Transcript of the Statement of H.E.
Prof. Nur Misuari,
Chairman of the MNLF Central Committee,
at the Plenary Session of the OIC Ministerial Committee of the
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
28 June 2000
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Your Excellency Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, members of the
Ministerial Committee of the Six, the distinguished members of
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)
delegation, my brothers in the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
delegation, distinguished guests, brothers and sisters:
Alaikum Warahmatullahi Taala Wabarakatuhu.
Itís quite fascinating to hear those statistics and
those cosmeticized reportage about the implementation of the
Peace Agreement. I had been saying that when they make these
preposterous claims, they are lying. Right in front of this
honorable body, Excellencies, I would like to inform you that
contrary to their allegation that we have received P38 billion
for our development programs in the wake of the signing of the
Peace Agreement on the 2nd of September 1996, this is
a blatant lie.
I took over as governor of the ARMM some four years ago, this is
all what I received for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of
the ravages of nearly 30 years of catastrophic war that caused
the death of at least 200 thousands of our peoples lives. Not to
say of the close to million of our citizens who have been driven
to the neighboring State of Sabah. They have always been saying
this figure time and again.
the beginning when I was in San Francisco with former President
Ramos, I was taken aback by the report, they said, that P42
billion had been alloted for as a peace budget. I was supposed
to see Mr. Bill Gates because he had a plan to come and see us
in Mindanao. He wanted to put up some kind of a Microsoft Office
there. But the Consul General of the Philippines, a lady, came
to see me, telling me that Pres. Ramos wanted me to leave the
following morning because there was going to be a cabinet
meeting in Iligan City.
I complied with that order so I missed the
meeting with Mr. Gates. And I attended the cabinet
meeting in Iligan City. There, I confronted the former Secretary
of Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Hon. Sec.
Enriquez. I told him point blank in the presence of the whole
membership of the cabinet and President Ramos, because every
time Mindanao problem was in the agenda of the cabinet, Pres.
Ramos was very, very meticulous in inviting me, so I could make
representation in behalf of the SPCPD and the ARMM. I told him
to tell us exactly what they mean by 42 billion. Because in the
Philippine media, they said that they have turned over this 42
billion. So I said you are telling lies. You are destroying us
before the eyes of the people. Tell us, I said, with all
honesty, have you transferred one peso to us, one cent to us? He
could not say anything.
Then after the transition of the government from Pres.
Ramos to Pres. Estrada, there was a seminar conducted in
Zamboanga City sponsored by the United Nations Development
Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the OIC Monitoring System,
the Hon. Alexander Aguirre was present. He was a keynote speaker
there. I asked him this question: Mr. secretary, what happened
to the P42 billion? After that Cabinet Meeting, he was kind
enough to tell the media the following day that indeed no single
cent had been transferred to the ARMM.
was honest enough to tell me this, he said, when I was still the
Executive Secretary before the end of the term of Pres. Ramos,
what I knew of was, there was only P2.9 billion out of P42
billion that was released and spent. Not spent by us but spent
by the national line agencies. We have nothing to do with that.
Then I asked him, what happened to the P39 billion? He said, I
donít know, maybe it is still in the treasury of the
lately, they started coming out with the accusation that ARMM
and SPCPD have received P22 billion. I kept my silence. I wanted
them to crystallize and clarify the whole thing. Then they
continued the assault over the media, over the TV, at the podium
of the Senate and the Congress. And later on I came out, telling
them, I said, produce statistics and the records.
In a media encounter with the Honorable Senator Rodolfo Biazon
organized by Bro. Eddie Villanueva, a well known Protestant
leader, there was a TV program where I was present and former
Speaker Jose De Venecia and Gen. Batenga. I told him, you are
exaggerating, you are trying to destroy my image, you are trying
to destroy all of us. Because I said your figure is wrong, it is
inaccurate. Why donít you go over the budgetary
appropriations, it was you and your colleagues in the Congress
that prepared all of this, why donít you refer to that? I said
I have here with me, year by year to the last cent, how much
money you have appropriated for us and how much money have been
released to us. Itís one thing for them to appropriate and
another thing for them to release. These are two different
later on, he was a little bit panicking because he could not
make a rejoinder to that challenge. I said if you are honest
enough why donít you just call the Secretary of the DBM, ask
them exactly what happened. We can not deny, they have all the
on he came out with a statement that it was not P22 billion,
instead it was P18 billion. But again, I was not happy with that
because it is fallacious. It is a deliberate lie. So I told
them, this is not correct.
Please go back to your records. They said itís P19
billion instead. I said, go back to your records.
I was in Dubai before I came here via Islamabad, I saw him over
the TV, (TFC) thatís a TV program from Manila but it is being
broadcast there in the Middle East. This time, he said itís
P16 billion. We will ask governor Misuari to account for the P16
billion. My friend, Mr. Aguirre is saying itís P38 billion. He
is lying, Iím sorry, in the face of truth.
I tell you what happened. Since I took over, remember,
day 1 in October 1996, there was no money alloted for us
anymore. The year before, maybe
in anticipation of the day when Misuari and the MNLF would take
over, they stopped what they called the seed money to the tune
of P615 million annually. So we were deprived of that. Until
now, no more seed money.
by October 1996, I started my journey into this, my
administration. 1997 was a peak year for reconstruction and
rehabilitation, we thought that Congress was going to give money
for reconstruction and rehabilitation. You know what happened,
they gave only P40 million for rehabilitation and
You cannot dwell on the salaries. Nobody can tinker with the
salaries. And let us not dwell with this MOOE, that has nothing
to do. We are talking about reconstruction and rehabilitation of
the ravages of the war
imposed by the Philippine government for nearly 30 years.
We are talking about that. And according to the Philippine law,
for every 1 kilometer of two-lane road, you need P10 million.
That means, to rehabilitate 14 provinces and 10 cities, you have
later I was told by the Department of Public Works people that
this was not even intended for road projects. So 1997 was
wasted. Then came 1998, that was still the time of Pres. Ramos.
The Ramos government appropriated P1 billion. One Sunday morning
I went to see him in Malacanang, he was doing his work. I said,
Mr. President we wasted one year not to say the last months of
1996, canít you increase this? He called up his secretary of
DBM and asked him to increase. And he advised me to go to some
people in Congress and to Senate and like that. I was like a
beggar. They added half billion.
So I thought there was going to be a P1.5 billion for
rehabilitation. Before I knew it the half billion was taken away. Until now we donít know what happened. Out of
the 1 billion left, they took away 25% (mandatory reserve fund
of the government), so 750 million left behind. And this they
appropriated, they were the ones, Iíve nothing to do with
asked for 14 billion budget, they gave us only a little more
than 4 billion. So they alloted for this road and for this and
for that. Then they were trying to justify the delay, 1998 is
all gone, thatís a 1998 budget. At one time after the release
of funds for mobilization from the month of October 1998 until
July 1999, a space of nine months, there was no release at all
for nine months.
took a long distance communication between me and Pres. Estrada,
who was kind enough to call me in Ouagadougou, saying that he
was going to sign the appointment of one of our brothers,
(perhaps he is around) Mr. Adiong, as director of one office. So
I thanked him profusely for that
but I reminded him, Mr. President, since October we have
not received money for our road (the circumferential road in
Jolo), thatís nine months already.
I reminded him that when were, I said, together in Zamboanga
City, you promised in the presence of your secretary of DBM and
also DPWH Sec. Virgilio Vigilar to ask them to release the
funds. He said,
okey, I will look into that. When I arrived in Manila two days
earlier they released P32 million.
was good enough for us because weíre able to pay our debts but
nothing for construction for the continuation of projects. Alhamdulillah,
after so much pressure, Pres. Estrada released another funds to
allow us to continue with our works. We are thankful despite all
these delays, of these difficulties, to Pres. Estrada for this.
But you see the problem does not pertain to one province only,
because that money is concentrated in Jolo.
have small money for roads in Tawi-Tawi, small money for roads
in Lanao del Sur and small money in Maguindanao province. We
have constructed these roads, if we have not yet completed, we
are in the process of completing.
OIC can come and visit these roads. And I am in fact extending
my invitation to Your Excellency to send your people to join us
to investigate what have we done to our people, so that you can
see who is telling the truth and who is telling the lies.
I have been saying that the Philippine government is committed
to put up this mini-marshall plan of reconstruction and
rehabilitation. They promised us many times, there will be 25
billion and so on and so forth but no money came. We were
counting on that, because we thought if we could have
reconstruction and rehabilitation of the ravages of war then we
can push through with whatever is in the agenda of the
MNLF-OIC-GRP particularly with respect to elections, with
respect to referendum.
Because we can not agree to any election or referendum
that will lead to our destruction.
H.E. Abu Hartono, the former ambassador of Indonesia to
Philippines, was advocating in our Tripartite Meeting in the
presence of His Excellency Sec. Aguirre here. He said no
referendum, no election unless
and until the socio-economic component is already in place.
Because you have to go to the people, ask for their votes, would
you or would you not like to join in the autonomy. Who will vote
for us? Even my children will not vote for us if we can not show
that we have done something to rehabilitate our homeland and to
enhance the quality of life of our people there.
is, I call it, suicidal. I would rather go to war than to face
the people. Because I know the people will reject me with cold
hands and that will destroy all what we have built in these past
so many years.
Excellencies, I have been saying and even in the last
presentation that I made in Jeddah during the meeting of the OIC
Senior Officials, I was telling them, you see that our people
are now impatient. After the passage of the resolution in this
historic City of Kuala Lumpur way back in July 1974 on the
occasion of the 5th ICFM, we have been in this
illusory and fruitless pursuit of that autonomy.
the process, already I have signed 3 peace agreements which is
quite abnormal. I signed the peace agreement in December 1976 in
Tripoli, Libya. It was not implemented because according Imelda
Marcos in an interview with the Womanís magazine in Manila,
ďWhy should we implement the peace agreement when we have
already achieved everything that we wanted from it.Ē
a matter of fact the Manila government wrote the OIC, telling
them they could not implement the Tripoli Agreement. And because
of that, the OIC accepted us as an Observer. Because there was
no more hope for that. I can not disclose the details of this
since it is a delicate matter. But suffice it to say there is that communication that led to the acceptance of the
MNLF as Observer.
since the signing of the peace agreement, itís already 24
years long. Thatís quite long almost quarter of a century. And
we are still in this game, seek and evasion. We donít know the
direction. Everything is dark. All what they do is to make
pledges, empty and useless.
wonder if His Excellency, when he came here, if he can show to
us that he can commit his government. Can you, Excellency, show
to us that you are authorized by your government to make pledges
here, to make commitment here that is binding on the Office of
the President and binding on both Houses of Congress?
to one article recently, Congress refuses to bind itself to the commitment of the Office of the President. And in an
interview conducted by the son of President Estrada, the Hon.
Mayor Jinggoy Estrada along with Congresswoman Antonino in
Manila. He told me this pointblank, governor donít
misunderstand us but donít forget, he said, that we have a
democratic system in the country. And in accordance with this
democratic system the Office of the President can not bind us.
I negotiated with them across the table either in Libya or in
Jeddah - - that led to the signing of the long forgotten Jeddah
Accord of 1987 - - in Jakarta, in Mindanao, everywhere, they
always displayed their nameplate in front of us ďGRP Peace
Panel.Ē Now here comes very influential and
powerful people from the Congress saying that the Office
of the President can not bind us. And she happens to be the
president of the 49 congressmen and congresswomen of Mindanao.
I went to Ouagadougou, you verify from Sec. Zamora, the Exec.
Secretary, he said, governor, last night the president called
his leaders to a meeting and he advised me to convey to you,
before you leave for Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso, he wants to give
you the assurance that he will seek a three-year extension.
not Misuari who is asking, itís not the MNLF who is asking for
this extension of one year or three year extension or what. I am
asking for the implementation of the fundamental provision of
the Peace Agreement in Tripoli Agreement in Tripoli, Libya, the
establishment before anything else of the provisional
government. Before the provisional government you can not hold
any referendum at all. That is our agreement.
they have been trying to tinker
this peace agreement to the extent of smuggling of items
which were not discussed by us. Mr. Secretary, you were always
in front of me when we discussed in Jakarta, tell me honestly,
have we discussed this Totality Clause? Have we? Even H.E. Ali
Alatas (former Foreign Minister of Indonesia) told us in
Burkina-Faso in the presence of many of our leaders, Brother Nur,
we have not discussed this, how come it is already inside this
GRP peace panel cheated us in Tripoli in 1976 by including this
Constitutional Process. That constitutional process was not
agreed upon by us. They proposed referendum in the peace talks
in Tripoli in 1976, I boycotted. H.E. Ali Triki, who was the
Foreign Minister of Libya then, requested me, Brother Nur,
please sit down. So I sat down. He said I want to ask one
question to Mr. Barbero (my
counterpart), okey we will agree to this referendum and we will
ask Brother Nur to help this referendum. But the question should
be like this, we will raise the question to the people of
Mindanao: Do you want or do you not want independence? Mr.
Barbero said no. That was the end of the discussion about this
can you have a referendum over territory, Excellencies. Look at
the situation of the revolutionary movement in Africa, in Asia,
where in the world could you
find a territory being a subject of referendum? Nowhere.
In Eritrea, was there any referendum about the territorial
delineation? East Timor, was there any referendum?
do you insist on referendum when you annexed our homeland? When
you robbed us of our sovereignty and independence in 1946, did
you ask our people to have referendum at all? Nothing, you just
imposed your will. You colluded with the United States of
America. We fought America for more than 40 years of war. Among
the biggest massacres in our homeland occurred during the time
when we fought against America. Bud Daho is a monument to this.
Poet Rudyard Kipling even wrote a parody of
families destroyed completely by the American forces in
Bud Daho in Jolo. And that is the hide out of the Abu Sayyaf
these massacres have been repeated and repeated, again and
again. I have not yet shown to the world what your armed forces
have done in the course of our war. In one of these days, I will
bring the media to certain places where you find thousands of
skulls in one single graveyard. You massacred the people and
even those who were alive were just thrown into the pit. You
have been trying to destroy us and now you are trying to say as
if we are guilty here.
rectify yourself, we have here the figure. In this three years
of my administration in the ARMM and the SPCPD, we have only
received a little more than P11 billion. And your government has
released only P10.91 billion. Out of this money, so much
percent, how many percent were for salaries. You donít talk
about the salaries. These people more than 15,000 teachers were
paid by your government. Just to show that you are giving us big
money, you placed this in our hands. To give the appearance as
if your government is giving us that much money which is not
true. This is the salaries of school teachers who have been
working in the government since 1946 and so on so forth.
then you add also the salaries of these people who are working
in the ARMM in the four provinces. Donít talk about this. Donít
include this there because you are going to deceive the people. What we are
talking about is how much money have you extended to us for
development and we have here, accumulation of funding you have
sent is only, please correct me, 1.1 billion 367million 734
thousand equivalent in dollars 31million 956,401
to reconstruct only four provinces. What about the other
provinces. And this is only for road. What about the stomach,
what about the housing?
the beginning, Pres. Ramos gave me instruction to construct
4,000 low-cost houses in Jolo. Because they have destroyed
hundreds of thousands of our houses. They have burned with
incendiary bombs. He said, Governor, Brother Nur, build in Jolo
4,000 housing projects over the 101 hectares of land which is
owned by the grandmother of one of our brothers but confiscated
by the Supreme Court. This is what they call the Bo Tan estate,
every body knows. We prepared everything on computer and
everything. Before I knew it was given to the military.
when Ramos visited the island, he invited us to visit the
housing project. You know how many houses were constructed, only
seven. Then later on the OIC sent an
investigating team through Malaysia, I understand, they
completed only 14. Now it is only 11 or 12 because the other 3
have already been destroyed. They used bad materials. Only 13
out of 4,000 were erected.
the hunky-punky theyíre doing to us. And now they have the
merit to claim that they are doing everything for us to make our
people happy. If we are happy because of this, there would have
been no Abu Sayyaf group. Raddulan is one of my most
distinguished commanders. Mujib is the son of my
most respectable commander. You ask your brother there, he
knows. Susukan, the late commander, the father of Mujib was one
of the bravest commanders of the MNLF. They know this man, the
son, was desperate. He said, uncle, I can not accept in
conscience, you know Iím very young but I lost my father, I
lost scores of my relatives.
to Raddulan, one time, I visited his camp, they put me in
between him and his father, he was to my left because he lost
his right arm, the father to my right because he lost his left
arm. And at that time it was already six of his uncles and
nearly hundred members of the clan had died.
recently, he told me, Brother Nur donít begrudge me I cannot
follow this because we have been cheated so many times. We know
that they are going to cheat you again. They are not going to
give you the autonomy. So let me continue with this, he said.
Now Excellencies, since we donít have time, I still have
many thing to do here. We
have the legal expert to tell you about the legal implications
of all this. And we have distinguished congressmen who are with
us here to tell you the truth. I hope you will give them a few
But let me sum up our request here: A quarter of a
century, Excellencies, is too long already. It is of a highest
kind of absurdity. Until now we do not know what direction we
are taking. Canít you put an end to that? Isnít it possible
to establish or put up some kind of Technical Commission as
happened in 1975. His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal
(Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), with the
approval and support of other members, decided to put up a group
in collaboration with the Office of the OIC Secretary General to
prepare a master plan to become the basis of our talks in Libya
and quickly we were able to solve, to arrive at
Ė just after a few days.
I believe that the time has come for the OIC, the Ministerial
Committee of the Six and the Office of the Secretary General to
put up that Technical Commission, to prepare a master plan which
will contain, among many other things, a time table when
Philippine government should oblige itself to deliver to us that
the definition of the Resolution of the OIC, both in the level
of the Foreign Ministers and the Summit of the Muslim Heads of
State and Government, they always describe this autonomy as
genuine, meaningful, just, comprehensive and permanent. Less
than that, will not be acceptable to us. And we must go through
this Tripoli Agreement first.
have proven 4 years of transitional
mechanism has been useless. Even H.E. Secretary General Dr.
Azzedine Laraki in his speech at the plenary in Ouagadougou was
qouted as saying, addressing the Philippine government, ďPlease
donít dilly-dally, Please donít prevaricate, please donít
procrastinate.Ē If you donít understand what is dilly-dally,
perhaps you can understand procrastinating and so on and so
we should have the time table. And the time table should not
exceed November. We have here nearly hundreds of the
key leaders of our people and the MNLF. They advised me
to urge the Ministerial Committee of the Six to consider this,
that there must be a time table. Before the Summit in Doha,
Qatar, we must have that. The Philippine government should agree
to a time table when to deliver genuine autonomy in accordance
to the letter and spirit of the Tripoli Agreement.
the Sept. 2, 1996 agreement has been destroyed by them, by all
these impurities that they have
smuggled into it. And since the law which is now in the
agenda of the Congress contains impurities including
confiscatory provision to confiscate the property of the ARMM
and so on and so forth. Therefore, we must go back to the
Tripoli Agreement. The Tripoli Agreement is the mother of all
our agreements. The Manila agreement is just an implementing
agreement. So this is the most important thing for us.
And secondly, we would like to ask Your Excellency to
listen to our legal expert here just a few minutes and the other
member of the Congress here to give a few words. And apart from
this, I would like to request after
this a special meeting with you just a few minutes, maybe
5 minutes after this plenary meeting with this group.
I would now like to conclude by thanking you for your
indulgence, Mr. Chairman, and the members of the Ministerial
Committee of the Six. I hope you will give us a chance to convey
one very important information to you after this recess.