(Sultanate of Sulu & North Borneo/ Sabah)


Short History of the
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)

Coat of Arms of the MNLF
(Moro National Liberation Front)

Flag of the MNLF
(Moro National Liberation Front)

Coat of Arms of HRH Datu Nur P. Misuari
Arms & hereditary title as Royal Datu granted 14 March 2007

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a “political organization” in the Philippines. It is recognized by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) as the sole and legitimate representative of the Bangsamoro people or the people of Mindanao.

The OIC granted the MNLF Permanent Observer Status and as such it is entitled and privileged to attend all OIC Conferences including Islamic Summit Conference and Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

The MNLF is the ruling organization designed to administer the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao under the 1996 Peace Treaty between the Philippines and MNLF.

The MNLF was established in 1969 by a group of young educators and academics who were the core of the Bangsamoro leadership headed by a visionary and stalwart leader named Professor NUR P. MISUARI, as the chairman and founder, and is popularly and reverently addressed by the MNLF fighters as MAAS.

Professor Nur P. Misuari completed his education through academic scholarship. During his days at the University of the Philippines (U.P.) he was an active student leader.

He was a lecturer at the University of the Philippines on Political Science. In the late 1960s he was one of the organizers of the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM) and Ansar Al-Islam seeking for better treatment of the people of Mindanao from the Manila government. The MIM later on paved the way and was the precursor in the organization of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) following immediately the JABIDAH MASSACRE incident in Corregidor, Bataan, where thousands of Muslim soldiers training to assault and invade Sabah by force to recover it from the illegal occupation of Malaysia died in a hail of gunfire.

After this massacre the MNLF demonstrated in front of Malacanang Palace in Manila to seek answers on the massacre, but President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was in no mood to provide a reply and instead branded the demonstrators subversives. Fearing for their lives the MNLF leaders dispersed in areas of Mindanao, and so begun the long struggle of the MNLF for self-determination of the Bangsamoro people.

The MNLF is also the Bangsamoro United Armed Forces (B.U.A.F.) that sought for the independence of the Bangsamoro people and homeland comprising of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan known as MinSuPala. The MNLF waged a bitter war with the Philippine government from 1972 to 1976 under the chairmanship of Professor Nur P. Misuari.

The high morale and resolve of the MNLF freedom fighters and the mounting casualties compelled the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos to sign a peace agreement in 1976 under the auspices of the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Qadaffi. The peace agreement is known as the “Tripoli Agreement”, which provided for an autonomous region in Mindanao. Unfortunately, both sides were unable to settle on an agreement so hostilities continued for the next twenty (20) years.

As hostilities continued, MNLF began to suffer from internal factionalism. Disagreements between moderates and conservatives arose after the reluctance of the MNLF Central Committee to pursue a violent insurgency in 1981. This caused the more conservative MNLF elements to form the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and broke away from the MNLF.

In 1996, a compromise was finally reached by the MNLF and the Philippine government. This gave autonomy to the areas with Muslim majorities. The area is currently called the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao where upon Professor Nur P. Misuari became Regional Governor who was elected unopposed, the first in the history of the ARMM elections.

In 2007, the current ARMM Governor is not a member of the MNLF and is said to be a violation of the GRP-OIC-MNLF Final Peace Agreement signed in September 2, 1996, at Malacanang Palace, during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos.

The MNLF is pursuing and adhering to the letters and provisions of the 1996 Peace Agreement as an organization committed to peace and prosperity in Mindanao, though it is said many times that the Philippine government has only implemented fifty percent (50%) of the provisions of this treaty. The MNLF is hopeful and await the final and full implementation of this 1996 peace treaty as the binding and long lasting cornerstone of a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao.

On 14 March 2007, in recognition of the committed and dedicated determination of Professor Nur P. Misuari to pursue the 1996 peace treaty against all odds, and as founder, chairman and titular head of the MNLF, coupled with his outstanding service to the cause of peace in Mindanao as the leader who embraced and signed the 1996 Peace Agreement with the Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos and the MNLF, Professor Nur P. Misuari was granted the rank and title of Datu (Prince) of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo/ Sabah by His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I, The Sultan of Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah.

HRH Datu Professor Nur P. Misuari was elevated as a Royal Datu by Sultan Fuad I, in honor also of the late father of Datu Nur as a Panglima of H.M. Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I (Sultan 1947 to 1973) the late father of Sultan Fuad I. With his letters patent of grant as a Royal Datu, Sultan Fuad I, also made Datu Nur a Datuk/ Knight of the Royal Order of Hashem of Sabah (DROHS); Datuk/ Knight of the Royal Order of Sulu (DROS); Knight/ Datuk of the Royal Order of Sulu & Sabah (KRSS); and as a Datuk/ Knight of the Royal Order of Mindanao (DRM).

  GENEALOGY & SUCCESSION BASED ON LAW OF SUCCESSION OF THE KINGLY FAMILY OF THE ROYAL HASHEMITE SULTANS OF SULU & SABAH: HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I is the most capable and most suitable member of the Royal blood line as per Law of Succession of the Royal House of Sulu and Sabah and is the legitimate and lawful Royal Hashemite Sultan of Sulu and Sabah. HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I is the brother of the late HM Sultan Mahakuttah Abdulla Kiram (Sultan 1974-1986) and son of the late HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I (Sultan 1947-1973), who gave the power of attorney to Philippine Pres. Diosdado Macapagal in 1962 then to Philippine Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1969 for the Philippine Government to recover Sabah. His grandfather was HM Sultan Mawallil Wasit Kiram, successor to his brother HM Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (Sultan 1893-1936), childless, who died of poisoning. HM Sultan Mawallil Wasit Kiram ruled only for six (6) months due to death by poisoning in 1936, whereupon the throne was inherited by his first-born son HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I. The father of HM Jamalul Kiram II was HM Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram who leased North Borneo (Sabah) to a British Company in 1878. HRH Prince Ezzarhaddon A. Kiram is the Crown Prince of the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sabah and is known as the Prince of Kota Kinabalu while his brother HRH Prince Al-mezzheer A. Kiram is the Crown Prince of the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu and is known as the Prince of Jolo.  
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