution before us. The Resolution was a
product of a fringe meeting among us, the OIC
Ministerial Committee of the Seven at that time before
the entry of Malaysia recently, and also the Philippine
decided to pass a resolution calling upon the Philippine
government, the MNLF and the OIC Ministerial Committee
of the Eight to hold a Tripartite Meeting to draw up a
timetable for the launching of a genuine political
autonomy and its eventual turnover to the hands of the
MNLF leadership. But nothing happened.
the same time they (OIC) asked the Philippine government
not to unilaterally
hold any referendum and election at all.
Everything has to be decided by the tripartite meeting.
what happened. On the 14th of August they
held the referendum, which was a big, big slap on the
face of the OIC and its member-states.
in June (2001) there was the meeting of the 28th
Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Bamako,
Republic of Mali in West Africa. We were present in that
meeting. And they (OIC) passed a Resolution calling upon
the Philippine government not to hold any referendum and
election until the year 2003.
what happened? They held the referendum as we said, and
now they are preparing to hold the election, which is
going to be a big, big slap again on the OIC, not to say
of the MNLF.
with all of these violations, and with all of these
actions on the part of the government, I am very, very
clear in my conscience that the people will understand
that we are not going to be at fault, it is going to be
the Philippine government. And therefore, being at
fault, the Philippine government should be held solely
responsible for whatever adverse consequences that may
for your guidance, I would like you to muster all your
courage and heroism to face your responsibility before
God and before the conscience of mankind. We have been
betrayed again. Countless times we were betrayed by the
Philippine government to show that they donít want
peace in Mindanao. They want that we are always be in a
state of war. I donít know why. I donít know what
kind of government is this. Let us see if their
foolishness will succeed. Let us see what will be the
consequence of their treachery and their betrayal of the
would like you to examine the situation clearly and be
guided by our address here. Donít forget the important
Resolution passed by the 4th Congress.
Because of my desire to give peace another chance, I
appealed before all of you in the final plenary session
of the 4th Congress in Cabatangan, Zamboanga
City, to suspend the effectivity of that Resolution.
Now, I would like to ask this (5th) Congress
to consider that resolution in the light of the present
situation for your guidance and the guidance of all of
us, especially your brothers in the Central Committee,
and also your brothers in the Bangsamoro Armed Forces.
am sure tens of thousands of the Bangsamoro Armed Forces
are listening to my speech. Those who are not present,
eventually they will get copy of my speech and will have
the chance to listen to this speech. I am asking only
one thing to them. Please do your duty and your
responsibility before God, before our people and our
posterity and our homeland.
also donít forget our commitment to the OIC. Donít
preempt. You wait the final words from the OIC. Donít
give any impression as if you are turning your back on
the OIC. I have told the OIC that we will always be
faithful in following their wise counsel. Donít betray
that (commitment) my brothers so that the Philippine
government may not succeed in causing any dislocation
between us and our brothers in the world. We should
always march hand in hand with them. We need the support
of the peoples of the world for whatever decision we
make. I am very, very sure that you are going to decide
to rewrite our history now.
leaders are here. If you ask me what is going to be the
sentiments of these leaders, I am sure they will be
behind you all to the last man. So be courageous in
making decision for our people. That is all my guidance
to you my brothers and sisters.
would just like to acknowledge our dear brothers from
the Highlander communities. They are around. Some of
them even walked hundreds of kilometers from the
mountains on foot and they are now with us. I am also
very, very sad to note that one of our distinguished
highlander leaders has been assassinated recently.
I welcome you all. Sulu is your land. You are among your
armed brothers who will not abandon you, Insha Allah. I
am very sure, our six to eight million-highlander
brothers in various parts of Mindanao and the Islands
will be just too happy to continue marching side by side
with their Muslim brothers and their Christian brothers
who have decided to work together for the common good of
the people of Mindanao and the Islands.
would like also to acknowledge our distinguished
brothers from the Central Committee of the MILF who are
here with us. Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
I told you earlier, by the blessings of the Almighty
Allah, the leaders of these two fraternal organizations
have finally mustered their wisdom to work together for
peace, for justice and for freedom of the Bangsamoro
nation. They are here with us, testimony to the fact
that we are now sharing a common purpose and a common
salute my brother Salamat Hashim, on behalf of all of
you, for his wisdom. Let us give credit to him for his
wisdom in inviting me for three consecutive times. The
visit of our brothers here is not one by accident. This
is the product of our series of meetings (with Salamat
understand from the report of our delegation that a
3-point agreement has been signed and there is an
agreement to meet again and again in order to be able to
finally realize the dream of all of us here in Mindanao,
the unbreakable unity and solidarity of the MILF and the
MNLF and all of us, the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao,
was telling the media when they asked me what would be
the consequences of this (unity). I told them, ďWhat
do you think will happen if you put the MILF on one side
and a plus sign in between and the MNLF in the other
side?Ö and they will decide to take the destiny of
this land back to their hands?Öwhat do you think will
happen?Ē It is not a joke.
so now, what they did to disunite us has now boomeranged
on them. Their foolishness has now boomeranged on them.
There is now panic inside Malacanang itself. They have
been calling our brother Ghadzali, they have been
calling the generals asking why did this (unity) happen.
And the generals told them pointblank, ďThis is our
fault. We have found the right man to work for peace
with us in Mindanao without harming the unity and
solidarity of this country. But what have we done? We
always betray him.Ē
government is just exposing the soldiers to danger
because they are swallowed up by the tens of thousands
of the bravest warriors on the surfaced of the earth.
I am asking you once again my brothers, the sons and
daughters of our shuhada (martyrs) to please do your
duty to the Almighty Allah and donít betray him.
Please do your duty to our people. Donít betray them,
and please do your duty to our posterity and our
homeland. Be courageous and be heroic.
this civilized world, there is no country like the
Philippine government, betraying such a solemn agreement
like the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, the Jeddah Peace accord
of 1986 and more importantly, the September 2nd,
1996 Final Peace Agreement in Manila.
cannot find it in any parts of the world. This is the
most brazen and the most shameful part of the history of
the Filipino nation. Tell those people in Malacanang.
did not bend my knees to get those negotiations
commenced or started way back in 1975. They were the
ones who asked for it. They sent their emissaries as far
as London to talk to the late Prime Minister Ali Bhutto.
They sent people to Bapak Soeharto and they arranged
meeting with me in Menado. They sent people to Saudi
Arabia. They sent people to Egypt. They sent people to
Pakistan. They sent people to Kuala Lumpur, to many
parts of the Islamic world asking that Misuari be
brought across the (negotiating) table. They wanted
peace negotiations. Marcos said except my wife, my
family and my power, everything is negotiable.
promised that no stabbing in the back, no treachery. But
what happened. Who is betraying who? History, as I said,
will vindicate us in the end, bisznillah.
you once again to all of you my brothers and sisters.
Wabillahi Taufik Walhidaya Wassalamau Alaikum
Warahmatullahi Taala Waabarakatuhu. Allahu Akbar! Allahu
Akbar! Allahu Akbar!