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EDITORIAL
19 January 2012

BANGSAMORO HISTORICAL NOTES

 MNLF REVITALIZATION: FROM ORIGINAL
TO UPDATE VISION

Revisiting The Original Vision

It is now written in global history that the original vision of the founding leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is to regain the complete freedom of the oppressed Bangsamoro people of Mindanao from Philippine colonialism through defensive armed struggle. Since the first dawn of the conception of the Moro National Liberation Front in the late 1960s as triggered and inspired by the heinous Jabidah Massacre of March 18, 1968, the founding MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari and the first 90 batch Moro trainees consequently  always repeatedly proclaimed their solemn pledge right in the huge Matalam rock inside their training camp. In unison, they always pledged passionately and loudly the liberating words of martyrdom: "In the name of Allah, in the name of our oppressed people and in the name of our homeland! Victory or to the Graveyard!   

Indeed, the intensity of the cold-blooded massacre in Corigidor Island of around sixty eight (68) recruited Muslim trainees from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officers as sanctioned by the Marcos regime alarmed and radicalized the Bangsamoro people. This was compounded by the succeeding genocidal extermination depredations against the Muslims by the AFP and its armed para-military troops in other areas in mainland Mindanao, particularly in Cotabato, Lanao, Zamboanga and Bukidnon, resulting in massive dislocation and wanton land-grabbing of the lands of the Muslims by the Christian settlers supported by the Manila government. Thus, experiencing the destructive colonization campaigns of the Philippine government from the Quezon regime up


to the Marcos Dictatorship, this  left the agonized Bangsamoro people no alternative, but to wage a defensive war for survival and freedom against Philippine colonialism.

Clearly from inception, the liberation struggle launched by the MNLF was anchored on the total liberty and emancipation of the Bangsamoro homeland, people and preservation of Islam from the ugly clutches of the Manila government that is only bent on preserving Philippine colonialism in Mindanao through ethnic cleansing of the indigenous natives of Mindanao . From the beginning, the MNLF leadership always believed that colonization is synonymous to christianization or filipinization that the Manila government want to forcibly imposed on the Muslim and Hghlander natives of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA). Confronting the evil design of Philippine colonialism, the Bangsamoro freedom fighters and mass supporters exerted utmost sacrifice and perseverance to combat the colonial Filipino occupation forces in Mindanao. The atrocities committed against them by Christian Filipino terrorists and land-grabbers in their ancestral homeland and their desperate, but heroic stand against all odds in Mindanao attracted the attention of the peaceful community of nations, especially the Muslim countries. At this crucial juncture in history, the Marcos regime designed to splinter the MNLF leadership that included maneuvering the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to mediate in searching for a peaceful settlement to the Filipino-Moro war that already registered more than one hundred thousand precious lives and countless material losses on the part alone of the victims of Philippine colonialism.

On this historical note, the Manila government engaged the MNLF in series of peace negotiations coupled with the classical strategy to divide-conquer-rule and to hoodwink the MNLF Mujahidin to fall for the colonial entrapment of cooptation and accommodation. Accepting the call for peace with OIC blessing, the MNLF forged three agreements with Philippine colonialism, specifically the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, 1987 Jeddah Accord and 1996 Jakarta Peace Agreements, ranging from President Ferdinand E. Marcos, President Corazon C. Aquino and President Fidel V. Ramos. Nonetheless, the three peace agreements between the Philippine government and Moro National Liberation Front participated actively by the Organization of Islamic Conference never succeeded to bring closure to the nagging Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao. The strategic ceasefire moratorium only succeeded to divide the MNLF into several fragments, showcasing the fact that Philippine colonialism never meant to put in place the correct implementation of the internationally recognized peace agreements. But only to buy time to mobilize more military forces in war-ravaged Mindanao, to procure more armaments for the AFP and to further cause the disunity of the colonized Bangsamoro people.

Updating Vision of Peace

Conscious now of the malevolent colonial strategy of the Philippine government, MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, after being imprisoned for more than five years by Philippine colonialism in conspiracy with the Malaysian Mahathir regime, has now envisioned to strengthen the initiative of the MNLF to guarantee just and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro homeland by pursuing the freedom struggle through peaceful means. Although accepting once the autonomy alternative by serving as unopposed elected Governor of the Philippine Congress-crafted Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after the signing of the September 2, 1996 MNLF-OIC-GRP Peace Agreement in Malacanang Palace, he personally found out to his dismay the miserable failure of autonomy to solve the decades-long Philippines-Bangsamoro war. Thus, without finishing his tenure ARMM governorship, he abandoned the cosmetic political position to report directly to the OIC Jeddah Headquarters. But on his usual route journey to the Holy Land, he was blocked by the Mahathir regime and instead turned over to Philippine colonialism to be criminally charged for rebellion without any proven legal basis after having been tried by the court of justice.

Updating now his vision to revitalize the MNLF as a potent force to achieve a peaceful Mindanao and to harmonize the unity of the Muslim and Highlander natives as well as Christian settlers of the war-torn region, Chairman Nur Misuari has always clarified and maintained that: "In the interest of peace and development in Mindanao and its component islands of Palawan, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan and Camiguin, I call on all government, military and civilian authorities to faithfully respect and upheld the GRP-OIC-MNLF Peace Agreements in letter and spirit. These peace agreements are of supreme importance to our people and future. Let no one, therefore, denigrate the sublime memory and sacrifice of those valiant men and women, Mujahidin and Mujahidat alike, who have perished in pursuit of peace, justice and freedom as a key to social harmony and sustainable economic development for all of us and posterity."

In pursuit of uniting the Bangsamoro people, he has embarked on unifying the MNLF with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under Chairman Hj. Murad Ebrahim following the tacit approval of the OIC. The MNLF Chairman also personally conducted one-on-one dialogue with Chairman Ustaj Amiril Umbra Kato of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), which is now in the forefront of the sacred struggle to establish an independent Islamic State for the Muslims of Mindanao.

Furthermore, in his quest to bring the loud call and sincere message of peace to the Highlanders and Christians of Mindanao, Chairman Misuari has repeatedly held 'peace summits' in Christian areas, particularly Davao and Zamboanga, underscoring the importance of a comprehensive peaceful settlement to the Filipino-Moro war for the sake of harmony, peaceful co-existence and brighter future for the pluralistic people of the region.

Moreover, keeping at heart his last meeting with the martyred MILF Chairman Al-Ustaj Salamat Hashim (Allah'yarham), the MNLF Chairman has not lost track of the deep wisdom of a true Mujahid, who has remained steadfast to the original sacred cause of the MNLF of regaining national self-determination and independence for the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao under Philippine colonialism. Until today, Chairman Misuari is guided by the words of the legendary Bangsamoro national hero, who once said: "The MILF leadership is confident Brother Nur Misuari of the MNLF cannot afford to betray the Bangsamoro people and Cause. We have high regards on him and we presume he and the MNLF leadership are well aware that unless a meaningful self-determination for the Bangsamoro people is in place, the problem will persist from generation to generation."

In the final analysis, as the known patriarch of the freedom struggle for justice, peace and development of the Bangsamoro people and ancestral homeland, the MNLF Chairman cannot afford to fail in helping to achieve a peaceful Mindanao for the benefit of all generations to come. -osm, mnlfnet.com

   

 

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