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Nur Misuari a BangsaMoro of Filipino Citizenry and the Sabah Dispute

Nur Misuari the chairman of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) categorically stated that he is a Bangsamoro and a Filipino at the same time reiterating Mindanao as their homeland. An excerpt form an exclusive interview with Veronica Uy of the Inquirer:
Our people would like to call themselves as Filipino and a Bangsamoro citizen. They cannot do away with their identity as a Moro or as a Bangsamoro. We are Filipinos at the same time Bangsamoro. We are Bangsamoro at the same time Filipinos. We are part of a larger nation.
Not so if you ask the other BangsaMoro faction on the side of the 10,000 armed MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) a break away group of the MNLF that derides the Filipinos as the Christianized Indios. Oh well, they are entitled to their opinion unfortunately a lively debate should ensue on the contentious issue that besets the people in the south but not so when one drives home a point pointing the barrel of an AK47 and the government doing the same.

Nur Misuari’s contention on identity seems valid and makes sense, and to further quote Veronica Uy's interview:
Misuari called for the establishment of a more equitable system that treats everyone fairly.

"That's why we are proposing that changes should lead to the creation of an egalitarian state where there is no more discrimination, no more exploitation, that no single sector will say we are superior, more educated, etc. That should not be allowed to come to the fore because (that would) instigate some kind of reaction. Government should treat us with justice," he said.
An egalitarian state is the ideal heavenly like dream but in the Philippine semi-feudal society with Mindanao as the most feudal among the rest, how do you go about change? If the Philippines can not even conduct a fraudulent free electoral exercise in a political playing field tilted to favor the minority ruling elites how can we even talk of egalitarianism? A region that has the highest rate of poverty grappling with its troubled history of violence coming from all direction. From the secessionist movement of different factions to private armed groups down to warring clans justice system of exacting violence through a centuries old cultural practice before their conversion to Islam known as Rido. I just don’t know if that is part of a cultural heritage that they want us “Filipino Indios” to respect, but in this day and age I see no compelling reason to condone violent tribal cultural practices that mostly harm the innocent civilians caught in the middle of the uncivilized conflict among warring clans.

Well Misuari has plans and he is not shy about it saying in 3 years the MNLF will take-over governance of ARMM, this despite the present MILF war. It makes one wonder how he can achieve such plans? How he does this with the Ampatuan political dynasty in total control of ARMM with his own private army of CVOs remains to be seen? The disappointing loss of Ismael Isnaji (Ces Drillon kidnap negotiator turned principal accused) a former MNLF commander to Ampatuan in a bid for the governor position maybe an accurate gauge if indeed Nur Misuari's still has an influence in the ARMM region. If that is the basis then he is not standing on solid grounds. But then again that is probably a separate matter that the Bangsamoro Muslims will address on their own, to quote:

The agreement between the government and MILF allows for the enlargement of the current ARMM.

Misuari said the MNLF would "allow ARMM to consume, so to speak, its tenure then the genuine Bangsamoro autonomy will come to life."

Where is Nur Misuari getting the idea? Is it because even though on the surface there appears to be ideological no I take that back but religious interpretation of methodologies they are on the same path towards the new world order on a smaller local scale? Here is an interesting quote from Bangsa-Islam:
With respect to the Islamic movements, it can also be argued that they can be divided into two main categories, militant and non-militant. Notwithstanding the unequivocal verses of the Qur'an to unite, we see no reason why there should be so many factions. Not necessarily agreeing with his methodology, we see no islamically valid reason why the late Abdurazaq Janjalani, rahimahullah, would form his own group apart from the leadership of the late Shaikh Salamat Hashim, rahimahullah. Allah knows best. The difference between their methodologies were in furoo' (branches/derivatives) not in usool (fundamentals). While this is not the place to discuss their methodologies in detail, one of the greatest of their differences is the permissibility of kidnappings. Contemporary scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah (the main body of Muslim Orthodoxy) in their fataawas (legal rulings) are in the opinion that it is not permissible to hijack planes, suicide bombings, public bombings and those types of things that has become associated with terrorism.[1]
To his credit Nur Misuari still gets peoples’ attention whenever he speaks and sometimes even all the way to Sabah when he broached the idea of bringing the Sabah dispute to the body so coveted by Princess Leia wanna be errr Mirriam Santiago the International Court of Justice. Here is how a Malaysian Blogger at Pakatan Rakyat Sabah describes it:
Misuari is, of course, merely posturing in hopes of making a political comeback. Threatening a revival of the Sabah claim is every populist Filipino politician's way to rouse the masses, usually accompanied by attempts to whip up popular sentiment over alleged instances of mistreatment of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in Sabah.

Raising the Sabah bogey is also the weapon of choice for Philippine politicians whenever they have a particular axe to grind against Malaysia. And Misuari clearly has a personal grudge against us -- he had fled to our shores in hopes of escaping the long arm of Philippine law only to have the Malaysian government send him back home.

Whatever his personal agenda, Misuari broaching the idea of referring the Sabah dispute to the ICJ is obviously a non-starter, as any ICJ referral must first meet with the mutual consent of both disputant countries.

That said, the precedent set by the Sipadan and Ligitan and Pedra Branca cases should actually embolden Malaysia to heartily welcome any official Philippine proposal to refer the Sabah claim to the ICJ for final resolution once and for all.
I would not be so sure about that but unless they are in denial or are not aware of the High Court of North Borneo's Chief Justice C.F.C. Makaskie who in 1939 upheld the validity of the claim of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu over Sabah, gave full authority to the Republic of the Philippines to rule over the territory. Had the Philippines back then was not focused on establishing good relations with their neighboring countries they will probably not be talking about illegal immigrants and sovereignty issue today.

Sabah has millions of problem, illegal immigrants in the millions outnumbering and overtaking the Sabahans mostly BangsaMoros displaced by the conflict if they prefer to be called such instead of Filipinos with some of them dating back to the MNLF conflict. Their problem was further complicated by the allege issuance of fake work permits to illegal immigrants and then they get into a panic mode on the reported issuance of birth certificates to the so-called illegal immigrants by the Sultan of Sulu, as shown on DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s reaction:
How can this take place?

It challenges the question of sovereignty of Malaysia in Sabah and there is a disturbing implication in terms of long-term consequences because of the subsisting claim of the land in Sabah by the Filipinos,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

He said the issue was of great concern to the people in Sabah as the estimated number of illegal immigrants had exceeded the number of Sabahans.

It makes Sabahans strangers in their own land and that is why there is so much unhappiness among the people there,” he added.

He said there were about 100,000 to 140,000 illegal immigrants in Sabah in 1978 but the number had since risen to about 1.5 million.

Lim said he had made a copy of such a birth certificate for Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Cheung and hoped that the latter would make a ministerial statement in Parliament before the sitting adjourned on July 17.
Funny but with all the furor it has generated in Sabah no one it seems has actually seen the birth certificate allegedly issued by the Sultan of Sulu according to this article:
He was asked to comment on Kota Kinabalu MP and DAP chief Dr Hiew King Cheu’s claims that Filipinos in Sabah had been issued birth certificates by the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu.

“I have to see such a birth certificate and in fact I had a meeting this morning with the District Security Committee which was attended by the police, Immigration Department and other relevant departments.

“I have asked them specifically about this but as yet, no one has seen such a document,” he said, adding that the issuance of the document should not have any connection to the Philippine government’s claim to Sabah.
Of course the Sabahans are edgy and paranoid when it comes to this issue, after all Sabah is the second largest region in the Malaysian Federation that is rich in natural resources which they cannot afford to lose. It appears that they are so nervous and jittery that they react in panic at any sign of the Sulu Sultanate asserting their sovereign will on the island. Maybe they should also think twice and re-examine their stand on the support they give to MILF secessionist movement, in like manner no one wants to lose part of their territory. They should also realize that if they are not willing to part with a territory where they have no historical rights they should stop meddling in the Philippine affairs.

What is so annoying is the similarity of Malaysian and Philippine politicians, they argue over senseless unconfirmed issues going around in circles and if indeed they are supporting the MILF then sooner or later they will also be at the receiving end of a backlash. The conflict may just spill over to their region as far as Brunei and Indonesia with the probability of Jemayah Islamiyah and those 72 virgin loving Mujaheedins of the MILF, Abu Sayaff, and others etc. decides to align with each other if Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of the Philippine Institute for Political Violence and Terrorism Research analysis prove to be accurate.

Speaking of politicians, look at Asiong Jr. errr Jinggoy Estrada's praise release:

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada yesterday said two Cabinet members and a ranking official of the government peace panel negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should be charged of "treason" for misleading the Philippine government to sign the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). Estrada said Dureza and Esperon apparently have knowledge of the "unconstitutional provisions" of the MOA-AD with the Muslim secessionist group that were "kept secret" from the public.
See what I mean when I say there is a similarity among the Malaysian and Philippine politicians. Fer cryin out loud junior, the MoA-AD was not signed and they have dropped and even dissolved the panel. That's the problem when you don't listen to your mommy dearest, did she not tell you to read the newspapers? Ok Jinggoy, lay off the Playboy Philippine edition they are showing just one nipple anyway. Here is a suggestion that is likely to fly, how about urging the senate and tongress to declare loss of trust and confidence on Gloria Arroyo's presidency.......

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