Moro National Liberation Front
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a political organization that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969. The MNLF struggles against the Philippine Government (GPH) to achieve independence of the Bangsamoro Land (or Bangsamoro Nation, or Mindanao Nation). The MNLF-GPH Peace Process is ongoing since the 1976 and both parties
are working together to negotiate the terms and conditions of the legal framework and implementation of genuine autonomy as a peaceful path towards independence. 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.
MNLF is internationally recognized by two international organizations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) and the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC). Since 1977 the MNLF has been an observer member of the OIC, the largest sub-cluster in the United Nations with 56-member States & 2nd largest after UN. The Philippine
Government also requested for similar recognition as observer member but was denied by the OIC. Recently,the MNLF becomes an observer member of the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC), as approved during the 7th global session last 30 January 2012 hosted by Indonesia. These two international membership prove that
MNLF is aligned with and recognized by global organizations that uphold the rights of the Muslims.
History of Armed Conflict
With reference to the Official MNLF Blogsite, “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.”
Mindanao became a land for new beginnings when broad tracts of land were given away by the Philippine government from 1903 to the 1970s to migrants from other parts of the country in a 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
absence 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 of their lands and the economic opportunities they provided. 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 of the systematic land grabbing, sporadic fighting in various
parts of Mindanao ensued between the natives and the troops/militias 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
During the 1970s, President Ferdinand Marcos formed the ILAGA and CHDF (Civilian Home Defense Force). ILAGA is a Christian militia which claims to defend Christians from attacks perpetrated by Muslims. The ILAGA was one of the groups who fiercely fought against the MNLF. The ILAGA members were indoctrinated with religious motivation and it
is rumored that the ILAGA had a reputation for cannibalism. After over three decades, in the year 2011, the ILAGA embraced the egalitarian ideology of MNLF and have joined forces with their used to be mortal enemy—the MNLF.
Birth of the MNLF
There is no record as to when is the exact date of the founding of the MNLF. However, the MNLF have traditionally been celebrating its anniversary every 18 March, a date that coincides with the commemoration of the Jabidah Massacre.