Wednesday, January 5, 2011
About the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
FREE COPYRIGHT NOTE: The author grants unconditional authority to anyone, including Wikipedia, to copy and paste phrase or sentences and MNLF logo/flag image found in this article (John Remollo Petalcorin, January 2011).
Understanding the MNLF
The MNLF cause of struggle, ideology, vision, doctrine, history, freedom fighters, rules of engagement, treaties, leadership, separatists, foreign policy, affiliation, symbols of the flag, projects, and membership (Lecture Notes #1 by John Remollo Petalcorin, MNLF Director for Advocacy.)
THE MNLF CAUSE OF STRUGGLE
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a nationalist political organization that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969. The MNLF struggles against the Philippine Government to achieve Independence of the Bangsamoro Land. As defined by the MNLF, the territory of Bangsamoro Land covers Sulu, Mindanao and Palawan, or otherwise known as MINSUPALA. Bangsamoro Land is also known as Southern Philippines and it has 25 Provinces, namely: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Basilan, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Cotabato, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Palawan, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay.
MNLF is internationally recognized since 1977 as an observer member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the 2nd largest sub-cluster in the United Nations with 56-member States. The Philippine Government also requested for similar recognition as observer member but was denied by the OIC.
In January 2011, an MNLF commander estimated MNLF strength as around 700-800 thousand (members with firearms and non-combat members combined).
THE MNLF IDEOLOGY
The MNLF ideology is called EGALITARIANISM which affirms, promotes, or characterizes a principled belief in the EQUALITY of ALL PEOPLE in the political, economic, social, and civil rights aspects regardless of differences in religion, race, ethnic origin, age, and gender.
MNLF also applies Egalitarianism to environment wherein nature must be taken care properly so that people of the future generation are given equal opportunity to enjoy the environment of today. MNLF believes in Sustainable Development as a guideline of progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Contrary to the notion that MNLF is an Islamic Organzation, the fact is, the MNLF follows an egalitarian ideology and it is composed of Moslems, Christians, Tribal Lumads, and any other religions who respect each other under the harmony of religious tolerance.
THE MNLF VISION
The Egalitarianism Ideology of the MNLF envisions an OPEN SOCIETY for the Bangsamoro Land, which the "good" kind of democracy. Open Society has a civil society that is tolerant to political and religious differences, the government is accountable to the citizens, and the media is independent. Open Society has a free market scenario, less government bureaucracy. In an Open Society, there is a quick and fair processing and replacement of government employees, officers, and politicians who are complained with corruption.
In an open society, services traditionally monopolized by government, oligarchs, and plutocrats will be newly participated in by a wide range of private sector business entities. Under a free market scenario of open society, if service is slow, corrupt, unfair, or inefficient in one shop, then people are given opportuniies and choice to go to the next shop to get satisfaction of a better service.
THE ONE MNLF DOCTRINE
"There is only ONE MNLF, under the leadership of ONE MUR MISUARI, under ONE IDEOLOGY OF EGALITARIANISM. These are the three elements that make a Genuine MNLF."
* ONE MNLF
* ONE LEADERSHIP BY NUR MISUARI
* ONE IDEOLOGY OF EGALITARIANISM
This Doctrine unites the MNLF members. This is like an unspoken oath, and an unwritten doctrine. A person on his own free will becomes one with the MNLF by just understanding and declaring himself a believer of the ONE MNLF Doctrine. A person's affiliation with the MNLF automatically terminates from the perception of any other Genuine MNLF at any point when the member stops believing in the ONE MNLF Doctrine.
HISTORY OF ARMED CONFLICT
The MNLF believes that the Bangsamoro Land is already a sovereign nation hundreds of years before it was illegally annexed as part of the Philippines in the 1935 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.
In the 1950's the Philippine government encouraged the Philippine population to move to Mindanao in the so called Homestead Program. There was no land titling system by the natives of Mindanao at that time. The Philippine government took advantage of the absense of land titles to give away lots in Mindanao to poor farmers and other migrants from other parts of the country.
Mindanao saw itself as the adopted home of a rapidly burgeoning population of Christian settlers who rapidly encroached on the living areas of the original Muslim and tribal residents, who now began to feel that they were also being robbed economic opportunities in their own territory.
With that systematic encroachment, the natives, especially the original Muslim and Lumad segments, developed a deep-seated distrust of the officials of the Philippine government, a government under which they felt they were being treated as second-class citizens. As a result, sporadic fightings in various parts of Mindanao ensued between the natives and the troops of the Philippine government. Due to this, Mindanao become a battle ground of intense armed conflict, even the Americans sent forces to battle frontiers in Mindanao.
THE BIRTH OF MNLF
In 18 March 1968, about 200 Filipino Muslim military trainees were murdered in Corregidor by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under Ferdinand Marcos. It was popularly called Jabidah Massacre. The impact was an outrage among the Muslims in Mindanao especially those who are from Sulu where these military trainees were recruited. Not taking this lightly, Nur Misuari, a University of the Philippines professor rose to become the leader of this outraged group and he founded the Moro National Liberation Front in 1969. After a few months of setting up the organizational, in 1970, the MNLF officially proclaimed itself a political party. After recruiting sufficient number of armed freedom fighters, the MNLF launched a protracted armed struggle.
At that time of the conception of the MNLF, it recruited members with an original objective of regaining the independence of the Bangsamoro People and separate its sovereignty from the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRPH).
The seven years (1969-1976) of intense armed conflict between MNLF and the GRPH resulted to death of over 200,000 (government soldiers and MNLF freedom fighters combined), and displacement of hundreds of thousands of families all across the Bangsamoro Land.
One important event in the MNLF history is the Tacbil Mosque Massacre. In 24 September 1974, a total of 1776 innocent and unarmed Moslem churchgoers were massacred by the AFP in Malisbong, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao. While the muslims were praying, they were sprayed with bullets by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. At present, a marker in the massacre site still exists as of today, which read:
Bangsamoro Republik Moro National Liberation Front Hadji Hamsa Tacbil Mosque Malisbong, Palimbang Province of Sultan Kudarat... This old mosque was constructed and owned by late Hadji Hamsa Tacbil, a former strong MNLF finance supporter. Tacbil mosque a placed where more than one thousand muslims civilians was massacred by philippine army 15th 1B infantry battalion on 24 september 1974 under the regime of then President Fedinand E. Marcos... Compliment by Comdr Tuan Bazar G Tacbil (MNLF) and Tacbil Family.
MNLF IS A COMMUNITY-LEVEL ARMED PEOPLE POWER
The Genuine MNLF freedom fighters are self-reliant members of the community, they are not salaried private armies. They are businessmen, farmers, traders, age 15 and above. Each member uses his own money to buy his own weapon of choice. The MNLF freedom fighters don't collect revolutionary taxes from the people.
The MNLF freedom fighters are independent community-level organizations that don't get marching orders from the top. In all cases, the top leaders of the MNLF (such as Nur Misuari and all officers of support groups) gets the information of the involvement of the MNLF in the gunbattles only AFTER the onset of the gunbattle.
It is the MNLF members at the community-level that resolve local issues of tyranny and do their own way of People Power. The MNLF uses four escalating stages to resolve a conflict: (1) MNLF warns the offender, (2) MNLF dialogues with the offender, (3) MNLF seeks intervention from government using top-level channels, and (4) MNLF uses a decisive force to resolve the conflict.
When all peaceful means of resolving conflict is exhausted, the MNLF at the community level decides to fight against the tyranny, they themselves become active MNLF freedom fighters in just a blink of an eye. Frustration leads to the Genuine MNLF becoming an Armed People Power.
If the size of the MNLF freedom fighters in the affected community is not sufficient to ensure a sure win in the battle, the MNLF members from nearest neighboring communities may assist.
Thirteen provinces are covered by the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, namely: Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, and Palawan. There are at least 20,000 armed Genuine MNLF Freedom Fighters in each of these provinces.
The MNLF engages in battle to fight against any of the following main forms of tyranny:
* Property Rights Abuses such as land grabbing, and sea piracy
* Environmental Abuses such as mining, logging, sea poisoning
* Human Rights Abuses such as massacre, torture, rape, political detention
* Community Hazzards such as dangerous drugs trade
Once the MNLF decides to get into gunbattle, the only ways to stop it are: (1) the enemy is defeated, (2) the MNLF freedom fighters are annihilated, (3) the top-level MNLF negotiators intervene to appease the MNLF freedom fighters in the battlefield with an offer of an existing/material comprehensive "lumpsum remedy".
DEFINING THE MNLF FREEDOM FIGHTER
MNLF Freedom Fighters get wounded, disabled, and some died because they sacrificed their bodies for the FREEDOM of Bangsamoro Land and the Bangsamoro People.
MNLF Freedom Fighters are not like that of the mercenary ARMY/SOLDIER of the Imperial Manila. A Mercenary Army is one who goes to battle because he is promised with wages, benefits, and insurance. A Mercenary Army is prone to corruption, human rights abuses, and it is weak because it lacks patriotism. A Mercenary Army stops being an army when you stop his wages. A Mercenary Army tolerates the wrong-doing of his superiors and fellow-army because he is afraid to lose his job.
An MNLF Freedom-Fighter is a Voluntary Army and a Patriot in its purest sense. He goes to battle to fight for his Motherland. The MNLF does not promise any wages or benefits to its Freedom Fighters. The Freedom that the MNLF fights for is PRICELESS. We are fighting for FREEDOM to be treated as equals with other people. This is the reason why our ideology is called EGALITARIANISM.
We, the Bangsamoro People and the MNLF are EGALITARIANS, we treat all kinds of people with RESPECT. But the Philippines is a nation with a culture that does not treat the Bangsamoro People with EQUAL RESPECT, as a result we are put into a BONDAGE. When we are in BONDAGE, we cannot achieve our economic aspirations, we cannot participate in democracy, we cannot practice our culture, we cannot be identified as beautiful persons, we cannot live life happily. We are fighting for freedom from that bondage.
The flag carriers of MNLF Freedom Fighters stitch the MNLF Flag at the back of their uniform. So far, so good, no MNLF Flag has ever fell to the ground. MNLF won all battles, whether face-to-face or guerilla warfare because of the clean heart of each Bangsamoro Freedom Fighter.
An army of volunteer freedom fighters motivated by economic frustration and religious discrimination will always win over an army motivated by wages and benefits.
MNLF COMBAT RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Each MNLF Freedom Fighter who is involved in combat situation, from top ranks down to the individual levels, does not target unarmed civilians, and does not tolerate human rights violations and cowardice in combat such as ambush, assassinations, torture, maimings, summary executions, taking of prisoners, kidnapping, hostaging, maltreatment of wounded enemies left behind, and terrorism of civilians. The MNLF also does not use bombs, arson, and does not trespass into houses, churches, mosques, and cars as these are considered as sanctuary of people caught in armed conflict. This rules of engagement makes the MNLF different from the AFP, NPA, Private Armies, Abu Sayyaf, and other criminals, mercenaries and bandits.
Large troop movements and assault operation of the armed MNLFs are led by a Ground Commander, always coordinated with the government, and usually in line with the responsibility of the members in a specific MNLF community to conduct a citizen's arrest against heavily-armed lawless groups or in hot pursuit to rescue kidnap victims and hostages.
THE GRPH-MNLF TRIPOLI AGREEMENT OF 1976
After years of intense fightings between the MNLF and the GRPH, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) finally interceded. in 1976, Libyan politician Moammar Gadhafi brokered the negotiation between the GRPH and MNLF Leader Nur Misuari. The outcome of the negotiation was the signing of the MNLF-GRPH Tripoli Agreement of 1976.
The 1976 Tripoli Agreement essentially made MNLF and GRPH meet in a compromise agreement to establish an Autonomous Region in the Bangsamoro Land. The Tripoli Agreement of 1976 is the basis of the mandate of the MNLF, with Nur Misuari as the only one recognized leader, to represent the Bangsamoro People in its struggle for freedom.
Thirteen provinces are covered by the Tripoli Agreement, namely: Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, and Palawan.
Despite the signing of the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, the fightings still continued on the ground between the AFP of President Marcos and the MNLF because of the absense of a clear guideline on the implementing rules and regulation of the Tripoli Agreement.
1989 ARMM ORGANIC ACT. In 1986, President Marcos was ousted by a popular revolt called People Power 1. In 1987, the new President of the Republic of the Philippines Corazon Aquino visited Nur Misuari in his home province in Sulu to talk peace with him. The humility and courage of Cory Aquino softened the warrior heart of Nur Misuari. In 1987, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) became part of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. On 1 August 1989, the ARMM was created through Republic Act No. 6734 otherwise known as the ARMM Organic Act in pursuance with a constitutional mandate to provide for an ARMM. This law was further amended in 2001 and popularly became known as R.A. 9054 ARMM Organic Act - 2001 Amendment.
1994 JOINT CEASEFIRE GROUND RULES. This agreement covers MNLF identified areas (MNLF zones) including Basilan Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, and Palawan. In this agreement, the GRPH is mandated to authorize the MNLF to carry their firearms within MNLF identified areas; and GRPH may carry their firearms only in the performance of their official functions. The GRPH shall also authorize the MNLF VIPs to carry sidearms and shall provide additional security when moving in urban areas outside the MNLF zones.
MNLF-GRPH FINAL PEACE AGREEMENT OF 1996
President Fidel Ramos succeeded President Corazon Aquino in 1992 and he relentlessly pursued peace by running after Nur Misuari using persistent diplomatic emissaries. In 1993, the Philippine Government signed a Joint Ceasefire Agreement with the MNLF. In 1994, the Joint Ceasefire Ground Rules between the MNLF and GRPH was finalized. This 1994 MNLF-GRPH Joint Ceasefire Ground Rules, which is still in effect as of today, grants the MNLF to possess and carry firearms in the 13 Provinces stipulated in the Tripoli Agreement and the MNLF Officials may carry sidearms when moving in areas outside the 13 Provinces.
In 1996, the Philippine Government and the MNLF signed a Final Peace Agreement, which is now the skeleton of talks and negotiation to put implementing rules and guidelines into it.
INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATION OF THE MNLF
MNLF is recognized since 1977 as an observer member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the 2nd largest sub-cluster in the United Nations with 56-member States. The Philippine Government also requested for similar recognition as observer member but was denied by the OIC.
In 30 January 2012, the MNLF became officially admitted as observer member of the Parliamentary Union of the member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC) during its 7th Session in Palembang Indonesia.
SEPARATISTS OF MNLF
* MILF. The first separatist of the MNLF was the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 1976 which was led by Hashim Salamat. The MILF separated from MNLF for two reasons: (1) MILF believes that the Bangsamoro Land should be an Independent Islamic State, and (2) the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters should not negotiate with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. The first and original name of MILF was "New MNLF". The MNLF believes that the MILF was formed as a result of the infiltration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and strategic move to "divide-and-conquer" the MNLF. The MNLF believes that the MILF is being used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in False Flag Operations. Hashim Salamat died in 2003 at age 61.
* ABU SAYYAF. The second separatist of the MNLF is the Abu Sayyaf Group led by Khadaffy Janjalani in 1991. This group was originally part of the so-called National Islamic Command Council (NICC) which was an Anti-Misuari group led by Melham Alam, the MNLF's sacked Chief of Staff in 1990. It was NICC who burned the Town of Ipil in April of 1995. Abu Sayyaf is intolerant to other religions and called for continuous Jihad to pursue a pure Islamic State and believes in the "killing of enemies" and depriving them of their wealth". The MNLF believes that the Abu Sayyaf was formed as a result of the black operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to smear dirt on the face of Islam and scare the people against the Muslims. The MNLF believes that the Abu Sayyaf enjoyed the support of the AFP. Khadaffy Janjalani died in 18 December 1998.
* FAKE MNLF. The third separatist of the MNLF was in 2001 during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. It was not actually a separatist, but more of a hostile take over of the insiders of the GRPH. They called themselves MNLF Central Committee or MNLF Executive Council (aka 15EC), a group of 15 leaders of the MNLF that have become anti-Misuari (same reason as Abu Sayyaf and MILF). The names that comes along as prime movers of this faction are Muslimin Sema, Hatimil Hassan, Farouk Hussein, Ferdausi Abbas, Datu Ulum, Jimmy Labawan, etc. This 15EC were used to be MNLF but they switched side to the Arroyo Administration and declared the MNLF Leader Nur Misuari as incompetent, yet elevated him to the status of Chairman Emiritus of the MNLF. It was more of something like a "hostile takeover" in corporate terminology. These 15-men Council succeeded in their ploy and the Dictator Arroyo Administration made Nur Misuari a political prisoner from 2001 until they sent him on exile to Jeddah in 2008. While Nur Misuari was politically persecuted, the Genuine MNLF who are loyal to him was on "silent mode" from 2001 until his comeback in 2010. The fake MNLF does not have a new name yet.
NOTE: The MNLF is politically tolerant. It can co-exist peacefully in the same space and time with people who have different political beliefs.
HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
There is a United Nations Security Council report in 23 April 2010 that says that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), New People's Army (NPA), and the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) are among the groups around the world that have subjected minors to the most brutal violence, such as killings, maimings, rapes and other sexual assaults. (http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=a%2F64%2F742).
MNLF is not mentioned as a human rights violator in the 51-page UN report. Despite its huge number of armed freedom fighters, the MNLF under Nur Misuari has consistently maintained the discipline and integrity of its men and commitment to the Peace Agreement. The MNLF is also pioneering in Armed Forces Humanitarianization Program and Firearms Ownership Registration and Control Program.
In a separate report, the State Department of the United States of America also had a 2009 Human Rights Report and it did not mention the MNLF as a violator (see http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eap/136006.htm )
The three factors make the MNLF human-rights-abuse-free are (1) its rules of engagement, (2) self-reliance, and (3) hazing-free initiation.
* This zero human rights violation by the MNLF is attributed primarily to its rules of engagement in combat. Each MNLF Freedom Fighter who is involved in combat situation, from top ranks down to the individual levels, are indoctrinated that MNLF does not target unarmed civilians, and does not tolerate human rights violations and cowardice in combat such as ambush, assassinations, torture, maimings, summary executions, taking of prisoners, kidnapping, hostaging, maltreatment of wounded enemies left behind, and terrorism of civilians. The MNLF also does not use bombs, arson, and does not trespass into houses, churches, mosques, and cars as these are considered as sanctuary of people caught in armed conflict. This rules of engagement makes the MNLF different from the AFP, NPA, ASG, Private Armies, and other criminals, mercenaries and bandits.
* Another factor that contributes to the zero human rights violation of the MNLF is the economic characteristics of the MNLF freedom fighters. MNLFs are self-reliant members of the community who works for a decent living as farmers, traders, teachers, craftsmen, drivers, etc. MNLFs does not collect revolutionary taxes from the people and they are not paid any salaries and benefits as freedom fighters, therefore they are patriots in the purest sense.
* The other considerable factor is the hazing-free initiation of new members into the organization. Joining and leaving the MNLF is very easy. The MNLF does not use and does not tolerate hazing, torture, maltreatment, and any type of abuse in the training and indoctrination process of new members.
MNLF FOREIGN POLICY ON GLOBAL WARS
The MNLF does not take sides in the armed conflict and insurgencies outside the Bangsamoro Land. The MNLF advocates the use of negotiation and peaceful means to settle conflicts. The MNLF is willing to provide Hijra (sanctuary) to anyone who is a victim of atrocities of war, political persecution, and forced migration.
The MNLF strictly does NOT ally with, NOR participate in the affairs of, NOR import the tactical services of other rebel groups that struggle for independence or freedom OUTSIDE the Bangsamoro Land. MNLF does not support any side in the global wars. First, be informed that MNLF is composed of many religions. The MNLF foreign policy is it does not make a position on which side to take in any kind of global wars.
MNLF hates wars, we are done with it. The MNLF hates all kinds of wars, ranging from religious wars, to genocide, territirial wars, economic invasion, environmental exploitation, and land grabbing.
However, the MNLF is willing to offer the Bangsamoro Land as temporary sanctuary to the victims of the atrocities of war, whatever their religion or ethnic origin is. Life is hard in Bangsamoro Land at the moment, most of our households here in Bangsamoro Land are eating just enough to survive, but at least there is peace and we can plant and grow food and go fishing in peace; and we are willing to share the little things that we have.
MEANING OF SYMBOLS IN THE MNLF FLAG
The three symbols represent the harmony of the Bangsamoro heart, mind, and body.
The STAR symbolizes the Bangsamoro virtues of TRUTHFULNESS, FAIRNESS, EQUALITY, and TOLERANCE to individual differences which guides the judgement of the leaders and people of the Bangsamoro Land. The color of the star is yellow gold.
The CRESCENT MOON symbolizes the Bangsamoro WISDOM as we endlessly journey through Political Changes, Technological Progress, and Economic Development. The color of the Crescent Moon is yellow gold.
The KRIS SWORD symbolizes Bangsamoro STRENGTH which defends our People's Freedom, Native Culture, Peacefulness, and Territorial Integrity. The Color of the Kris Sword is white with a yellow strip and its handle have five black stripes.
The Kris Sword is at the lower center and pointed to the right, which means the sword will always make loyalty decisions for the interest of the Bansamoro motherland. Above the Kris Sword is the Crescent Moon at the middle left side. Above the Crescent Moon is the Star.
The background of the flag has a color Red, which represents the Bangsamoro activism, decisiveness, persistence, frugality, and sacrifices in pushing forward the revolutionary struggle for survival, self-determination, and prosperity.
The MNLF Flag does not represent symbols of any religious, geographical, or ethnic groups.
In 23 February 2011 the MNLF-GRPH-OIC had a fourth tri-partite talks in Jeddah. The Joint Communique after the talks indicate that three groups of experts from MNLF-GRPH-OIC-IDB will be formed: (1) to formulate the Terms of Reference of the Bangsamoro Development Assistance Fund by 30 May 2011, (2) to act as Tripartite Implementation Monitoring Committee by 30 April 2011, (3) to formulate the Mineral Sharing agreement by 30 April 2011. Output will be presented to OIC Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (OIC-PCSP) Chairman in Kazakstan in June 2011.
Meanwhile, on the GRPH side, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) formed a legal panel represented the MNLF, GRP and mediated by the OIC. The legal panel has now completed and initialed the final agreement on revising RA 9054 and it moves forward into Congress for revision/replacement of RA 9054 to create a genuine autonomy.
The administration of President Noynoy Aquino framework of program for Mindanao is spelled out in Mindanao 2020. Pres. Aquino said that "Mindanao will be at the core of our social development and poverty alleviation programs."
The MNLF disapproves the idea that GRPH is negotiating with the MILF. The MNLF believes that it will be more efficient if the MILF will just return back to its mother organization the MNLF. While the MILF leaders insists on negotiating with the GRPH, the MILF troops on the ground have gradually begun to return back to the MNLF.
At present, the MNLF is becoming apprehensive about the GRPH capability in taking a lead in implementing the Genuine Autonomy in the Bangsamoro Land for the following reasons:
(1) High Poverty Incidence in Philippines -- some 20.5 percent of Filipinos or about 4.1 million families are going hungry while 51 percent, or some 10.4 million families, consider themselves poor , according to a new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations.
(2) Economic Mismanagement by the GRPH - Philippines has become the second least attractive investment site in ASEAN.
(3) Incorrigible Culture of Corruption in the GRPH - the PERC Survey that says Philippines is most corrupt nation in Asia.
(4) High Human Rights Abuses by the GRPH - According to Pulse Asia study, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is most corrupt agency of the Philippine Government. The United Nations Security Council and the U.S. State Department also reported a high incidence of human rights violation by the AFP. Instances of torture in detention cells of the Philippine National Police have also been reported by other sources. The Philippine government forces were also trained and initiated into the organization using inhumane methods such as torture, hazing, and maltreatment; thus making each of them tolerant to the sight of human suffering.
NUR MISUARI, Leader of the BANGSAMORO LAND
Prof. Dr. Nur Misuari is recognized by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, United Nations, and the Republic of the Philippines as the Chieftain of the Bangsamoro and the Commander in Chief of the MNLF.
Prof. Dr. Nur Misuari is the only person in the Bangsamoro Land who is distinguished as a certified United Nations Peace Prize Awardee; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nominee; Winner of Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize. He is one of the few individuals that have acquired an international reputation on account of their major contribution to the promotion of peace, democracy and human rights.
Prof. Dr. Nur Misuari is the founder and leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Political Prisoner from 2001-2008 under the Arroyo Regime.
Prof. Dr. Nur Misuari is considered by the MNLF as the living National Hero of the Bangsamoro Land.
PROJECTS TO BE PURSUED BY THE MNLF
* Mindanao Rail System
* Bangsamoro Outreach Project (BOP)
* New Bangsamoro Townships Project (NBT)
* Bangsamoro Corporations
* Acquisition of State Universities in Mindanao
* Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
* Organizational Formation of Bangsamoro Autonomous Government
* Mindanao Sulu Palawan (MINSUPALA) Economic Zones
* Bangsamoro Armed Forces Humanitarianization Program
* MNLF Firearms Ownership Registration Program
HOW TO JOIN MNLF
1. Read and understand this lecture note ABOUT MNLF.
2. Send your (A) intention letter and (B) a short biodata (as text file, NOT attached file) by Facebook Personal Message to John Remollo Petalcorin. Your intention letter, which should explain why you want to be an MNLF and what Division you want to join in (Economic Wing or Political Wing), will help us determine your appropriate position in the organization. After you get a response, you may Sir John any questions and you will get prompt answers.
3. An MNLF officer will visit you for a quick (A) Values Formation, (B) review ABOUT MNLF, and (C) a friendly personal interview. If visit is not possible due to significant distance of your location, this can be done by internet chat.
4. You will receive your MNLF Initial Appointment Paper after Nur Misuari signs it.
FAQ About MNLF Membership
Q: Why should I join a Political Organization? A: Each individual is affected by politics, economics, and environment. To become a significant catalyst of change, each individual is encouraged to join a political organization.
Q: Among all Political Organizations, why should I join MNLF? A: MNLF has ideology of Egalitarianism that respects each individual. MNLF has a specific territory. MNLF has excellent economic plans and prospect of attracting foreign investments. MNLF is a follower righteousness and peacefullness in threading through the path of changing society towards progress. MNLF is a reliable protector of peace because it has a huge number of self-reliant members with arms who are patriotically ready to defend peace and human rights. MNLF is led by someone who is internationally awarded as a pillar of peacefulness. MNLF values the liberty and choices of each individual member and provides opportunities for success. MNLF responds to the questions of each individual. MNLF is not corrupt and does not tolerate corruption.
Q: Is there a fee to join and become a member or officer of the MNLF? A: None.
Q: What is the strength of MNLF now? Is the MNLF still at war with the Philippine Government? A: I was told that we have around 700-800. But we are no longer at war with the Philippine Government. We already have a 1996 Final Peace Agrement with the Philippine Government (GRP). No MNLF can be arrested by just being known as an MNLF. Unlike the other rebels such as MILF and NPA and Abu Sayyaf who are still at war with the GRP.
Q: Can I join the MNLF as a Confidential Member? A: Yes. In fact almost all members of the MNLF are Confidential Members, in fact hundreds of thousands if not a million are confidentials. Only the MNLF will know that you are MNLF, we don't easily respond to inquiries that verify MNLF membership. The MNLFs you see around that are very known to the public are the high-rank leaders, negotiators, peace catalysts.
Q: What happens to me if I resign? A: Nothing. We will wish you good life and may you live long and prosper. You can alrays request for reinstatement anytime.
Q: If I join the Combat Unit in the Political Wing, will MNLF issue me a firearm? A: No. You buy your own weapon if you think you need one. You will neither get paid for being an MNLF Freedom Fighter.
Q: Must I be born in Bangsamoro Land to become an MNLF? A: Yes. But there are meritorous exemptions.
Q: As an MNLF, will I get compensation? A: No. But if you are a working staff in an MNLF Project, you will get compensation of course by the Project that employs you.
Q: As an MNLF, can I propose projects for funding? A: Yes, if you are an MNLF Officer, you can represent MNLF to propose project initiatives that can possibly be funded by MNLF Projects or any other grant-providing institutions such as Foundations.
Q: As an MNLF, if my rights are violated by the Philippine Government or any other groups, can MNLF help me? A: Definitely YES. The Command in your MNLF Community Unit have obligation to resolve the issue from start of dialogues up to the point of armed conflict if necessary.
Q: As an MNLF, can I recruit? A: Yes you can. Just refer your recruits to the process that you followed as a new recruit.
Q: I want to join the Economic Wing but I am also willing to go into combat if necessary, what Division will I join, Economic or Political? A: You join the Economic Wing. Combat is a voluntary responsibility of each member when the time comes it becomes inevitable.
Q: Who are those MNLFs in the Political Wing? A: They are those who want to join the public service, Bangsamoro government service. You cannot be in the Political Wing if you are motivated with MONEY. If you want to be rich profiteer or financially prosperous businessman, join the Economic Wing, not the Political Wing. If you want to be in Political Wing, you cannot be corrupt, you cannot abuse your position to gain material wealth or favor for your private enterprise, your affairs will become transparent because you are in public service. If you want to be in the Political Wing, your motivation must be patriotism and public service.
Q: How different is the MNLF from NPA, AFP, and Private Armies? ANSWER: MNLFs are self-reliant citizens with arms and are capable of quickly consolidating into a single fighting organization at the moment when it is necessary to defend the rights of its members. NPA are FORCED LABOR freedom fighters. AFPs and Private Armies are mercenaries. Studies show that MNLF has ZERO human rights violation, unlike the AFP, NPA, MILF, ASG, etc. In AFP, an individual passes through a hazing, torture, and maltreatment during initiation process; while in MNLF there is no such thing as initiation process. In AFP if you expose the evils that you personally witness in your organization, you will be punished and ostracized by your fellows; in MNLF you have an obligation to expose, never tolerate, and fight against internal anomalies in your organization. In NPA, if the member resigns, he will be hunted down and assassinated; but in MNLF an individual can join and resign anytime without hassle.
Q: Sir John, what is the present development now in the MNLF-GRPH Talks? ANSWER: Here is the summary of the result of the February 23, 2011 MNLF-GRPH talks in Jeddah. Three groups of experts from MNLF-GRPH-OIC-IDB will be formed: (1) to formulate the TOR of BDAF by 30 May 2011, (2) to act as Tripartite Implementation Monitoring Committee by 30 April 2011, (3) to formulate the Mineral Sharing agreement by 30 April 2011. Output will be presented to OIC-PCSP Chairman in Kazakstan in June 2011.