COTABATO CITY: The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) junior cadre officers in a consultative meeting held in Zamboanga City recently signed a manifesto addressed to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which among others was calling for the unification of the two Moro fronts, the MNLF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), for the sake of peace and development of the Bangsamoro people.
Besides addressing the manifesto to the OIC Secretary General, the document signed by MNLF members was also sent to the OIC Secretary General, the document signed by MNLF members was also sent to the member states of the organization, Islamic non-government organizations, Philippine government and the MNLF Central Committee chaired by Nur Misuari.
Jadjurie Arasa, chairman of the MNLF junior officers’ corps ad-hoc secretariat, told The Manila Times that their junior officers signed the manifesto on the basis of the Dushanbe Resolution No. 2/37 of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan last year, mandating the OIC secretary general Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to unite the MNLF and MILF.
The manifesto “urges the MNLF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to unite their efforts for the peace and development of the Bangsamoro people in order to achieve total unity among our peoples for peace and development of Mindanao and its island.”
Arasa said that besides the MNLF junior cadre officers, MNLF senior leaders, field commanders and even MNLF members integrated into Armed Forces of the Philippines, the other parties who signed the manifesto were Moro professionals and mass-based leaders who have made calls and appeals to the leadership of both fronts to comply, respect, and honor the OIC resolution to achieve a united front.
The participants in the consultative meeting also called upon the government to fully implement the Final Peace Agreement signed by the MNLF and the government on September 2, 1996. They said that were still salient provisions of the peace agreement that were not completely implemented.
Hadji Kairan Suhaili, vice chairman of MNLF Palawan State Revolutionary Committee, and one of the ranking officials of the front’s junior cadre officers’ corps, said that the 1996 agreement was signed with the help of the OIC that acted as the peace broker. He added that the agreement practically ended the Moro war against the government.
“The 1996 peace accord has finally ended the three decades of bloody Moro revolutionary struggle against the government. However, even in time of peace we still maintain the Moro struggle right to self-determination vis-à-vis the honorable peace agreed upon by the government and the MNLF,” Suhaili emphasized.
Prof. Julkipli Wadi, dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City (Metro Manila), who was the keynote speaker during the consultation, underscored the presence of the MNLF in the OIC with a permanent observer status representing the Bangsamoro people since 1974.
“The MNLF presence in the Organization of the Islamic Conference since 1974 has certainly provided the MNLF strong ally and venue to internationalize the Moro struggle with Chairman Misuari now probably the oldest attendee in the annual meetings of said organization, as Arab leaders have finished their terms while others have been falling one by one especially with the current ferment in the Arab world,” he said.
“No doubt, the MNLF has undeniably engraved an indelible mark in history,” Wadi added.
He further said most of the junior cadre officers are calling upon all stakeholders in the peace process to fully implement the 1996 peace accord signed by the MNLF and the government, so that the elusive peace and economic development for the Bangsamoro people can be finally attained.