DELIVERED BY ARMM GOVERNOR NUR MISUARI DURING
OF THE PROVINCE OF MAGUINDANO
NOVEMBER 21, 1998
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ĎAlamin.
Wassalatu Wassamu ĎAla Asrafil Anbiya-i Wal
Muhammadin Wa ĎAla ĎAlihi Wa Ajhabi Ajma-in Amma Baíad.
My dear brother, the distinguished Governor Zacaria
Candao, the distinguished Vice-Governor Mus Ampatuan,
Madam Rhonda Candao, the distinguished Ustadz Abu Talib
Yahya, my very close friend, the distinguished Father
Eliseo Mercado,Jr., the distinguished former Governor of
Maguindanao Province Datu Sanggala Baraguir, former
Governor Norodin Matalam. The distinguished members of the
board, Datu Norodin Mamaluba, Datu Ali Sangki, Brother
Mohammad Kanakan, Datu Ronnie Sinsuat, Executive Secretary
Randolph Bong Parcasio, my Chief Policy Adviser Abdul
Rahman Amin, Director Enok, Atty. Macapeges, our very
distinguished guest of honor, Mr. Lucio Tan, President,
Cotabato-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and our other
distinguished guests, Mr. Johnson Co, Secretary of
Cotabato-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, brothers and sisters
and other distinguished guests, allow me on this
auspicious occasion to convey to you our noble greetings
of peace ďAssalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Taala Wa
BarakatuhuĒ, Peace be on you and the blessings of the
Before I proceed, allow me to convey to you also
the greetings of your brothers and sisters in the ARMM and
in the SPCPD on this Silver Jubillee celebration of the
founding day of this Province of Maguindanao.
And also, to reiterate to you our solemn pledge of
unity and solidarity with you, and with our dear brother,
Governor Zacaria Candao.
The Governor, Zacaria Candao, in my estimation, is
now looming large in the consciousness of the Philippine
Government and the Filipino nation because he happened to
have played a vital role in shaping the destiny not only
the Maguindanao but of Mindanao and its Islands as a
Brothers and sisters, to us, your brothers from
Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga, Davao and the rest of
Mindanao, we look at Maguindanao Province not only in
terms of the past, but more so, in terms of the future of
Mindanao and our people.
To us, Maguindanao is the heart of Mindanao.
Maguindanao used to be the cradle of our Islamic
culture and civilization especially during those days
before its fragmentation.
And to us, we look at Maguindanao Province as the
cradle of our future, nevertheless. It is here where
business trade and commerce will proliferate.
As you have seen in the past few months, already we
have started with our banana plantation in Datu Paglas
soon, we are going to start with our sugar central in
Talayan municipality, both of which are in Maguindanao
was telling our brother, the Governor, that I went out of
my way to exert pressure on the Government to ensure the
approval of our brotherís request for permit to plant
bananas in competition with the other banana plantation in
the government decided to approve our request despite the
pressure from some sectors in Mindanao.
Again, in order to be able to transform Maguindanao
into a center of economic agro-industrial activities,
I went to the Czech Republic and signed a
memorandum of agreement for the establishment of a sugar
central in Talayan municipality, again, under the
Maguindanao province. I am not sure how much money has been invested in the banana
plantation, but, it must be very significant one. As a matter of fact, during the last Hajj, I was sitting
together with the Saudi Arabian investor who helped our
brothers in Datu Paglas to put up the industry.
I was sitting at their capital in Jeddah and they
told me, ďBrother Nur, it is our plan to establish the
biggest food processing industry in Mindanao which will be
the biggest in the whole of Asia.Ē
And I think, you must have heard about the
turn-over ceremony of Polloc and the port of Siasi, the
port of Bongao, the port of Sitangkai, and other places
are now completely under our jurisdiction, Alhamdulillah.
I was telling our brother, the distinguished
Governor, that very soon, we are expecting big number of
Japanese parliamentarians from the Japanese Diet.
They want to come and visit the Polloc and they
want to establish industrial park in Polloc and they want
to develop it into the center of business not only here in
Mindanao but also, in the Philippines, Biiznillah.
So, I believe that whether we like it or not,
because Maguindanao, sitting at the heartland of Mindanao,
and considering its strategic geographic, and
geo-political locations, Maguindanao Insha-Allah is
inevitably becoming the cradle of our peopleís future.
And if you look at the perspective of our future as
a nation, as a Filipino nation, perhaps, some of us are
not aware of the prediction of the premonition of some
learned people who maintain that Mindanao is going
eventually to become the leader of the Philippines.
Mindanao is going to lead the whole country into
the next millenium. That
is the current thinking of many people in Luzon and in the
Visayas and of course, here in Mindanao.
I think , you know very well how great is our
know very well the magnetism of Mindanao to people
would like to inform you that the few days ago, I was
the head of a team that visited Jolo island.
I was in the company of several businessmen from
the present security problem, still, our friends have
enough confidence in their safety in our homeland.
So, they came and I accompanied them to the site of
the future container seaport and the future international
airport in the island of Jolo. That container seaport, Insha-Allah, will probably become one
of the biggest container seaports in Southeast Asia. But definitely, it will be much bigger than the existing port
in Manila. Because,
as part of our vision, we are trying to convert Sulu and
Tawi-Tawi to a cluster of Free Trade Zone Areas.
And the idea behind this is: why at present, we
have to procure commodities from as far as Singapore,
Thailand, Menado and other part of Indonesia as well as,
of course, our neighboring Malaysia and Sabah.
In the future, once the container seaport is in
place, and once the Free Trade Zone would be made alive by
us, businesses will start to pour in directly.
Goods coming from as far as Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo,
Thailand, from all places in the world will come directly
to our port in exchange of what Mindanao and its people
can offer the world.
It will be initially in the form of a
counter-trade. Counter-Trade is another term for barter trade. Remember, it
was our people who taught the world about the importance
of barter trade or counter trade.
For instance, in the Middle East, if a certain oil-
rich country would want to buy a missile, or would want to
buy tanks, cannon from an industrialized country like
Russia, like Britain and so on and so forth, they would
say, ď We want this much number of missiles or tanks,Ē
and the other country would say,Ē How do you intend to
pay this equipment?Ē.
Theyíll say, ďOkey, deliver to us within a
period of time, and we will deliver also to you this much
quantity of petroleum.Ē So, no money is involved.
The mighty dollar is not involved at all, nor is
the yen, nor is the pound, nor is the dinar, nor is the
money is involved. It
involves only the exchange of goods and commodities.
We, in Mindanao donít have liquidity.
We donít have money.
But we will have all the resources
that the world would want to have from us.
On the 27th of this month (November) , a
big number of Japanese delegation is coming.
They want to visit different places in Mindanao to
see for themselves what kind of mines and minerals
Mindanao can offer to them because they told me that they
want to transfer their business from Brazil to Mindanao.
After this occasion I will be asking your apology
to let me go. I
will have to proceed to Davao City because leaders of the
indigenous communities are waiting, from the five (5) regions.
And I have requested them to bring samples of mines
or minerals they have underneath their houses or
underneath their feet in the mountains.
Because once these delegations would arrive, then,
I would ask them to accompany them to their areas so that
these people can inspect for themselves and decide to
invest in those areas.
They want several kinds of mines and minerals in
Mindanao. They want to establish ten (10) coal factory.
So, if we have this coal, natural charcoal, then,
we have ten factories for that. And each factory will cost
from 8 to 10 million dollars. So, if it is 10, times ten million dollars, thatís a
significant amount of investment and thatís a big
employment opportunity for our people.
I understand that the sugar central alone will
start with about 3,500 workers.
So our idea of bringing in investment is in order
for our people to have job opportunities so that they can
feed their children and send their children to school.
Apart also from this, dear brothers and sisters,
the President has given me the permission or the permit to
develop Agus III. Agus
III is in the Northern part of Lanao, part of the SPCPD.
And the gaskets come from
Lake Lanao which
is under the ARMM. President Estrada has given me the
imprimatur to invite investor to develop this.
We are going to produce additional 224 megawatts to
be added to the existing oneó724 megawatts produced by
the six Agus.
And there is already the proposal to upgrade the
six (6) Aguses, Agus 1,2, 4,5,6, and 7 so that we can
augment our capacity and produce additional 100 megawatts
out of the existing facilities.
With these, we should be able to put up lights in
our barangays not only in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del
Norte but also in other parts of Mindanao.
And in addition , we should also be able to attract
more investors because with sufficient or adequate energy
in our possession, Iím sure, investors will have every
reason to come and invest in our homeland especially so if
the peace and order situation in Mindanao can finally be
My brothers and sisters, although Iíve already
taken much of your time, but let me add
few words and I wish for your indulgence.
People have been saying that MNLF and MILF are two
different teams. I told them that this is a lie. MILF and
MNLF are two but only one. No one can separate me from my
brother Ustadz Salamat Hashim, no one can separate me from
my brother Hadji Murad, no one can separate me from my
brothers in the MILF. They are my brothers in Islam. That
is final, dear brothers and sisters. Just as no one can
separate the MNLF and the MILF when it comes to the
ultimate objectives. Both of us are fighting for justice,
both of us are fighting for freedom, both of us are
fighting for our right to self-determination, both of us
are fighting for peace. I challenge our detractors to tell
me what are those that divide them from us and us from
them. I donít see anything there. Perhaps, in terms of our approach which are not even very
sure of. I negotiated for peace, for a peaceful
restoration, for a peaceful ending of the war and peaceful
restoration of peace. There is no more war between the
Philippine government and the MNLF.
Is there any fighting between us? No more. And that
was all that the peace agreement wanted to get from us.
The peace agreement if you look at it does not
oblige me to bring in money from heaven because I am not
in control of the treasury of the Philippines.
I am not in control of the economy of the
only obligation, the only obligation of the MNLF is to
restore peace in Mindanao by putting an end to the 30 year
old war between the Philippine government and the MNLF. I
think no one can assert the fact that, there is almost
total and absolute peace between the MNLF and the
Philippine government. And for this reason, even the UNDP
(United Nations Development Program), even the Joint-
Monitoring System headed by Indonesia, representing the
OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) or everyone, is
saying that MNLF has fulfilled its obligation under the
terms of the Peace Agreement of 2nd of
September 1996 completely.
The government, yes, they have done their best but,
somehow, we still have to wait for something beyond peace
per say. In terms of the restoration of peace between us,
yes, the government has done its share.
And this includes also the integration of 7,500
forces from the MNLF.
They have done that, I can testify to it. The only thing that is lacking is the government has not
complied as yet, I would say with its commitment to put-up
that mini-marshal program of reconstruction and
rehabilitation to be funded with tens of billion of pesos.
Not yet. We
are asking until now.
People are asking until now, when is the
mini-marshal plan of reconstruction and rehabilitation
going to be put up by the government?
The answer must be placed before the doorstep of
the National Government.
But Iím very happy dear brothers and sisters that
President Estrada has committed time and again to pursue
the full and correct implementation of the peace agreement
despite the fact that it was not his government that
signed the September 2, 1996 Peace Agreement.
And also, Iím happy to note that President
Estrada is now implementing his vision to turn Mindanao
into a bread basket of the Philippines.
One day, Mindanao is going to assume that role of
being the provider, the bread-winner for the whole
Iím sure Maguindanao Province, Kutawato Province, Sultan
Kudarat Province, South Kutawato Province, former members
of the empire system of Kutawato, are going to become the
center, the main provider of food for the future Filipino
will not prolong my message but I would just like to ask
you to convey my love and my respect to everyone when you
return home and let them rest assured that we are going to
continue with our vision for greater freedom, greater
peace, greater self-determination for Mindanao and Insha-Allah,
now that they are preparing to amend the Constitution, we
will not stop until Mindanao and its people will be able
to assume their rightful place under the heat of the sun,
Wassalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.