SPEECH OF PROF. NUR
CHAIRMAN OF THE CENTRAL
OF THE NATIONAL MORO
LIBERATION FRONT TO BE READ BEFORE 29TH ISLAMIC
CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS FROM JUNE 25-27, 2002 AT
Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh.
the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Sudan, Foreign
Ministers of the Fraternal Muslim States who are members of
the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), delegates
from observer organizations and other participants.
It is with deep regret that I
am not standing before you today in this Islamic country
hosting the 29th Islamic Conference of Foreign
Ministers during the most critical period in the 20th
and 21st century for the Islamic peoples because of
the unfortunate tragedy which is now known as 9-11 when Arab
suicide bombers exploded the World Trade Organization Twin
Towers in New York City and the partial destruction of the
Pentagon - the twin symbols of the economic and
politico-military power of the United States of America.
The United States as a
consequence has declared a war on terror or terrorism, which
has targeted mostly Muslim countries and we are affected in
the Philippines with the imposed presence of thousands of US
Troops in the Zamboanga and Basilan and they are now
participating in war operations. The ultimate purpose maybe
basing facilities to be used in wars against Muslim States.
Recently, last June 7, 2002, the last three hostages of
the Abu Sayyaf Group were subject of rescue operations by the
Philippine Military and only Gracia Burnham survived while
Martin Burnham and Edibora Yap died.
It was claimed by an ally of the President, former Gov.
Luis Chavit Singson that the hostages where brought by the Abu
Sayyaf Group to Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte to release them.
Again, the Abu Sayyaf escape the military encirclement
and struck on the high seas by hijacking an Indonesian Vessel
last June 18, 2002 and kidnapped four Indonesian Marine
escaped or abandoned on June 19, 2002.
Muslims are now the poorest in the Philippines although it is
supposed to have regional autonomy since 1989 but our poverty
level is from 57-65 percent while the national average is 35
areas are also under full militarization from the time of
deposed President Estrada, which has displaced almost a
million people and compounded by mass expulsion of the
people staying Sabah, Malaysia who are now added to the
unemployed among the Bangsamoro people.
There are hundreds who are being killed every month
without any investigation by the Military and Police as merely
being suspected as Abu Sayyaf members.
this connection, the United States’ State Department
reports on human rights practices released on March 4, 2002 stated
that “The Government generally respected the human rights of
citizens; however, there were serious problems in some
areas. Members of
the security services were responsible for extra-judicial
killings, disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrest and
were allegations by human rights groups that these problems
worsened as the Government sought to intensify its campaign
against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Other physical abuse of suspects and detainees and
police corruption remain problems.
The Government’s Commission on Human Rights (CHR),
established under the 1987 Constitution, again described the
PNP as the worst abuser of human rights, although complaints
against the police decreased significantly compared with 2000.
Police leaders at times appeared to sanction extra
judicial killings and brutality as expedient means of fighting
crime. The Government increased its efforts to stop military and
police abuses; and abuses decreased somewhat.
The PNP took steps to improve respect for human rights
within police ranks, and strengthened internal disciplinary
conditions are harsh.”
the Report on the Sulu Fact-Finding and Medical Mission of
April 18-23, 2002, Sulu Province, Philippines with office
address at Karapatan National Office, 23-D Mabuhay St.,
Central District, Diliman, Quezon City composed of the
following non-Muslim organizations.
Organizations to the Mission
- Zamboanga del Sur
Alyansang Makabaya (BAYAN)
- Cagayan de Oro
MUNA - Zamboanga del Sur
Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (BCCHRP) –
Health Services (CBHS) – Misamis Occidental
Citizens of Sulu (CCS)
of Christian Organizations for Rurban Development, Inc.
Movement for Justice and Peace – (EMJP) – Zamboanga del
Justice and Peace Office, Order of Franciscan Missionaries,
BASILAN 73 Committee
Action for Human Rights (HAHR)
Alliance against Disaster (HALAD) – Western Mindanao Region
Filipina Independiente (IFI)
People’s Organization (IPO) – Zamboanga del Sur
(Moro Human Rights Center)
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (National
- Northern Mindanao Region
– Western Mindanao Region
– Zamboanga del Sur
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Mayo Uno (KMU) – Caraga
People’s Alliance (MCPA)
Institute for Research and Trade Union Education (VIRTUE) –
Peninsula Health Extension Program
report was made independent of the Government, the MNLF and
the local government in the Muslim areas.
The organizations listed above are mostly Christian and
Church Organization) gave these
recommendations on the war operations against the people of Sulu for the past
two years are as follows.
beyond a doubt that the human rights violations have been
perpetrated by the 104th Infantry Battalion of the
Philippine Army (under the command of Col. Romeo P. Tolentino),
as well as many elements of the Philippine Marines, Navy, and
Air Force. These
military elements have shown utter callousness and total
disrespect for basic human rights of the civilians.
Civilian communities have been the deliberate target of intense military
operations throughout the Sulu province. Apparently,
it is part of military strategy to attach civilian
communities, which the military sees to be strongholds of
either the ASG or Nur Misuari’s bloc of the MNLF.
No distinctions have been made between armed
elements and non-combatants.
Airpower and artillery bombardment have been excessively used during the
military operations, resulting in the unnecessary destruction of private properties, and
causing widespread casualties and injuries among civilian
Government units, particularly the concerned agencies and local
government units, have not adequately responded to the problem
of massive attacks against civilians and forced evacuation of
residents in areas under military siege.
While sporadic assistance have been provided, the
amount of help from the government has not been commensurate
to the extent of the victimization of civilian populations.
No concrete, far-reaching programs have been
implemented by the government officials to address the
government has not even provided adequate evacuation centers
for the people fleeing the attacks.
The military units have
shown no respect for civilian authority in areas where the
operations were conducted. It is common practice for AFP units to inform beforehand the
local government units governing in the affected areas before
the military operations are conducted.
Yet in Sulu, this does not happen.
The FFM Team as even managed to interview local
officials like barangay captains who themselves have been
victimized and displaced by the operations.
The FFM Team noticed the military’s penchant for burning and
destroying civilian houses and infrastructures.
Team also extensively documented looting of personal belonging
and even farm animals by military elements doing the
operations in the civilian communities.
The relentless and continuous military attacks since the Sipadan
incident allowed no time for breathing spell for civilians to
at least momentarily recover from the damages and casualties. The prolonged duration of the war have not allowed the
people to at least temporarily recover their farming and
sources of livelihood.
The military operations have aggravated the already deplorable economic
condition of the people of Sulu.
and diseases have reached untenable levels, especially in
areas of the military operations.
If the military aren’t killing the people through
bombardment and strafings, they are killing them through
disease and starvation.
The people of Sulu have been living under intense fear for their lives
due to the military operations. Because
of the extent of destruction and casualties, the people’s
intense fear turn into deep resentment of the military and the
government it represents.
In some cases, the military has also shown no respect for the Muslim
religious and cultural heritage of the Moro people of Sulu.
The operations have deliberately targeted religious
infrastructure and effects, like mosques and Qur’ans.
The attacks have also been executed during times of
religious significance, like the Ramadan.
the recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission it stated
The AFP should immediately suspend its military assaults in order to
give the civilian population a breathing spell from two years
of intense military operations.
Military detachments in schools and other public
facilities should be immediately dismantled.
Moreover, the government’s
present all-out war strategy in Sulu and the rest of Muslim
Mindanao should eventually be discarded in favor of a more
comprehensive solution to the Moro people’s struggle for
Justice must be rendered to the victims of human rights violations
those wrongfully accused and unjustly detained.
those who lost their houses, properties and crops and animals
those who lost their relatives and kin during military
operations and pay the medical expenses incurred by those who
were wounded during the operations
the safe return of dislocated residents to their communities
massive and sustained relief and rehabilitation work among
civilian communities harshly affected by military operations
Perpetrators of human rights violations should be investigated, tried
and punished, while victims should be indemnified. In
relation to this Col. Romeo Tolentino should be immediately
suspended and replaced as commanding officer of the 104th
Brigade, Philippine Army.
The Philippine Senate and Lower House, the Commission on Human Rights
and other local and international bodies should investigate
the rampant violations of human rights in Sulu.
of the mission’s final report should be disseminated to the
Mr. Chairman, Your Excellencies, I have been quoting to you reports from the United
States and Human Rights / Church Organizations wherein
the MNLF or this humble representation has never been accused
or blamed for acts of terrorism in all the violence that was
forced on our people since I became the Regional Governor of
the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao and Chairman of the
have always pursued the goals enshrined in the Tripoli
Agreement of 1976 as well as the Final Peace Agreement of 1996
and the various resolutions of the OIC for over 20 years and
followed the path of a peaceful settlement.
situation of the Bangsamoro people cries to the conscience of
the Muslim World Leadership for we are in no better position
than our brothers in occupied Palestine and the war ravaged
Chechnya, Russia or our brothers in Jammu and Khashmir or Gujarat, India but we have not heard a single
voice of protest from the OIC or the Ministerial Committee of
Eight against all the flagrant and massive human rights
violations which non-Muslims and Christian Churches or even
the US Government has denounced. My
illegal and arbitrary arrest and detention that violates the
Philippine Constitution, its laws, the Final Peace Agreement
of 1996, the Resolutions of the OIC and International Law did
not merit a protest from the Ministerial Committee of Eight
which is responsible in representation of
the Muslim world to protect the rights of the
Bangsamoro people and the leaders of the MNLF from persecution
and unjust treatment by the Government of the Philippines
which is the other party to the Final Peace Agreement with
binding moral and international obligations to the OIC as well
as the member states.
the Alliance of the Advancement of the Peoples Rights
have issued Press Statement on 25 April 2002 in a very
sincere manifestation of support, declared; “The assaults
against civilians are of unparalleled levels of brutality.
The mission established through substantive evidence
massive human rights violations (HRVs) committed by the AFP,
principally against civilian communities.
Covering more than 5 municipalities and 30 barangays,
the mission documented at least 11 types of HRV cases.
These are massacres, salvaging, aerial bombing and
artillery shelling of civilian communities, forced evacuation,
looting, arson, strafing of civilian properties, harassment,
arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, and torture- all
perpetrated by various elements of the AFP.
monstrosity by the AFP has gripped the people of Sulu in fear
and veiled anger. Military
operations have been going on for almost two years.
Because of the prolonged duration, the people almost
had no time to recover from their destroyed crops and houses.
If the soldiers aren’t killing them through bombings
and strafings, they are killing the people through starvation.
genocidal war of the AFP must stop. Through this mission, we
are determined to expose to the public the tragedy of this
secret war. We
strongly push for the immediate halt to these brutal military
operations in Sulu and demand justice and indemnification for
all victims of the AFP’s hidden war in Sulu.”
Your Excellencies, such sentiments coming from non-Muslims and even non-Filipinos is more
than enough to convey to you the pain and suffering of the
Bangsamoro People borne from the unjust military
and war operations against the civilians in complete
disregard of the Statute of Rome in 1999 as well as other
humanitarian laws and Philippine Constitution.
It has been denounced as a “genocidal war” against
the Bangsamoro People. The Muslim officials of the government
who will give you a different picture or presentation of
benefits given to the Bangsamoro masses by the government or
the high positions rewarded to some nominal Muslims are all
belied by the findings of non-Muslim Organizations who are
only after the Truth. The
sycophantic and shameless Muslim officials or bogus MNLF
leaders who are being used to fragment and disrupt the unity
of the Bangsamoro people and the MNLF are clearly acting
purely on personal selfish interests disregarding the welfare
of the Muslims and the struggle to establish Islamic
governance which is a legitimate aspiration of the Bangsamoro
all this challenges against our leadership are only done
because of violations by the government of our agreements as
well as international laws and clear indications that we are
going away from a just and meaningful solution, in the same manner that Sharon of Israel destroyed OSLO
agreement between Palestine and Israel which now engulfed
their people’s in a vicious cycle of violence.
Brother President Yaser Arafat is a prisoner just like
me and the objective of both actions is to destroy the
Palestinian and the Bangsamoro leadership to liquidate the
Palestinian and the Bangsamoro struggles.
This Zionist and anti Muslim plots are clearly a
sinister attempt to deny our peoples their legitimate historic
and national rights under the charter of the United Nations
and other international agreements and governance. Let
us all remember that the vote of the Philippines in 1949
created the State of Israel in 1949 from the country of the
we remind Your Excellencies and your governments that
Resolution No. 56/9-P(IS) on Question of Muslims in
Southern Philippines approved at the 9th Islamic
Conference held in Doha, state of Qatar from 16-17 Shabaan
1421 H(12-13 November 2001) wherein the heads of state and
government welcomed the “Peace Agreement” between
GRP and MNLF signed on September 2, 1996 wherein your
humble representation was a signatory and called on the GRP
and MNLF to preserve the gains of the “Peace Agreement”. The OIC thanked the GRP for receiving the Fact Finding
Mission that went to Mindanao and Sulu last October , 2000
and paid tribute to the MNLF as the sole legitimate
representative of the Bangsamoro people. It further resolved
to maintain MNLF in it’s capacity as the sole legitimate
representative of the Bangsamoro people with a view to
improving our conditions in accordance with the “Peace
Summit Resolution was reinforced by Resolution No. 58/28-P
on the 29th ICFM held in Bamako, Republic of
Mali, from 4-6 Rabiul Thani 1422 H(25-27 June 2001)
wherein it is stated the support for the “Peace Agreement”
and to preserve its gains as well as commend the MNLF as the
sole legitimate representative of the Bangsamoro people under
the leadership of Prof. Nur Misuari, Chairman MNLF. It also mandated the Chairman of the Committee of Eight
to continue necessary contacts with GRP and MNLF not later
than the end of 2001 to define a timetable for implementing
the “Peace Agreement” and this was a repetition of
the mandate in the Resolution No. 56/9 P (IS) to
establish a timetable for the implementation of the “Peace
Agreement” not later than 1st quarter of
2001. However, up to this date there is no timetable and the
Ministerial Committee of Eight has not done anything to
implement this mandate or to investigate my illegal and
unlawful detention as Chairman of the MNLF which has an
Observer Status in the OIC for over 20 years.
I have not been visited by any official of the OIC or a
member of the Ministerial Committee of Eight even through
their resident Ambassadors to inquire the legality of my
arrest, detention and prosecution under Philippine Laws and
International Laws. What
has happened to Muslim Honor?
IslamOnline.Net, a Fatwa was issued regarding my
case which confirms the Fatwa of the independent Bangsamoro
Supreme Council of Ulama composed of graduates of Islamic
Universities in the Arab world. The Fatwa is as
Question: What is the Fatwa
regarding the deportation of Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao Governor and Moro National Liberation Front Chairman
Nur P. Misuari from an Islamic country like Malaysia to
the Philippines, which is bragging as the only Catholic nation
in Southeast Asia?
from this specific case, it is generally agreed that it is
prohibited to hand over a Muslim to non-Muslim as this
involves casting off a Muslim and subjecting him to the
control of a non-Muslim; such act typically represents letting
a Muslim down. This
is the meaning of the Hadith of the Prophet, peace and
blessings be upon him, that reads: “Muslim is the
brother of a Muslim. He
does not oppress him, nor let him down nor even look down upon
In addition, handing over a Muslim to non-Muslims
is a form of disdaining a Muslim and a sacrilegious act to his
the Hadith, we read: “A
Muslim is the brother of a Muslim.
He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks
down upon him. The
piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his
chest thrice. It
is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon
his brother Muslim. All
things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith:
his blood, his wealth and his honor.”
Such a heinous deed is also a form of helping others in
matters of sin and aggression. Almighty
Allah says: “Help
not one another unto sin and transgression, but keep your duty
to Allah. Lo! Allah is severe in punishment.” (Al-Ma’idah:2)
International Law, since I am the Chairman of the MNLF which
is a recognized “liberation movement” not only by
the OIC members but also by the GRP, the USA and several
European Nations and therefore I am covered by the 1987 United
Nations Geneva declaration on terrorism wherein it is
“As repeatedly recognized by the United Nations
General Assembly, peoples who are fighting against colonial
domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in
the exercise of their right to self- determination have the
right to use force to accomplish their objectives within the
framework of international humanitarian law.
Such lawful uses of force must not be confused with
acts of international terrorism.
Thus, it would be legally impermissible to treat
members of national liberation movements in the Caribbean
Basis, Central America, Namibia, Northern Ireland, the Pacific
Islands, Palestine and South Africa, among others, as if they
were common criminals. Rather,
national liberation fighters should be treated as combatants
subject to the laws and customs of warfare and to the
international laws of humanitarian armed conflict as evidenced
for example, by the 1907 Hague Regulations, the Four Geneva
Conventions of 1949, and their Additional Protocol I of 1977.
Thus, when a liberation fighter is captured by a
belligerent state, he should not be tried as a criminal, but
would be treated as a prisoner of war.
He could be entered for the duration of the conflict,
or released upon condition of a pledge to refrain from further
participation in hostilities, or traded in a prisoner of war
exchange. In the
event such a national liberation fighter is found in a neutral
state, he should not be subjected to extradition to the
the Philippine legal system, under
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution of the
Philippines provides that the generally accepted principles
of international law is part of the law of the land.
This is the “incorporation doctrine”
in public international law which rules that
international law becomes part of the municipal law
automatically without further need of legislation or
the Philippines is a member state of the United Nations.
have submitted on March 22, 2002 an eight-page letter
to His Excellency, the Secretary
General and the members of the Committee of Eight were
furnished copies through their resident Ambassadors in Manila.
I have explained all the violations of the Filipino
Government and the anti Muslim bias of the Philippine Supreme
Court as well as the manufacturing of evidence against me.
They have not allowed my trial in Jolo where the crime was
committed because they want to isolate me in Laguna, which is
in the island of Luzon and a Christian province.
The Supreme Court , contrary to the existing procedures
have not even allowed my lawyers to present
oral arguments or to have conference with the court and
instead for the first time in the history of the Republic of
the Philippines a court has been built inside the military
camp for the trial to be conducted just like a Kangaroo Court
which was not done under Martial Law during the regime of
President Marcos. The summons that we have requested the court to issue to
secure witnesses on our behalf has not been granted up to now
in violation of the existing procedures.
There is media bias against me because of the anti
Muslim sentiments generated by the deprivations and
kidnappings of the Abu Sayyaf because all who opposed the
government or in the MNLF or MILF are being branded as
in conclusion, with your indulgence, permit me to appeal to
all of you brothers and sisters who are representatives of
your governments as Muslims state for “the OIC to act
decisively whether to support the Bangsamoro People or to
completely abandon us but indecision harms us since the
resolutions and agreements become meaningless.
We entered into the peace agreements because of your
assurances that you will not allow us to be betrayed, and if
betrayed you will come to our defense”.
Today, we have witnessed the failure of
leadership of the Committee of Eight to come to our defense
even not on the basis of Islam but on the basis of the “Peace
Agreement”, the resolutions of the OIC and binding legal
and moral commitments under International Law.
In my isolation in the detention rooms where I am
illegally imprisoned, I have to hold on to my hope that the OIC will at least
insist on the GRP to honor its obligations under the Final
Peace Agreement because every Muslim who died or dies or
injured and all the properties destroyed by the Philippine
military since 1996 is on the conscience of every member state
of OIC and ALLAH shall in the Day of Judgment
make us all account for our deeds or failure to
faithfully defend the oppressed Muslims.
we appeal that an immediate meeting of the Ministerial
Committee of Eight in order to arrest the escalation of
violence against the Muslim masses under the guise of an
international war against terror by the United States and our
unjust persecution and detention.
There are certain factions of the GRP who are using the
U.S. policy to sabotage and subvert the whole peace process,
and the military leadership has already repudiating the
agreements entered into by the MILF, thru accusations that
MILF is a terrorist organization with linkages with Osama Bin
Ladin and Al-Qaida.
is clear that the OIC has a solemn obligation under the
resolutions to immediately act in accordance with its mandate
to save the gains of the Peace Agreement and protect the
rights, properties and dignities of the Bangsamoro People who
are under siege for almost four (4) years. We also asked that the OIC
support if possible, and if GRP continues to refuse to honor
its international obligations and commitment under the peace
agreement, to elevate the matter to the United Nations,
initially with the Commission on Human Rights, the Human
Rights Committee and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in order to
properly investigate the situation of the Bangsamoro People
and appeal to the international community to enforce our right
to life, liberty, security, sustainable development and as all
political, civil social, economic and cultural rights.
also pray that the issue of our exercise of our
Right to Self-Determination under United National
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. U.N. Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights of 1966, the Statute of Rome of 1999 and
other humanitarian laws which we are entitled to as human
beings particularly being former states like the Sultanates of
Malaysia and Brunei until our illegal annexation by the United
States under the Treaty of Paris of 1899 which was also
rejected by the First Philippine Republic. Since then, the
Bangsamoro people has been
struggling for freedom , homeland and Islam.
May I respectfully end this
Intervention with an appeal to the 29th ICFM to
recommend the grant of
full membership of the Bangsamoro People through the
MNLF and , hopefully, in unity with the MILF, in the OIC in
order that the efforts for peace in Mindanao by the OIC will
not be stalled but instead lead to an East Timor solution with
the UN participation and establish peace. I am making this
appeal in order that truth will prevail and not only the
manipulations and misinformations of one or two ambassadors of
the member states of the Ministerial Committee of the Eight,
that has cause more harm to the Muslim Ummah, in order that a
balanced and truthful report will be submitted and discussed
in this 29th ICFM at Khartoum, Sudan, June 2002 and
later to the 10th Islamic Summit in 2003, Insha-Allah.
Initially, the Ambassadors in Manila of the Members of
the Ministerial Committee of Eight may convene and hear the
GRP and our representations and later on, on the Ministerial
level, even in Manila, if not possible in Jeddah.
Your Excellencies, my appeal for myself as well as on behalf of
the MNLF and the Bangsamoro People is made out of a desire
to save the gains of peace and fully implement the Final Peace
Agreement which is also the duty of the OIC under its Charter,
International Law, and most important, to Allah Almighty, in
conformity to Islam to struggle for peace and justice and end
oppression and transgression on any people, particularly, if
they are Muslims. We
pray that Your Excellencies will take the appropriate steps
and actions in order that remedies can be attained and the OIC
resolutions for the past three decades may at last find
realization and compliance from the GRP, as well as the MNLF, INSHA
ALLAH Subhanau’ta’ala Bless this conference with
success and may HE give victory to Islam, the Mujahiddin and
Muslims people’s all over the world , so the world will be
at Peace for Islam means Peace and one of the names of ALLAH
is Al-Salam – The Peace .
Allahuma anta Salam wa minka Salam.
Allahumansoril Islam wal Muslimin. Allahumansoril Mujahiddin
fe kulli alam. Allahumansoril Mujahidin fe biladina. Allahuma
ansur Ummatan Muhammad Sallalahi alaihi wassalam.
Wa billahi tawfiq wal hidaya
Assalamu Alaikum Wa