Iqbal: Sabah better off under Malaysia

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One issue where the loyalty, and even citizenship perhaps, of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leaders really lies is in their stance regarding the Philippines’ claim to Sabah.

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While we haven’t heard Chairman Murad Ibrahim or Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar declare where they stand on the issue, we have it straight from the mouth (or pen) of the insurgent group’s spokesman and signatory to President Benigno S. Aquino’s peace pact, he who goes by the name of Mohagher Iqbal.

Iqbal, according to the presidential peace adviser’s office, wrote the book Bangsamoro: A Nation Under Endless Tyranny under the pen name Salah Jubair. I suspect that is his real name, since he authored it back in 1984 when he hadn’t risen through the ranks of the MILF hierarchy.

Where was the book first published? In Mansoorah, Lahore, Pakistan by an “Islamic Research Academy.” Strangely, though, I can’t get any information on such an Academy, and I got a bit worried that I might have raised a red alarm in some US National Security Agency analyst’s computer why I was googling that “institute.”

Interestingly, though, Lahore is the site of the Iqbal Academy set up by the government of Pakistan. That academy specializes in studies on Muhammad Iqbal, the philosopher-politician who inspired the breakaway of what was once part of British India into the nation that is now Pakistan.

Jubair, or whatever his real name is, obviously is a big fan of Muhammad Iqbal, so much so that he adopted that name. Does he see himself as the Mindanao equivalent of Pakistan’s Iqbal, that with his book he will inspire the formation of a new independent nation, Bangsamoro?

And succeeding editions? There were – in 1999 and 2004 – by IQ Marin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Iqbal and the cover of his book where he said Sabah under the Philippines “would have been disastrous.”

Iqbal and the cover of his book where he said Sabah under the Philippines “would have been disastrous.”

One chapter entitled “The Rock” narrated the fiction called the “Jabidah Massacre,” a yarn very tellingly isn’t mentioned in any official MILF document. According to that story, Moro recruits who were being trained by our military as commandos to infiltrate Sabah—in a secret plan codenamed Merdeka— were massacred when they mutinied.

Iqbal didn’t add anything to that fiction. What astonished me was Iqbal’s comment on it:

“Had Project Merdeka succeeded and Sabah was invaded, the consequence would have been disastrous. Besides, what benefits awaited the Moros if Sabah became part of the Philippines? The fact of the matter was that Sabah under Malaysia was very progressive.”

Do you still believe that Iqbal and his MILF comrades really care for the Philippines?

Bangsamoro with Malaysia
With that kind of mindset Iqbal even boasts of, my suspicion on the MILF’s real plan after the Bangsamoro Basic Law is enacted and their Bangsamoro substate is set up, and after its guerillas take on the cloak of “Bangsamoro Police” has been bolstered. The real MILF plan is as follows:

The MILF will complain that it isn’t getting enough finances from the government, that our military has been attacking its forces and that they’re not getting what they were promised. The Bangsamoro Parliament declares their independence from the Philippines, and asks to be a member of the Federation of Malaysia. They would even file a formal case at the UN to be admitted into Malaysia. And if the Bangsamoro Police is unable to fend off our military sent to secure the Bangsamoro territory so the Republic won’t be dismembered, what will the MILF do? Ask Malaysian forces to intervene.

President Aquino’s road to peace will be a road to war with our neighbor, the likes of which we have never seen.

Impossible? Read again the BBL, and I haven’t gotten over my shock that our legislators prefer to interpret it otherwise. The third paragraph of the BBL reads:

“Affirming the distinct historical identity and birthright of the Bangsamoro people to their ancestral homeland and their right to self-determination – beginning with the struggle for freedom of their forefathers in generations past and extending to the present – to chart their political future through a democratic process that will secure their identity and posterity, and allow for genuine and meaningful self-governance. (Emphasis mine.)

“Right to self-determination, and to chart their political future, for meaningful self-governance”: These are all terms most often used in the few cases of new nations achieving independence after World War II. Our negotiators, of course, insist that the above paragraph refers only to the autonomy of the Bangsamoro political entity.

That is how our negotiators are being tricked. When the Bangsamoro moves into the second phase of its strategy, it will claim that our government agreed, under a law its Congress passed, to the Bangsamoro’s “right to self-determination.”

Iqbal, obviously, because he wanted to boast that he was an MILF insider, in his book also revealed how crucial Malaysian and Libyan support had been to the growth of the MNLF, from which the MILF broke away.

The idea that there was a “Bangsamoro” centuries ago, and the BBL will merely restore to the ‘Moros’ their right to that “homeland” is pure trash. The idea was invented mainly by MNLF founder Nur Misuari as a smokescreen to the fact that it was Malaysia and then Libya that backed the MNLF and the MILF grew to become a major insurgency, not the support of Muslims in a genuine liberation movement.

Mustapha, a Tausug
Below is an excerpt from Iqbal’s book, lifted verbatim:

“The first foreign leader, though at the state level, to extend concrete help to the Moros was Tun Datu Mustapha Haron, Chief Minister of Sabah. There were many reasons why he came to the rescue of the Moros. One of these was his biological, emotional and historical connection with the Moros of Mindanao and Sulu.

His mother was a Tausug and, therefore, he was as much a Moro as the rest of his brethren. He allowed Sabah to be used as training camp, supply depot, communication center and sanctuary.

The implication of Tun Datu Mustapha Haron’s stance and later, also of Kuala Lumpur —Sabah is part of the Federation of Malaysia—was a major irritant between the two neighbors.

The Philippines had a longstanding claim over Sabah that at one time almost led to open warfare. Sabah had begun to be regarded by the Philippines as part of her territory on the strength of ownership claim by the ancient Sulu sultanate.

Kuala Lumpur had never admitted aiding the Moros. The official position of Malaysia regarding the Mindanao crisis had been confined only to actively supporting resolutions passed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

In 1971, Libyan Pres. Muammar Qhaddafi openly declared his support for the Moros, who were apparently the object of a genocide campaign. In the same year, Libyan Foreign Minister Saleh Bouyasser came to the Philippines with a US$1 million pledge of his government to bankroll the ongoing guerrilla training of 300 Moro recruits in Malaysia. A year later, when Martial Law was declared, Libyan money, weapons and other materials started to flow into the frontlines in Mindanao and Sulu.

In May 1971, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was founded. One of its aims, as set clearly in its Charter, is to strengthen the struggle of all Muslim peoples with a view to safeguard their dignity, independence and national rights. It so happened that Tunku Abdul Rahman, the founding father and first Prime Minister of Malaya (later, Malaysia), was the first Secretary General of this powerful PanIslamic body.

As head of the OIC, he (Rahman) was instrumental in the support extended to the Moros by the OIC memberstates, especially Libya and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” (Emphasis added.)”

Iqbal reported in his book that even the Muslim traditional politicians, who participated in our democratic system and profited from it, were traitors who sought the help of Malaysia to build up the MNLF insurgency.

“Before the declaration of Martial Law in 1972, the Moro traditional or aristocratic leaders, the likes of Cong. Rashid Lucman, ExSen. Salipada Pendatun and ExGov. Datu Udtog Matalam, were still very powerful.

As a matter of fact, the first batch of ninety Moro trainees known as the ‘Top 90’ who were sent to Sabah or, more precisely, to Palau Pangkor, State of Perak, Malaysia, for intensive military training or guerrilla warfare was made possible through the facilitation of these leaders.” As may be shown by the number of recruits from each ethno-linguistic grouping, Lucman, who was a Maranao, had the greater say: 64 members were Maranaos, 15 were from the Sulu region and only 11 were from Cotabato. Sad to state, however, most of the Maranaos surrendered to the government.”

Have we, as a nation, lost our sense of self-respect that a foreign power, Malaysia, brokers and even oversees our peace pact with a rebel group, which it supported with funds, arms, training, and sanctuary so it could keep a territory that is ours, Sabah?

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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35 Comments

  1. Emmanuel Ramos on

    Definitly Sabah is better off under Malaysian government, they are multiracial/multireligion country yet they have respect to their own people

    • Are you a filipino? This is what mr tiglao is referring to. A mindset of a person who does not have faith in his country.

      Parehas lang kayo ni iqbal na walang pagmamahal sa bansa.

  2. eltee mulawin on

    >>> Pakistan’s Muhammad Iqbal is AN INDIAN IN FACT And he belong to a rich family. He was popular known in his POETRY WORKS then became a politician. HE DID NOT USED A FICTITIOUS, FAKE, BOGUS OR ALIASED IN HIS BOOKS AND IN ANY PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.

    While this Mohagher Iqbal or Saleh Jubair (right, it seems this is real name, but Filipino? not surely) is a MILF-rebel and now a chief negotiator who is hiding his real name and personality behind his aliases. Saying for his self protection ALTHOUGH HE IS NOW IN THE MEDIA PAPERS AND TELEVISION WORLDWIDE.

    Where is now the logic to his reasonings about his safety and security, after and during this congress and senate hearings as well as media interviewing most the weeks if not daily at all, himself already expose to the public. BUT STILL INSISTING TO KEEP HIS REAL FULL NAME AND NATIONALITY BEHIND THAT ALIASES.

    HELL ! TO THIS MAN, CAB-BBL , DELES-FERRER AND PALACE DOGIES AND THEIR MASTER/COHORTS !

  3. No more Peace Talk, arrest all MILF and all
    related groups, put them in jail and deport
    Igbal (an alias name) until after serving his jail sentence.

  4. May problema din ang malaysia, nagkainitan ang indian malaysian at muslim malaysian… matagal na yan… BBL nayan, bintahan yan.. para yan cotabato ay maging extension ng malaysian muslim… ang source ng oil at mayaman lupa ng mindanao… bandang huli… parang israel history…

  5. IF THE MOROS WERE READY TO DIE FOR THEIR ALLAH, WE FILIPINO CHRISTIANS WERE MORE READY TO DEFEND OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY.

  6. I don’t like it but I feel and fear that we are heading to war.That would be Aquino’s legacy.A war hopefully we can win and unite our nation finally once it goes through this ordeal.Many nations underwent the baptism of civil war before it finally rose to progress.This would be the greatest test to our nation.If we don’t defend the country’s honor and sovereignty other countries like Malaysia and China etc. will regard us as a country without pride,principle and honor.This BBL is pushing us to a point in which we have no other recourse.Using peace as a fig leaf we are being blackmailed to surrender our independence and territorial integrity.We are being painted to a corner because of our politicians’s greediness and cowardice starting with the president.Should we get peace at our nation’s doom as a price?We are being accused of being for war just to get us enslaved by another country.I never thought until recently that we can be colonized again but now I think that it is not impossible and now just by standing up through our expression of opinion the very leaders of our country brands us as war mongers.I can never trust again academicians such as Lionen and Ferrer to negotiate in our country’s behalf.When it comes to diplomacy I’d rather trust our patriotic fighting men in the armed forces,at least those who are not corrupt.

  7. RP lost its Sabah claim by default, thanks to its anti-Moro policy. Malaysia simply gobbled up Sabah after RP cannot put its own house in order, and for so long as it cannot reconcile its erroneous policy on its peoples, like a normal nation-state, it is bound to suffer even more. Communist China is already gobbling up some parts of its territory. Worse still is undetected settling of illegal communist mainland Chinese in the country. Again, thanks to corrupted policy and corrupt leaders.

  8. ernesto albay on

    Its sad that our leaders supposedly to PROTECT the INTEREST of the country, its the opposite dismember and SLEEP with the ENEMY of the STATE……

    I hope the CJ will junk this BBL…. There is no need to discuss, its a waste of time and resources of the goverment. If they want peace dropped their FIREARMS and JOINED to uplift the POVERTY of our MUSLIM brothers in MINDANAO, you will served as a VOICE of the OPPRESSED..

  9. I think the writing has been on the wall for a while. Nice to see you crystallise it in clear terms, what has gone on in the past and also what the future holds. There is no escaping the fact that the Philippines will fragment and once achieved, will come under the influence of Malaysia. You already have Saudi promising money for so called “Madrassas”, and I think any clear thinking person knows exactly what they will be preaching there and what the result will be 10 to 15 years down the line. Radical Wahhabism supplanting the local traditional Muslim ways. It should not be allowed to start or there is going to be major trouble for years to come.

  10. this article should be spread thru out the country. Dapat malaman ng mamayang Filipino ang tunay na kahihinatnan ng BBL na ito. Mr. Sonny de la cruz is absoulutely right. Sa ngayon napakahina ng ating Armed Forces of the Philippines. baka wala pang isang buwan suko na ang bansa natin..sa malaysian forces.. Napakalaking TANGA ng mga taong gumawa nitong BBL na ito. O talagang sinasadya nila na mawala ng tuluyan ang Mindanao at magkaroon ng civil war dito sa Pilipinas. Mabuti kung hind magtatago ang mga government officials natin tulad ng Presidenteng ito baka sabihin niya na hindi siya ang command?????? kapag nagkaroon ng civil war esp. in mindanao area??? baka lahat ng gumawa ng BBL ay magsitago sa malaysia..

    • sonny dela cruz on

      Thank you Boying Labro, What I said will be the true scenario when the BBL is approved. Believe me. The Philippine negotiators have no regards of whatsoever to protect the interest of the country and the Filipinos. Something bad is behind it, maybe more to find out and you as a concerned Filipino should not stop to find out the truth. Write your congressman and senators and say what you feel about the BBL, you will be doing a patriotic way as a true Filipino. Send them the comment I wrote in this column before, maybe we can be of help to stop the BBL.

  11. surprisingly, none of our so called “nationalists” have organized an indignation demonstration against Malaysia, thru its embassy in Manila. dapat may rally na sa Malaysian embassy. dati rati, kunting issue lang may nagra rally na sa US embassy.

  12. Thanks for that article Mr. Tiglao, I hope many in the government and lawmakers read your article its an eye-opener for all of us. I just hope you watch your back and be careful, some of our muslim brothers may not like what wrote this time. Remember what happen in Paris early this year or the last quarter of last year the Charlie Hepdo publication was attack by muslim terrorist.

  13. Why is BS Aquino supports the BBL?
    BECAUSE HE WANTED THE Nobel price (I mean – prize)

    Will be awarded the Nobel Prize – NO WAY, why?
    No psychotic Homo sapiens ever get an award.
    He will be required to submit to a “Psychotic Test” to qualify

  14. Rigoberto D. Tiglao, it is my honor to have lived during your time. Kahit sino pa ang magtatanong sa akin, I can attest na ikaw ay isang tunay na makabansang Pilipino. You are a true Filipino patriot. You are heaven-sent to the Filipinos. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Dyos dahil may natitirang journalists na tulad mo na hindi manipulado ng Malaysia-Aquino-MILF Triad.

  15. Amnata Pundit on

    We started to shed our self respect when Cory revived the MNLF against the wise counsel of the grizzled veterans of the Mindanao War of the 70’s, and this was followed up by FVR when he surrendered without a fight all those camps that the MILF are now calling their territory, followed by GMA with her unconstitutional concord with the MILF that the Supreme Court struck down, followed again by this retardate of a president who resuscitated that concord with this abominable capitulation that is now called BBL. It was only Erap in the post-Marcos era who gave these animals no quarter. This clearly shows that accommodation with the Moro/Islamic enemies of the state is the official policy of the yellow regime ! As long as the yellows are in power, dismemberment of the Republic will always be on the agenda.

  16. This is a good column. I don’t think all of the ties between the MILF and foriegn parties will become known. I do know that what has been exposed is enough to stop any dealings with the MILF. Just put the BBL and all other documents signed with the MILF into a trash can.

  17. The Indonesians have also boundary problem with the Malaysians in the Sarawak area. The Malaysians have the history of landgrabbing This same story is being done in the Philippines .Why they are so bold? Being a member of the Monarchial Commonwealth of the British Empire? Just asking as the Australians are willing to help the Mlaysians during that Fictitous Jabidah massacre.

  18. it’s sad that because of this incompetent govt. and its dogs like drilon and Belmonte, we’re in this sorry state. phil. territories fought for by our heroes, are being given up for free or being grabbed at. drilon even has the face to say (in another newspaper), that we should not sensationalize the use of aliases by Iqbal!!. I wonder why drilon got a high trust rating in a latest survey. truly most Filipinos are “politically & socially ignorant”. niloloko na nang harap harapan, nagtitiwala pa rin… GOD bless the Philippines — we need all the blessings and enlightenment at these times…

  19. Vicente Penetrante on

    A hearing aid should be given to the Aquino government. The Mindanaoans have already spoken and 62% are against the BBL.

  20. This is the highest form of treachery. With all the publications and writings, how long the present leadership will open their eyes to the simple fact that the Malaysians are the power behind the BBL. The so called government panel is the official spokepersons of the MILF. Just to deodorize the positions of the government, a government initiated council is created having some prominent people as members. O God what have you done to our beloved Philippines!

    • chris Asuncion on

      The BBL is a ticket to Hell for the Philippines. It should be scrapped. The MILF Leadership and Membership should be arrested and tried for treason. Malaysia, appearing friendly to the nation, was stabbing it, It is a shame that the Government did not help the Tausugs when they went there to reclaim Sabah.

    • Hey, don’t blame GOD. Blame those who voted for a lunatic president, knowing nothing, have done nothing during his time as a representative and senator as well. Hes currently surrounded by lunatic men and women like him. Need I say more?

  21. At last the truth finally comeS out. MILF’S hidden intention and the future danger our country faces if BBL law IS approved . We really have a very incompetent representative that didn’t even bother to look at history and has judgeD the agreement only on its surface? This Agreement will be a quicksand for the Philippines.
    Again the many other representatives from those area that will be under the new Bansangmoro autonomous regions are not even consulted and being represented then how will peace ever be achieved . Sorry to say l distrust the whole process . It has CRATED more AND bigger problems then achieving peace itself.

  22. So, why are our Congressmen and Senators supporting Aquino’s peace talk with these Malaysian backed terrorists? Is it for the money alone? Are they not afraid , Malaysia will be the first to exploit the riches of the Liguasan marshland after already exploited oil rich Sabah? What a shame, we have leaders as traitors like these!

    • sabi nga ng mga garapals, pera pera lang yan. with the kind of lawmakers we have right now, pera pera lang ang usapan. naging garapalan ang bilihan ng boto sa 2 bahay ng kongreso sa pamamagitan ng na-tripling pdaf at ang mother of all corruption, the dap,

  23. This piece is very informative in resolving the resolusion of the BBL under an all-out branches of our government. It ought to be read by all players on a very important issue of our survival as a nation. Thanks to our Mr. Bert Tiglao for a very important information for countrys’ sake.

  24. I do not want to believe the possible consequences of the BBL, but what have been discussed in this article point to their ‘logical’ conclusions. This administration has a very ‘shallow’ comprehension of the history of the counry and too naive to have not had the ‘forecast’ of this agreement. What more, they don’t even know the real background and personal attributes of their counterparts. As pointed out in one article, the Philippine negotiators did not negotiate based on the strength of the position of the country. The BBL is a ‘piece-meal’, ‘peace’ agreement by ‘a-pease-ment’.

  25. I personally do not think of it as a matter of self-respect but rather as a matter of cowardice … I look at the supposedly Mamasapano massacre where the massacre was caused by incompetent senior police and military officers who because of embarrassment have devised this massive PR campaign to blame their enemy which they were supposed to have surprised by their covert mission but as it turned out, it was the raiders that were routed … the other supposedly SAF comrade-in-arms who were planned to provide reinforcements to their beleaguered comrades, well they had nothing but excuses on why they were unable to come to the aid of the fellow SAF troopers … with images of incompetence like this, how could the Philippines even hope of fighting off foreign invaders should they choose to come and take over the nation!

  26. sonny dela cruz on

    I have been saying it before, that MILF is a FRONT FOR THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT. What you are saying is true and that will happen. Look, why the MILF is asking for a Bangsamoro Republic when we have the ARMM ( Autonomous region) existed. Why don’t we JUST make ARMM stronger and be more Mindanao people oriented by providing them all what the Visayan and Luzonian are getting kind of assistance from the National government. You don’t need a BBL, ARMM is good enough and do not violate the Philippine constitution and we don’t have to deal with unknown people with different names, which will never be accountable once that BBL is approved. Now, how will you monitor the monetary assistance the National government will give them when you don’t even know the true name or names of this people. It is not acceptable to hear from them that once the BBL becomes a law, then we will TELL YOU our true name or names. Can you accept their word for that? No civilized or educated person will say that, PARANG MGA BATA TAYO NA SINASABIHAN NG GANYAN. NILOLOKO TAYO, AT SANA AY HUWAG TAYONG PALOLOKO. MALIWANAG YANG SINASABI NILA.. The Philippine congress should be vigilant not to approved this bill. This bill lies the SECURITY and SURVIVAL of the country and the Filipino people..If these politicians vowed their head to passed this bill. You, people will regret later and it will be too late to fix it because this will result in more bloodshed against the MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT. The AFP is too weak to counter the invasion of the MALAYSIAN FORCES. The result may be devastating because we may loose more territories aside Mindanao. FILIPINOS, PLS. THINK ABOUT IT. DO SOMETHING BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. THIS WILL NOT BE SOLVE BY WORDS ONLY BUT ACTION..

    • Recently, a court declared that the actions of a military officer was part of the freedom of expression during the so called Oakwood Mutiny. Hence, he was absolved from the accusations against him.The bright young officers who have that patriotic sentiments, could capitalize on this momentous court decision. It would be an upheaval in the military establishment.

  27. puebloerrante on

    thanks for writing this article mr. tiglao, i salute your insights that demystifies the lies and propaganda surrounding the mindanao insurgency.

    btw, do you have a copy of the book “someday malaysia” by eduardo martelino? (the recruitment officer in the operation jabidah)

    it would be very interesting to read your insight about it, if you would be willing to discuss it in one of your future articles.

  28. FERDIE PASION on

    Pulau Pangkor is not in Sabah. It is at the western side of the Malay Peninsula facing the Indian Ocean.

    • Every politician knows (and fiction-writers, too….) Who needs the correct facts when one already knows the truth?