HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BANGSAMORO HISTORY
Compiled by: Altifahny Laguindab, Rey Trillana, Abdulrahman Ismael and Samira Gutoc
1450 AD – A Johore-born Arab adventurer, Shari’ful Hashem Syed Abu Bakr, arrived in Sulu from Melaka; He married Param Isuli, daughter of Raja Baguinda, and founded The Royal Sultanate of Sulu in 1457; He declared himself H.R.H. Paduka Maulana Mahasari Sharif Sultan Hashem Abu Bakr, Sultan of Sulu, of the Saudi House of Hashemite in Hadramaut, where most Tausug and Yakan believe Prophet Mohammad’s genealogy is traced.
1451 AD – By this time, the Melakan Sultanate had become a leading center of Islam in southeast Asia, and as a time-tested protege of the Ming dynasty, Yung Lo sent away his daughter Hang Li-po and a cortege of five-hundred Mandarin ladies as a gift to Melakan Sultan Mansor Shah in 1459; in turn, Shah conceived “Bukit Cina” as a permanent residential court for his esteemed visitors.
1457-1480 – H.R.H. Sultan Syed Hashem Abu Bak’r reign.
1470 AD – Muslim conquest of the Madjapahit Empire.
1473-1521 AD – Golden age and rule of Nakhoda Ragam Sultan Bulkeiah’s Sultanate of Brunei that expanded her hegemony to include North Borneo, Sarawak, Indonesia Balabac, Banggi, and Palawan in Archipelago San Lazaro (present-day Philippines) and the new Royal Sultanate of Sulu
1480-1519 – H.R.H. Sultan Kamal ud-Din reign.
1509 AD – A Bengali Putih and Diego Lopez deSequeira with a squadron of five Portuguese battle ships established the first White settlement in Melaka (Ferdinand Magellan was said to be a member of this expedition).
1511 AD – Portuguese privateer Alfonso de Albuquerque captured Melaka from deSequeira and reported of Muslim trading vessels from Sulu anchored in that Malay port.
1512 AD – Unnamed Portuguese sailors effected a brief landing in Mindanaw.
1520 AD – Jesuit historian Francisco Combe reported of an unnamed Muslim Sharif who tried to spread Islam to Jolo but died at Bud Tumangtangis; His magnificent tomb was comparable to those in Makkah, but unfortunately in the years following, Manila Spaniards burned it to the ground.
1565-1663 – Fourth Stage of Moro Wars (Majul)
1638-1640 – Records had it that Sulu Sultan Wasits many heroic battles during this period at Bud Datu in Jolo island against the Manila Spaniards were never lucidly recorded; It was Wasit who named this hill to honor the bravery and unconditional loyalty of his datus.
1718-1772 – Fifth Stage of Moro Wars (Majul)
December 21, 1751 – A furious Manila governor-general F. Valdez y Tamon issued a decree that ordered: (1) The extermination of all Moros with fire and sword; (2) The destruction of all their crops and desolate their lands; (3) Make Moro captives; (4) Recover Christian slaves; and (5) Exempt all Christians from payment of any taxes and tributes while engaged in the termination of these Moros.
March 1877 – The Sulu Protocol was signed between Spain, England, and Germany that recognized Spain’s rights over Sulu and, in consideration for the said lease of North Borneo, ended European hostilities in the area
July 22, 1878 – Sultan Jamal ul-Alam signed a treaty with the Spanish Crown making whole of Sulu a protectorate of Spain yet retained her autonomy and the privilege to fly own flag thus saved Jolo from further destruction. [Majul, Muslim in the Philippines/ Kho]
1883 – Manila Spanish government established a customs house in Ciudad de Zamboanga to clear goods coming into the Sultanate of Sulu but, on the insistence of the British, Jolo was declared a free port and trade continued.
December 10, 1898 – Treaty of Paris was signed in Washington DC between the United States and Spain
December 21, 1898 – McKinley issued a proclamation calling for a Philippine colonial policy of benevolent assimilation.
February 5, 1842 – American captain Charles Wilkes landed in Jolo and signed the first-ever US-documented peace & trade treaty with Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I.
August 20, 1899 – Sultan Jamalul Kiram II hesitatingly signed the treaty with Gen. J.C. Bates. (Bates Treaty or Senate Document No. 136, 56th Congress, lst Session, Serial 3851). A very critical error of translation exists in this treaty. The Tausug version states “The support, aid, and protection of the Jolo Island and Archipelago are in the American nation, “whereas the English version read: “The sovereignty of the United States over the whole Archipelago of Jolo and its dependencies is declared and acknowledged. The word “sovereignty” was not used anywhere in the Tausug version. (Peter Gowing, Mandate in Moroland. The American Government of Muslim Filipinos 1899-1920, p. 122).
Among the other terms of the treaty were:
1) Non-interference with religion, social and domestic customs or internal economic or political affairs of Moros unless requested to do so
2) The U.S. was not to give or sell Sulu or anypart of it to any other nations
3) Continuation of the $250.00 monthly allowance that was initiated by the Spaniards
4) Slaves allowed to purchase their freedom.
November 7, 1900 – The U.S. pays Spain another $100,000 to incorporate the islands stretching as far as Sibutu to Cagayan de Sulu.
President William McKinley’s Instruction to the First Philippine Commission of 1900 treated the Moro Nation initially as a Dependent Nation.
March 2, 1904 – The U.S. unilaterally abrogates the Bates Treaty,upon recommendations by Gov. Gen. Wood, for two main reasons: the Sultan’s failure to quell Moro resistance and the treaty’s hindrance to effective colonial administration of the area. Payments to the Sultan also stopped. April 1904
The Sultan protests the unilateral abrogationof the Bates Treaty. He argues that he couldn’t stop the Moro conflict against the Americans because of U.S. had imposed poll and land taxes onthe population, a practice which the Moros were not used to. He urged theAmericans not to “put yokes on our necks that we cannot bear, and don’tmake us do what is against our religion and don’t ask us to pay poll tax forever and ever as long as there is sun and moon, and don’t ask taxes for land which are our rights of the Moro people, including all that grows (is planted) in Jolo and its islands.” (Letter to Gov. Gen, Luke Wright in Peter Gowing, p. 350-351) Nov. 12, 1904
March 7, 1906 – U.S. Philippine Commission restores annual payments to the Sultan and his advisers.
900 Moros killed in Bud Dajo, Sulu
1968-1971 – Constabulary elements took control of Muslim communities. Christian paramilitary groups staged an attack at a Mosque killing 65 men, women and children, which gained international attention.
Before the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was organized, Datu Udtog Matalam, led the first salvo by leading the Mindanao Independent Movement (MIM) declaring the whole of Lanao, Cotabato “Empire”, Davao Sur, all of Zamboanga Peninsula , Sulu (including Tawi-tawi), Basilan and Palawan as independent. These were the same areas identified in the 1976 Tripoli Agreement.
March 1968 – Government forces massacred 28 Moro army recruits with one survivor on Corregidor Island in what was dubbed the Jabidah massacre, triggering publicity and widespread indignation across the country.
September 21, 1972 – Marcos declared martial law. One month later, the first organized Moro counter-offensive took place in Marawi. The MNLF declared secessionist war against the government.
November 14, 1972 – The MNLF, headed by University of the Philippinese Professor Nur Misuari, Salamat Hashim and others, was formally announced. Fighting escalated between Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and MNLF forces.
January 1975 – MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari and government representatives held its first meeting in Jeddah , Saudi Arabia . Autonomy was the first exploratory option, after the 6th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) supported it as basis for negotiations. The definition of autonomy was culled from the Working Paper of the Committee of Four ( Senegal , Libya , Saudi Arabia and Somalia ) which provides for self-government within the framework of Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
December 23, 1976 – MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari and GRP Defense Undersecretary Carmelo Barbero signed the Tripoli Agreement. The Agreement provides for autonomy in 13 provinces and nine cities in Southern Philippines.
March 25, 1977 – Pres. Marcos issued Proclamation 1628 declaring autonomy in 13 provinces. On 17 April, a plebiscite was called despite MNLF objections. Only 10 to 13 provinces voted for autonomy. Talks broke down.
May-December 1977 – A group led by Salamat Hashim broke away from the Misuari-led MNLF leadership. Hashim went to Cairo , Egypt declaring a New MNLF.
1978 – Negotiations between the MNLF and GRP resumed. However, Marcos chose to negotiate with Hashim instead of Misuari. The 9th ICFM declared Misuari as chairman and spokesman for the MNLF.
1979 – Misuari reverted to his original position for secession, which was supported only by Iran . Surrendered MNLF founding member Abul Khayr Alonto joinsed government panel.
1980 – Malaysia and Indonesia offered to serve as peace brokers. The 11th ICFM in Pakistan requested GRP to implement the 1976 Tripoli Agreement.
1981 – Misuari failed to convince Arab states summit in Saudi Arabia to support secession. Marcos meanwhile, visited Saudi Arabia and OIC Habib Chatti. The 13th ICFM called on GRP to immediately expedite the implementation of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. CPP-NPA formed the Moro Revolutionary Organization.
1984 – The 15th ICFM reaffirmed its commitment to recognize the territorial integrity of the Philippines and called for MNLF to close ranks. Hashim meanwhile officially declared the establishment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
February 26, 1986 – Marcos ousted by a people-led revolt. Newly-installed President Aquino tasked the Constitutional Commission to include provisions for autonomy in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras .
March-September, 1986 – MILF sent feelers to GRP Pres. Aquino for peace talks. Through the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Muslim World League mediation, both MILF and MNLF agreed in principle to negotiate jointly in an expanded panel. In September, Aquino visited an MNLF camp which Misuari seizes to gain an initiative and recognition for the MNLF from the government as its negotiating panel.
August 1, 1989 – Philippine Congress passed Republic Act 6734, which creates the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and signed by Aquino into law on 1 August 1989. On November 10, a plebiscite was called, boycotted by MILF and MNLF. Only four provinces— Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi— chose autonomy.
July-October 1992 – The 20th ICFM in Istanbul called for the resumption of the peace talks between the MNLF and GRP. In July 1992, Pres. Fidel V. Ramos appointed a National Unification Commission (NUC) to formulate an amnesty program for MNLF rebels. On October 1992, the first round of peace talks were held.
1993 – Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas hosted the second round of GRP-MNLF exploratory talks which led to the signing of Executive Order 125 defining the approach and administrative structure for government peace effforts.
1994-1995 – Ramos issued Proclamation 347 granting amnesty to Moro rebels and creating a government-MNLF Joint Ceasefire Committee. In September, the second round of formal talks began. An Interim Agreement was signed, containing 81 points of consensus in defense, education, economic and financial systems, mines and minerals, Shariah courts, functions of a Legislative Assembly and Executive Council and representation in the national government and administrative system.
1996 – A meeting of the GRP-MNLF Mixed Committee resulted in the establishment of the Southern Philippines Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD).
September-December 1996 – The Final Peace Agreement is signed on 2 September. The MILF distances itself from the Agreement, but commits not to stand in the way of peace. In the ARMM elections, Misuari runs for governor and wins, and six MNLF leaders are elected to the Regional Legislative Assembly. Ramos issues Executive Order 371, which departs from the Agreement on some significant points. The government forms a new negotiating panel for talks with the MILF in October. The MILF, in a display of strength, holds a huge assembly near Cotabato City from 3-5 December, and reaffirms commitment to independence.
Misuari wins the election as first ARMM Governor. Ramos issued Executive Order 371, a slight departure from the FPA on some significant points. GRP started negotiations with MILF.
1997 – MILF and the GRP issued a joint statement for peace. However, heavy fighting between MILF and AFP forces in Buldon which killed hundreds, marred the negotiations. In March, an Interim Ceasefire Monitoring Committee was formed but in June, AFP launches biggest offensive against MILF.
1999 – Congress filed three bills amending the Organic Act on the ARMM, expanding it in accordance with the FPA. MILF-GRP formal peace talks began at the Dawah Center , Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. On December 17, GRP-MILF panels agreed on the rules and procedures for the conduct of formal peace talks.
2000 – All out war policy by Erap Administration invites international attention to massive evacuations .
July 9, 2000 – Government forces overran MILF camps.
July 12, 2000 – MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim declared jihad against the Philippine government.
August 21, 2000 – MILF disbanded its peace panels after GRP issues warrants of arrest against its leaders.
September 22-24, 2000 – the MILF 16th General Assembly reaffirmed Salamat Hashim’s declaration of jihad against GRP.
February 7, 2001 – Philippine Congress approved House Bill 7883 and Senate Bill 2129 as Republic Act 9054, supplanting RA 6734 or the ARMM Organic Act. On February 20, President Gloria Arroyo declared the suspension of offensive military action (SOMO).
March 13, 2001 – President Arroyo named Misuari as Special Envoy to the OIC. On March 24, GRP and MILF signed a General Framework of Agreement of Intent in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia .
March 24, 2001 – The “Agreement on the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks” was signed in Kuala Lumpur by then Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Eduardo Ermita and Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, then MILF vice chair for military affairs. Ebrahim would be named MILF peace panel chair until he assumed the post of MILF chair Salamat Hashim in late July 2003 after Hashim succumbed to a lingering illness in Lanao. MILF information chief Iqbal took over the chairmanship of the peace panel. The March 24, 2001 agreement was hailed a “breakthrough” especially with both parties agreeing to resume the talks “immediately” after the signing of the March 24, 2001 agreement “and continue the same from where it had stopped before April 27, 2000 until they shall have reached a negotiated political settlement of the Bangsamoro problem.”
The parties also agreed to “commit to honor, respect and implement all past agreements signed by them” and to “negotiate with sincerity and mutual trust, justice and freedom, and respect for the identity, culture and aspirations of all peoples of Mindanao.” (Mindanews)
March 30, 2001 – Philippine Congress approved RA 9054, An Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act 7634, Entitled “An Act Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as Amended”
April 2001 – The 15-Man Executive Council was formed in defiance to the leadership of Nur Misuari and chose MNLF Vice Chairman Hatimil Hassan as Chairman of the Executive Council. Misuari, however, remained ARMM governor.
June 19-22, 2001 – GRP and MILF panel chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim signed an Agreement on Peace.
August 7, 2001 – MILF and MNLF signed an Agreement on the General Framework for Unity and a Joint Communique and Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement of Peace in 2001.
November 19, 2001 – Former MNLF Chair Misuari was accused of rebellion and on November 24, Misuari was arrested in Malaysia .
November 26, 2001 – MNLF Executive Council member Parouk Hussin was elected ARMM Governor. On December 20, the GRP and MNLF signed a Joint Communique to recognize the progress in the implementation of the 1996 Peace Agreement and the need to sustain its progress.
January 2002 – Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Jesus Dureza takes Misuari from Subang Jaya, Royal Malaysian Air Force Base on 7 January and brings him to the detention bungalow in Sta. Rosa Laguna. The CCCH, tasked with supervising the implementation of the ceasefire, meets for the first time on 12 January.
February 2002 – Skirmishes resume in various parts of central Mindanao .
2004 – In December 2004, the discussions on ancestral domain, the last of the three major agenda items aside from security and rehabilitation, were divided into four strands – concept, territory, resources and governance.
2006 – The impasse of the peace talks started on September 6-7, during the 13th exploratory talks over the issue of territory when the GRP’s recognition of the 613 Muslim-dominated barangays is conditioned on undergoing a constitutional process .
2007 – Nov. 14 Joint Statement – Among the consensus points on ancestral domain that the two panels agreed upon were: the “joint determination of the scope of the Bangsamoro homeland based on the technical maps and data submitted by both sides; measures to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people arising from their unjust dispossession and/or marginalization; Bangsamoro people’s right to utilize and develop their ancestral domain and ancestral lands; and economic cooperation arrangements for the benefit of the entire Bangsamoro people.”
April 2008 – Makati Regional Trial Court allows MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari to post bail.
July 22, 2008 – PGMA in a visit in Maguindanao, announces she supports a call to postpone the ARMM elections scheduled on August 11, 2008.
Dureza said the “Cabinet consensus” to postpone the regional polls was reached after Arroyo met with Cabinet members and ARMM officials in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Shariff Kabunsuan .
In the days to come, Zamboanga City Mayor Celso L. Lobregat, who has objected to calls for some parts of the city to be under the Bangsamoro territory, said he is backing North Cotabato Vice-Governor Emmanuel F. Piñol, who will file a case with the Supreme Court demanding public disclosure of the contents of the ancestral domain draft pact.
July 24, 2008 – 5 Muslim lawmakers filed House Bill 4832 which proposes to amend Section 1 of Republic Act 9333 – the law that sets the August 11 ARMM elections – by replacing the date of the ARMM polls to coincide with the May 2010 national elections.
Those who authored the House Bill 4832 are representatives Faysah Dumarpa of Lanao del Sur, Simeon Datumanong of Maguindanao, Munir Arbison of Sulu, Mujiv Hataman of party-list Anak Mindanao, and Pangalian Balindong of Lanao del Sur.
Senator Miguel Zubiri backs out on filing a similar bill.
July 28, 2008 – 14th Congress opens session with the State of the Nation Address by PGMA which mentions support for the peace process.
July 31, 2008 – The House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms approved on July 31, the bill that seeks to postpone the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Seventeen lawmakers were for the postponement.
Radio dzXL said those opposed to proposals to postpone the ARMM elections are:
• Senate President Manuel Villar II,
• Senate President Pro-tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada,
• Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan,
• Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr,
• Sen. Richard Gordon,
• Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano,
• Sen. Pia Cayetano,
• Sen. Mar Roxas II,
• Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, and
• Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
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