Monthly Archives: February 2011

Patahunan Bahau. By iyakan Puntukan

Alhamdulillah, pudji duk sanglit si Tuhan Magpapanjari katilingkal alam. Duk salawat duk kasanyangan si panghu’ te bi Muhammad kahinapusan Nabi duk Rasul.

Dambuli;

Mag-indan patahunanin lamud amban me kalalagihan me manusiya dambuwa kawman atawa lahat, sarta tabilan fardou kifaya si me Muslim manuntut ilmu ne inin (ilmu falak) pegge’ niya parsugpatan ne duk kasinduwehan me’ ibadat, kuwe’ ne me’ pagtekka bulan puwase duk bulan paghadji ye ne tabilang siye amban me’ rukun Islam lime.

Elimu’ iyan pasulaput iye amban duwe labeyan pangahati iye; kaissa’ nen amban pagsahari bulan duk paglinep ne bulan-bulan duk ye inin asal-asal nen. Kaduwe nen amban pagsilak mata ellew duk pagseddep ne ellew-ellew (inin asal-asal nen mangkin iye pinda magkulang maglabi amban siyampu ellew). Amban sabab iyan, saplag si kalahat-lahat kaniya-kaniya maghinang kalindariyu de luu ne ke tinuhut labeyan mata bulan (lunar calendar pain bahasa inglisin) atawa isab labeyan mata ellew (solar calendar bang si bahasa inglis). Damikkiyan magbidda-bidda du isab pagtagnaan de pag-itungan patahunanin, me’ bangsa sinain dehellu siye ibuhan tahun mag-itung patahunan, damikkiyan me’ injanin duk me’ aa misir-in kaniya-kaniya siye iyan duk itungan patahunan de. Sampay manjari bawag si entero dunya sampay kuitu inin ne ye ne magtagna siye mag-itung amban kapanganak Nabi Isa alayhis salam duk tinenteman de inantananin ye labeyan pag-itung ellew ye ne ngabut ne siye kuitu duwe ngibu duk sampuk dambuwa (2011) tahun ye ne ginellal we bahasa inglisin (Gregorian calendar) atawa (Taqwim Miladi) sambat bahasa arabin. Puwas ien tekka Islamin si tangan Nabi Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, sampay finardu we Allah subey kite muwase dambulan dem dantahun, duk kawajiban kite maghadji hap Makkah si waktu tartantu, apabila du isab tagees te mapihin, na billai maghajat agama ten subey mag-indan duk mag-itung patahunan, ye ne magtayakkup kemon me’ sahabatin magtagna’ amban bulan Muharram duk ngitung siye nagna’ amban tahun paghijra Nabi te Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam amban Makkah tudju Madina, ye ne bantu si bahasa inglis (Hijrah Calendar) ngabut ne kite kuit dangibu ampat hatus duk tellumpuk duwe (1432) amban tahun ye paglalin Nabi tebi Muhammad sallahu alayhi wasallam ley.

Si dambuli masa, magsawuganti’ me’ manusiyain ngalibut katilingkal dunya pipitu si bidda-bidda aka duk hajat sampay magleggey-ileggey ne pangaddatin bangsahin hap saddi bangsa, maglawlamud ne pangadjiin, kulang ne amban siye makaliley duk makapinig panghati matumawwa duk manggain. Amban sabab ien, dambuwa ne tahinang pangaddatan si antara’ de pakaniya-kaniya ye ne magsagina siye si panagnaat tahun duk me’ ginis-ginis ne lalabetan. Upama nen, pain arabin “KULLU AM WA ATUM BI KHAIR” atawa kan “AAMUN JADID ASSAID” duk ekka pe billai. Me ien ga’ ien niya poon ne amban Agama te Islam we’ subey hininang me’ parkala’ ley, sali’ du kaniyaan nen Hijri atawa miladi. Sumaguwa’ wajib hadja isab subey niya’ ingat tau te we’ paasek ne isab tahun bahauhin.

Si kuitu, ekka teeran takite mata tebi duk takale taynge tebi, sampay bang patekka matuk pe kitebi magpain “HAPPY NEW YEAR” bang taabut si kahinapusan bulan Disembel sampay panagnaan bulan Janwari, ye ne patuhut si aturan pag-itung ellew. Inin me’ pongtinai ku si agama, subey kitebi anib duk pateng si parkala inin. Sabab nen, hininang pangaddatan duk pinahadje iye we’ me tumpukan manusiya dumain mag-agama Islam, sarta’ binilang pe we’ de lamud amban pangeh agama de, panuttukan ne kiristiyanin masaplag pangaddatan inin mula-mula ne si lahat Yurup (Europe) duk Mirika (America) sampay taboo ne hap Asya (Asia) kaekkahan nen tampal silangan sarta hadje tibungkelan nen si uttara (north) Pilipinas duk tengnga ne, lapey ne pitu si me’ kahadjehan lahat si satan (south) Pilipinas ye ne sampay tapale me’ bale-bale nen dem kakawmanan me’ Muslim. Amban sabab ien, tarrang teed si agama te Islam kaharam nen, pegge me inin sahadje-hadje pangilalehan te satru Islam si tenged pamahadje (celebration) de iye. Na subey kitebi paanib manamal matuk-matuk magsagina duk “HAPPY NEW YEAR” iyan, pegge binandaan kite we Nabi tebi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam: (sine-sine ninged-ninged si kakahinang me’ satru, na lamud ne siye lai).

Allahu Taalah du labi mangatauhan mabennalin.

The OIC and the MORO

PHASE I. CONVENTIONAL MOBILIZATION (see Appendix A for a description of the internal conflict phase scheme utilized in this chronology)

1961: Federal Sulu Representative Ombra Amilbangsa files a bill seeking the separation of the Sulu archipelago from the Philippines. (Rodil 1993, 16).

1968: Dozens of Muslim recruits who are being trained in the Philippine Armed Forces are shot after they rebel. The Muslims were apparently being prepared to promote an agitation among the people of Sabah and North Borneo to demand annexation by the Philippines (referred to as Operation Merdeka). Muslims in the south are angered by the incident, which they refer to as the “Jabidah Massacre”, arguing that it is indicative of the government’s attitude toward the Moros. Military authorities assert that the soldiers rebelled as they had not been paid for several months. A congressional investigation does not press any charges. Malaysia responds by breaking off relations with the Philippines (May 1988, 53; Mercado 1984, 153-54).
In response to the massacre, a Muslim (later named Mindanao) Independence Movement is formed under the leadership of former governor Datu Udtog Matalam. The MIM issues a manifesto calling for an independent government for the Muslims of Sulu, Mindanao, and Palawan. The MIM contends that integration in the Philippines is impossible and that the government has been following a policy promoting the isolation and dispersal of Muslim communities (Rodil 1993, 16). Two other Muslim organizations are also formed: the Union of Islamic Forces and Organizations (UIFO) and Ansar El Islam.

PHASE II. MILITANT MOBILIZATION
1968-72: The Moros seek aid from the neighboring states of Malaysia and Indonesia. They concentrate their efforts upon the Sabah (region of Malaysia) government of Tun Mustapha (Heraclides 1991, 171). Heraclides asserts that the Moros cautiously limit their appeal to the Muslim world and do not deviate markedly from the positions of their Muslim supporters — Libya, the Islamic Foreign Ministers’ Conferences, and the Islamic Secretariat (Heraclides cites George 1980, pp 224-27, 251-6). Furthermore, despite the potential for short-term gains, the Moros are careful to reject broad cooperation with the various Marxist groups in the Philippines (Heraclides 1991, 171).

1969: Around 90 young Muslims begin guerrilla training in west Malaysia. Upon their return to Mindanao and Sulu, the guerrillas, who were recruited by the MIM and the UIFO, help organize local units of the Blackshirts, the MIM’s military wing (Mercado 1984, 157). Among the 90 are Nur Misuari and others who later form the Moro National Liberation Front and its military arm, the Bangsa Moro Army (Gopinath 1991, 128).

September 1970: The Christian movement, the Illaga, (means rat) is formed. Referred to as the Magic Seven, its leadership is drawn from Cotabato. Mercado says that the organization’s original mandate of self-defense soon acquires the fanatical and hostile anti-Muslim sentiments
of its founders (1984, 157).

PHASE IIIb. HIGH-LEVEL HOSTILITIES
1970-72: There is widespread violence between Muslims and Christians, especially between the Illagas and the Blackshirts. The violence escalates in the runup to local elections in 1971. Official sources indicate that 1566 people, mostly Muslims, are killed by the end of 1971 (May 1988, 53). Furthermore, during the second half of 1971, an estimated 100,000 people are displaced from the Lanao and Cotabato regions due to Muslim-Christian clashes (Mercado 1984,)

1971: On June 19, seventy Muslims inside a mosque are massacred in Barrio Manili, Carmen, in North Cotabato. No persons are found responsible although Philippine constabulary troopers are
implicated and accused of collaboration with the Illagas (Mercado 1984, 159). In the aftermath of the June 19 massacre, Libya’s Mohmmar Qaddafi initiates a program of aid and religious activities for Muslim refugees (Gopinath 1991, 130).

Mid-1971: A special Moro assembly is held in Zamboanga City. The session is called by Nur Misuari, a former political scientist who taught at the University of Manila. The assembly consensus leads to traditional Muslim leaders being stripped of their status and legitimacy as spokesmen for the cause of the Bangsa Moro. The MIM is also dissolved. The Moro National Liberation Front, with Misuari as chairman, is officially founded to replace the previous authority structure (Mercado 1984, 159).

November 22, 1971: Thirty-five Muslims Maranaos are killed while fifty-four others wounded in a massacre at the Tacub Philippine Army checkpoint. The Maranaos were in three trucks returning from voting in a special election at Magsaysay. The soldiers are acquitted due to a “lack of sufficient evidence” (Mercado 1984, 160). Christian politicians gain further power as a result of the local elections.

1972: MNLF Chairman Misuari travels to Sabah and Libya to obtain support for the Moro movement. Libyan President Qaddafi agrees to provide funds. The MNLF establishes offices in Damascus, Jeddah, and Tehran (Gopinath 1991, 130; May 1988, 54). The Third Islamic Conference in Jeddah expresses concern about the Moro issue.

September 21, 1972: Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos imposes martial law, citing unrest in the south. May asserts that this closes off the avenue of non-violent conflict for the Moros and leads to the launching of a jihad against the government (1988, 53). Mercado says that “the declaration of martial law and the concomitant program of creating a ’New Society’ are interpreted as an imposition of a ’Christian’ totalitarian social order to subvert the Moro by depriving them of their traditional sources of livelihood and their indigenous and Islamic culture. This also precludes any struggle through peaceful means and raises selfdetermination to the forefront of the struggle” (1984, 161).

1970s: The National Council of Churches of the Philippines forms a Muslim-Christian Reconciliation Study Committee. In order to promote understanding and search for a non-violent solution, local dialogues and campaigns are held (Casino 1987, 248 cites R.D. McAmis 1983, 33-34). Further, Christian churches and religious organizations express humanitarian concern for the innocent victims of both communities (Casino 1987, 248). According to Che Man (May 1988, 54 cites W.K. Che Man 1987, 118-19.), the MNLF’s greatest achievements are consolidating the various Moro groups and in making sporadic clashes into a conventional war that for a while threatens the stability of the Marcos regime. Reports indicate that in early 1970s the MNLF has a force of 5 to 30 thousand, some of whom were trained at camps in Malaysia, Libya, Syria, Egypt, and PLO sites. May argues that the fundamental concern of the MNLF is achieving autonomy for the Muslim areas of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan within the framework of an Islamic region (1988, 55). However, at times MNLF Chief Nur Misuari demands a separate Moro state. External Support for the Moros

Libya
At the beginning, the MNLF receives most of its funds from Libya. Lucman (1982 in May 1988, 55) says in 1972 Misuari obtains US $3.5 million from Libya. Then the MNLF also receives financial assistance from the OIC’s Solidarity Fund and logistical and material support from the Sabah government. But the MNLF begins to rely more on local support through collecting zakat (Islamic community taxes).

From 1973-75, Libya is the MNLF’s chief diplomatic and political supporter, while also providing arms and other military and financial aid. Qaddafi’s motives are officially stated as support for Islam. But Heraclides says that it is generally acknowledged that Qaddafi was seeking to enhance his image as a leader of stature of the Islamic and Arab worlds, attempting to replace Nasser who died in 1970, and to extend his own influence and further the “world revolutionary struggle” (Heraclides 1991, 174).

Malaysia-Sabah
Tun Mustapha of Sabah supplies aid to the Moros partly out of sympathy for the Muslim cause, and also because Sabah is facing severe manpower and labor shortages. Therefore, the government accommodates the Moros who flee the Philippines after martial law in 1972 and after the destruction of Jolo in 1978. The 1980 Malaysian census indicated that there were 47,400 Filipino Muslims in Sabah (Gopinath 1991, 131). Suhrke and Noble also state that Mustapha has harbored animosity against the Philippines since it announced its claim to Sabah in 1962. They refer to him as a Muslim zealot. Aid to the Moro from Sabah largely ends when Mustapha is forced to resign in 1985. This means that the Moros lose their main supply route (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 184). Malaysia is apparently responsible for military and other forms of aid from 1968-1972. This is partly due to the role of Sabah which continues its assistance. After 1972, Malaysia does not want to offend Manila, a member of ASEAN and to create difficulties in the OIC. There are reports of a quid pro quo arrangement: in return for Manila renouncing its claims to Sabah, Malaysia is supposed to cease Malaysian or Sabahan aid to the MNLF. This reportedly occurs through the good offices of Indonesia’s Suharto, upon Marcos’ initiative (Heraclides 1991, 173 cites George 1980, 409,420). However, Suhrke and Noble (1977, 190) indicate that this Indonesian arrangement was not accepted, especially by Malaysia. Malaysia never publicly admits that it is giving aid to the Moros. At Islamic Conferences, it calls for non-interference in the internal affairs of the Philippines but it also does not stop Mustapha from supplying assistance, perhaps fearing that Sabah would secede (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 184).

Indonesia
Indonesia generally follows a path of non-interference. There are some reports however that aid is given to the Moros by the governor of Makassar. But Indonesia officially favors limited autonomy, not independence. It offers to mediate the conflict as well as Philippine-Malaysian relations (Heraclides 1991, 174). Indonesia’s position likely reflects its own experience with Muslim movements in the 1950s and 1960s. It is primarily concerned with promoting regional stability. As of 1977, Indonesia does not consider itself an Islamic state and so it is not formally linked with the Islamic Secretariat, attending meetings only by invitation. At the Islamic meetings, Indonesia consistently takes a pro-Philippine stance, asking Libya not to interfere in the dispute (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 190).

ASEAN
There appears to be no visible involvement by ASEAN in the Moro issue. Suhrke and Noble argue that Malaysia and Indonesia are unwilling to use all the forms of leverage they have available, as they want to maintain good relations with the Philippines government. Further, the nature of the Moro goal of autonomy/independence could promote internal interference in a country’s affairs, something both states want to avoid. Malaysia and Indonesia did previously argue that ASEAN was a better forum than the OIC to deal with the Moro issue. But in early 1976, Malaysia stated it would not attend the ASEAN summit if the Moro issue was brought up. The two states felt that ASEAN would be a better forum as it would not handle the issue to avoid any confrontation that would jeopardize its existence. There are some reports however that private talks on the issue have taken place at ASEAN sessions (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 195).

Organization of the Islamic Conference
In the early 1970s, the MNLF seeks political, economic, and military aid from the Islamic foreign ministers. It wants formal recognition of the republic, support for the MNLF in the UN and other Third World fora, military assistance, the channeling of all refugee aid through the MNLF, and the breaking of all diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties with the Philippines. It also believes an oil boycott is significant. Following the 1973 war, both Saudi Arabia and Iran briefly suspend exports of oil to the Philippines to show their support for the MNLF. However, the boycott is reportedly lifted solely due to opportunism (Gopinath 1991, 131). For their part, the Islamic Foreign Ministers do not formally recognize or support an independent state, they do not call for military support or cut ties with the Philippines. But they condemn as inadequate the socio-economic measures proposed by the Philippine government as a solution to the Moros’ problems. They call for a peaceful solution within the framework of the current Philippines while recognizing the MNLF as an appropriate participant in negotiations. The OIC sets the framework for the 1974 talks between the three sides (Gopinath 1991, 131). Suhrke and Noble argue that the OIC’s concern may have restrained the Philippine government’s conduct of the war. It also affects the timing and content of government announcements of new policies (1977, 209).

March 1973: The fourth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Bengazi, Libya, establishes a Quadripartite Commission to deal with the Moro issue. The Foreign Ministers of Libya, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Somalia, who comprise the commission, are given the task of visiting the Philippines to hold discussions about the situation of the Muslims (Casino 1987, 238). The conference also expresses “deep concern over the reported repression and mass extermination of Muslims in Southern Philippines” and urges the government to immediately halt these actions
(Heraclides 1991, 175).

January 1974: Resolution 18 is passed at the Fifth Islamic Conference in Kuala Lumpur. It urges the Philippine government “to find a political and peaceful solution through negotiations with Muslim leaders, particularly with the representative of the Moro National Liberation Front, in order to arrive at a just solution to the plight of Filipino Muslims within the framework of the National sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines” (Casino 1987, 238; Heraclides 1991,175). Following the OIC’s meeting, the organization’s Secretary-General, Hassan al-Tohamy, makes several trips to Manila and arranges the 1975 Jeddah meeting between the Philippines government and the MNLF (Gopinath 1991, 132).

1974: The MNLF holds its first congress. Its manifesto declares the establishment of a Bangsa Moro Republik (Bangsa nation) and announces the organization’s intention to secure ’a free and independent state for the Bangsa Moro people’. These demands are expanded upon in a 1975 document submitted to the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Jeddah. It also accuses the Marcos government of ’cultural genocide’ and demands a separate state. The OIC pressures the MNLF to change its demand to autonomy (May 1988, 55).

1975: The first formal talks between the Philippine government and the MNLF occur in Jeddah in 1975 through the intervention of the OIC. The talks are set in a domestic framework, to be resolved within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Philippines. The talks fail, according to Dr. Adam Malik, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, due to the complexity of the question and the disproportionate demands put forth by Misuari. Misuari reportedly wanted an a priori public declaration agreeing to the creation of an autonomous region, with a separate government and army, as a condition for the success of the talks. Malik says this would not be accepted by any “reputable” sovereign government (Rodil 1993, 17 cites the Republic of the Philippines, Background Information on the Situation in Southern Philippines, Department of Public Information, Manila, 1976, 29).

July 1975: At the 6th Islamic Conference held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Quadripartite Commission submits a plan of action that is approved by the conference and the MNLF. It provides the basis upon which the Commission will negotiate with the Philippine government on the Moro issue (Casino 1987, 238).

Mid-1970s: Estimates from 1969 to first quarter of 1976 indicate that there were 35-60,000 dead, 31-54,000 injured, and 260-350,000 displaced as a result of the Moro insurgency (Rodil 1993, 17).

November 1976: Imelda Marcos goes to Tripoli for a series of talks with the OIC and the MNLF that last through December. On December 24, a ceasefire goes into effect that is to be supervised by the MNLF, the Philippines government and the Quadripartite Commission (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 188).

December 21, 1976: The MNLF and the Philippines government sign the Tripoli Agreement, with the participation of the Quadripartite Ministerial Commission members of the Islamic Conference and the Secretary General of the Islamic Conference.

The key provisions of the agreement are:

  1. The establishment of autonomy in the Southern Philippines within the realm of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
  2. The specification of 13 geographic areas of autonomy for the Muslims in the Southern Philippines (Casino 1987, 238-39).
  3. The promise that all necessary constitutional processes for the implementation of the entire agreement will be taken by the Philippine government (Casino 1987, 239).

PHASE IVb. CESSATION OF OPEN HOSTILITIES
Analysis of Tripoli Agreement
Casino argues that international involvement is vital in bringing the Philippines government to the conference table at the 1976 Tripoli negotiations. It also confers upon the MNLF an international political and legal status. The accords give the MNLF the status of an insurgency rather than a belligerency, which carries more leverage in international law (Casino 1987, 241). Suhrke and Noble state that the Islamic meetings have provided a focus for the lobbying activities of the MNLF, shaping the nature of its appeals, and determining its negotiating position toward the Philippine government (1977, 191). They also assert that the OIC is responsible for muting the MNLF’s demand from independence to autonomy (1977, 192).
May says that from 1972, when the Moro issue was brought to its attention, the OIC exerts sustained pressure on the Marcos government to negotiate autonomy demands with the MNLF, along with providing assistance. Saudi Arabia and Iran also briefly suspend oil exports to the Philippines to demonstrate support for the MNLF (May 1988, 57).
Casino says that from 1972-77, the series of Islamic Conferences generally passed resolutions fair to both the Philippines government and the Moros. The resolutions held the MNLF back from pressing for secession. “The diplomatic restraint was also a clear signal to the Philippine government that the conference would not interfere with the internal affairs of another sovereign state” (1987, 240).
Mercado asserts that the negotiation and signing of the Tripoli agreement is in itself a tremendous diplomatic victory for the MNLF/BMA as it is accorded a belligerent state status. The terms of agreement are highly favorable to the MNLF/BMA demands. The Philippine government also benefits enormously from the agreement as it provides a much needed breathing spell to recover from the consequences of the Mindanao “war” on the economy. The government is also able to bring home the Moro issue from the Middle East (Mercado 1984, 164). Gopinath says that Islam is able to generate tremendous moral, spiritual, and emotional strength for Muslim communities. It has been able to instill a sense of religious solidarity and hence external threats are seen as a direct threat to the existence of the religious community. He asserts that there are at least two reasons why the Moro turned towards Islamic revivalism: 1) a genuine desire to preserve Islamic practice that has been handed down through generations. Also, there is a turn toward reinforcing traditional values, the lack of which are seen as responsible for society’s ills along with the government’s encroachment on religious and social institutions; 2) the need to justify a violent struggle against integration, which is defined as a Jihad (Gopinath 1991, 141-) An estimated 50-60,000 people are killed from 1972-76. Official government figures reveal that between 500,000 and a million people are displaced and at least 200,000 sought sanctuary in Sabah (Mercado 1984, 162-63).

April 1977: The timetable laid out in the Tripoli talks is not followed due to disagreements over
the meaning of autonomy and Marcos’ desire to hold a plebiscite in the affected areas (the MNLF
opposes this as Muslims are a minority in many areas). In early 1977, Imelda Marcos travels to Tripoli to meet with Qaddafi. The resulting compromise, announced on April 8, provides that Marcos will declare an autonomous region comprising the 13 provinces, appoint a regional provisional government, and hold a plebiscite to deal with administrative issues (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 188-89).

April 17, 1977: In accordance with the constitution, the major changes demanded by the MNLF for the autonomous areas have to be decided through a popular referendum. This is held on April 17. Three provinces, Davao del Sur, South Catabato, and Palawan vote against integration. The remaining 10 provinces are grouped into two autonomous regions: Region 9 and 12, with five provinces each. Region 9 consists of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte. Region 12 includes Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, North Catabato, Magindanao, and Sultan Kudarat. Among other things, the referendum rejects naming the autonomous region the Bangsamoro Islamic Region, developing its own flag, official language, and courts, and allowing the MNLF to be able to organize separate security forces (Casino 1987, During the referendum, traditional Muslim leaders ally with Christian leaders against the MNLF which boycotts the referendum. The MNLF by this time has reverted to its demand for independence. The Philippine Commission on Elections states that 96% of the 3 million people voters rejected the proposed changes (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 189; Madale 1984, 181).

PHASE IIIa. LOW-LEVEL HOSTILITIES
May 1977: MNLF leader Nur Misuari addresses the 8th Islamic Conference held in Libya. He claims that “the Marcos Government through its unilateral and highly reprehensible acts has succeeded in abrogating the Tripoli Agreement as well as the Khadaffy-Marcos understanding of March 1977”. Misuari accuses the Philippines government of eight unlawful actions including violations of the ceasefire, dividing the area into two autonomous regions, and the demilitarization of the 13 provinces (Mercado 1984, 165). At the urging of Qaddafi, the MNLF is granted observer status at the OIC but the organization stops short of supporting economic sanctions against the Philippines and urges the Quadripartite Commission to continue its mediation efforts (Suhrke and Noble 1977, 189).

1977: May argues that this year is a type of watershed in the history of the MNLF. By the time talks break down, the Bangsa Moro Army is a depleted force; many have been killed, while others have taken refuge in Sabah or the Middle East. By the early 1980s, over 140,000 Moro refugees are in Sabah and the government claims around 37,000 have surrendered in amnesty programs. Also, divisions arise within the MNLF. These divisions are reportedly due to personal differences/ ambitions, conflicting opinions on the subject of autonomy or independence, and whether it is possible to pursue negotiations based on the Tripoli Agreement.

In late 1977, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is established, using Pakistan as its base. Early in 1982, there is a further split as a ’Reformist Group’ is set up (MNLF-RG) in Jeddah (May 1988, 57). Nur Misuari is largely secular; he is not a part of the traditional elite and is considered by some as left-leaning. Ethnically, he is a Tausug-Samal from Sulu. His main sources of aid are Libya, Syria, Iran, and OIC (May 1988, 57-58).

The MILF leadership is drawn from traditional aristocratic and religious elites. They are primarily concerned with the promotion of Islam and the preservation of traditional Moro society. Ethnically the leader is a Magindanao and the organization receives aid from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait, and Malaysia (May 1988, 58).

The MNLF-RG leadership is also largely from the traditional elite, but it is not as focused on promoting Islamic consciousness as the MILF. Drawn largely from the Maranao tribe, it obtains aid from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia (Ibid.).

From 1977 onward, there is reported to be a drop in international support for the MNLF. The
abah government changes hands and stops aid in 1986. Libya backs off when Misuari became hardline about secession. The OIC continues to support Misuari’s leadership and seeks reconciliation in the movement but becomes preoccupied with other conflicts in the Muslim world (Ibid.).

1978: The OIC recognizes the MNLF as the legal representative of the Muslim movement and requests Islamic states to support it. The Secretary-General is given the task of holding consultations with Islamic states with a view to providing emergency aid to the Moro (Gopinath 1991, 133).

March 20, 1979: A Regional Assembly and Executive Council are created for the Autonomous Regions 9 and 12. Some former MNLF members serve in these organs. MNLF leader Nur Misuari earlier declined the chairmanship of the provisional government and MNLF supporters do not participate in the regional assembly elections (Casino 1987, 240; May 1988, 57).

1980: The Moro cause is recognized at a session of the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) in Belgium. The communist National Democratic Front (NDF) supports the MNLF’s campaign for secession (Casino 1987, 241; Gopinath 1991, 134).

The 11th Islamic Conference reaffirms its support for the struggle of the Bangsamoro people to achieve self-determination under the leadership of the MNLF (Casino 1987, 245 cites M.O. Mastura, “MNLF’s Path to Parliamentary Struggle”, in ibid., ed., Muslim Filipino Experience, Manila: Ministry of Muslim Affairs, 1984, p.12).

January 1981: The MNLF appeals to the Third Summit Conference of Heads of State in Mecca for recognition and support of the Bangsa Moro people’s right to self-determination. It wins sympathy from the Muslim world (Gopinath 1991, 134).

1984: The 15th Islamic Conference reconfirms Nur Misuari’s original MNLF as the “sole legitimate representative of the Bangsamoro People” (Casino 1987, 245 cites Nur Misuari, “Communique of the IVth General Meeting of the MNLF Leadership”, in Selected Documents for the Conference on the Tripoli Agreement, Quezon City: International Studies Institute of the Philippines, University of the Philippines, 1985, p.200). Sources indicate that the MNLF now has a force of 14,000 compared to around 21,000 in 1977 (Madale 1984, 185). The drop is likely due to the creation of other Moro groups.

1985: Misuari’s MNLF faction reportedly forms close relations with Iran. Viewing this as a potential threat to US interests, the State Dept and the Pentagon open up lines of communication with the MNLF reformist group under Dimas Pundato. Pundato is invited to Washington in 1985 (Casino 1987, 241).

Marcos’ Approach to the Moro Issue
May (1988, 60) and Madale (1984, 184) argue that Marcos adopted a two-fold strategy:

  1. provision of regional economic programs and concessions on selected religious and social matters (as the government believes the root causes are relative economic and social deprivation);
  2. use of conventional military force to quell the insurgency.

However, the Moros accrue few real economic benefits and little is done to alleviate the fears of Muslims that the real goal is to benefit those who moved to the south (Christians). Also the counterinsurgency campaign offsets the limited economic gains (May 1988, 60).

Marcos also tries to promote and exploit divisions among the Moros. In the early and mid- 1970s, for example, the government tries to discredit the MNLF by focusing on Misuari’s ’Maoist tendencies’. There were minimal links between the MNLF and the communist New Peoples’ Army and the MNLF generally distanced itself from the NPA (May 1988, 56).

Madale says that Marcos also conducts a fairly effective diplomatic campaign, especially within ASEAN and among the Islamic nations in the Middle East, to counter the MNLF’s bids for support in the Muslim world. He opens relations with the Islamic states and appoints a Muslim ambassador to Saudi Arabia. A Peace Panel composed of Muslims is also created to help promote interaction with the Moros (Madale 1984, 184-85).

Pressure from the OIC and others does lead Marcos to try to negotiate a deal. But a lack of commitment from Marcos and the idealistic demands of the MNLF lead to the breakdown of talks (May 1988, 60).

1986: The People’s Power Revolution. In the runup to the 1986 elections, Corazon Aquino promises that she will assist autonomous development in Muslim Mindanao and Sulu, although within the framework of the Republic. The Moro movement, at this time, is divided into a number of factions and is reported to have substantially declined in military strength (May 1992, 400). After she is inaugurated as President, Corazon Aquino initiates negotiations with Nur Misuari who returns from self-exile in the Middle East. However, even before talks begin, the MILF and MNLF-RG state they will not participate or honor any deal made. They launch armed attacks against military and civilian installations and army personnel and clashes are reported between the MNLF and the MILF (May 1992, 401).

Talks between the government and the MNLF in Jolo in September result in a ceasefire and an amnesty program. Attempts to unite the various Moro factions fail. By late 1986, it is clear that elements in the military and the government do not support the negotiations (Gopinath 1991, 134; May 1988, 59).

1986: The second Bangsa Moro Congress is held. Reports reveal that Misuari concedes to popular pressure and gives up the demand for independence (May 1988, 59).

January 4, 1987: An autonomy agreement, the Jeddah Accord, is signed between the Philippines government and the MNLF. The accord proposes to grant autonomy to all of Mindanao, including the island provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Palawan. The accord also reportedly sets the seal on Misuari’s abandonment of full independence (Gopinath 1991, 134 cites James P. Clad, “Autonomy and Acrimony”, Far Eastern Economic Review, Jan. 15, 1987).

April 1987: Peace talks resume on the basis of a draft executive order on the proposedautonomous government that will cover the 10 existing provinces in the Muslim autonomous regions (Gopinath 1991, 134 cites New Straits Times, April 9, 1987, p.12). The MNLF demands autonomy for all 23 provinces in Mindanao and the islands of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Palawan (Gopinath 1991, 134).

May 1987: Just before negotiations begin again, the MNLF accuses the armed forces of violating the ceasefire and cancels the scheduled talks. Misuari returns to the Middle East; he obtains OIC support for his denunciation of the Aquino government (May 1988, 59). In Misuari’s absence, May reports that the agenda is largely captured by conservative Muslim and non-Muslim groups. He argues that the Aquino government is now firmly committed to autonomy for Mindanao (May 1992, 401).

August-December 1989: On August 1, an Organic Act for the Autonomous Registration of Muslim Mindanao (RA 6734) is signed as a bill by President Aquino. It is submitted to a plebiscite on November 9. The MNLF and right-wing Christian groups oppose the act while the OIC first condemns and then supports the act. The surrounding confusion and dispute leads to low voter turnout and only 4 of the 13 provinces and 9 cities support the Organic Act (May 1992, 401). Estimates indicate that the voting area is 28% Muslim and 66% Christian. The four noncontiguous provinces, Lanao del Sur, Magindanao, Tawi-tawi, and Sulu, comprise the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The ARMM remains in place until the 1996 accord.

February 1990: Regional elections are held for the newly formed autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao. Former MNLF legal advisor, Zacaria Candao, a Magindanao, is elected governor. The election is viewed as a setback for the MNLF as in all four provinces of the new autonomous region, most voters reject its call for a boycott.

August 1990: The OIC does not act on the MNLF’s third formal request to join the organization.

October 1990: The Aquino government grants limited executive powers to the Candao regime. The control of ministries such as natural resources, tourism, employment, etc. is transferred to the Autonomous Regional Government.

PHASE IIIb. HIGH-LEVEL HOSTILITIES
March 1991: 13 Moro rebels are killed by soldiers in battles in Mindanao. The rebels destroy a power transmission tower.

July, 1991: Amnesty International accuses both the Philippines government and Moro rebels of gross human rights violations. Recently, 30 rebels are killed by government forces.

December 1991: The OIC summit in Dakar, Senegal, voices its support for the agreement between the government and the MNLF to resume peace talks. The MNLF fails to win OIC membership.

May 1992: Fidel V. Ramos is elected as President; he was the defense minister under the Aquino government.

September 1992: A National Unification Commission is established to tackle the task of negotiating a political settlement with the country’s armed groups. It is headed by former Election Commissioner, Haydee Yorac, a University of the Philippines Law Professor.

February 1993: 25 marines are killed, reportedly by MNLF rebels, after being ambushed on the southern Mindanao island of Basilan. This is the worst incident in the corp’s history.

April 1993: Meetings between the Philippines government and MNLF chief Misuari held in Jakarta from April 14-16 lead to an agreement to resume peace talks. Libya is described as a prime mover behind the meeting; the OIC will act as a facilitator.

June 1993: Soldiers kill 17 Muslim rebels who have increased their activities in view of upcoming peace talks between the government and the MNLF.

November 1993: An interim ceasefire agreement is signed in Jakarta between the MNLF and the Philippine government. The accord also sets up a committee to tackle the problems facing Muslims in Mindanao. The government’s chief negotiator is Retired General Manuel Yan.

December 1993: Christian gunmen bomb a mosque in the south shortly after explosions in a Roman Catholic church result in seven deaths and 151 injuries. Abu Sayyaf, also referred to as the MNLF Lost Command, is believed to be responsible. It opposes talks with the government (UPI, 12/27/93).

December 1994: The “Final Statement” of the OIC summit held in Morocco records with satisfaction the positive developments in the situation of the Muslims in the Philippines (UPI, 12/19/94).

April 1995: Around 200 Muslim rebels, reportedly members of Abu Sayyaf, raid three banks and attacks buildings and civilians in the town of Ipil on Mindanao island. Authorities state that over 45 people are killed and another 40 injured. This is reported to be the most violent attack in the 20-year Muslim insurgency. Authorities believe that two other rebel organizations, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are also
involved in the attack (Reuters, 04/05/95).

April 6, 1995: A spokesman for the MNLF denies that members of his group took part in the attack at Ipil. He indicates that Abu Sayyaf, the MILF, and members of a breakaway faction of the MNLF are responsible. The MNLF and the government are set to resume peace talks in June in Indonesia (Reuters, 04/06/95).

May 1995: The MNLF agrees to help the government battle “lawless elements” in the south (Reuters, 05/03/95).

May 21, 1995: A 15 year development plan for Mindanao is unveiled by President Ramos. The plan focuses upon improving the region’s infrastructure, modernizing fish processing, and establishing crop and livestock production and processing centers (Reuters, 05/21/95).

June 7, 1995: Gunbattles between security forces and Abu Sayyaf rebels on Basilan Island result in the deaths of 15 rebels and 7 soldiers. Officials state that Abu Sayyaf has links with Ramzi Ahmed Yousef who is on trial in New York in connection with the bombing of the World Trade Center building (Reuters, 06/07/95).

June 23, 1995: Another round of talks between the Manila government and the MNLF has concluded. A spokesman for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which is mediating the talks, says that 75 to 80% of the issues have been resolved. Further meetings will be held next month (Reuters, 06/23/95).

July 2, 1995: Philippine and foreign investors sign agreements worth some $80 million to develop Mindanao (Reuters, 07/02/95).

July 27, 1995: MNLF leader Nur Misuari says that he has the support of the MILF to undertake peace talks with the government. The MILF split from the MNLF in the early 1980s over Misuari’s leadership (Reuters, 07/27/95).

October 19, 1995: Gunbattles between soldiers and Moro rebels in Magindanao province result in six deaths (Reuters, 10/19/95).

November 16, 1995: Clashes between government soldiers and MNLF members on Basilan island have broken a ceasefire between the two sides. The incident occurred when troops entered a rebel camp. Both sides suffered casualties (Reuters, 11/16/95).

December 1, 1995: An interim agreement is signed by the MNLF and Manila following five days of peace talks in Indonesia. The agreement covers areas such as education, economic and financial systems, and the autonomous area’s proposed government and administration. However, key issues still remain including the integration of the rebels into the military and the government’s demand that a referendum be held to approve the proposed autonomous region. Muslims are now reported to make up only 40% of Mindanao’s population (Reuters, 12/01/95). On December 5, President Fidel Ramos unilaterally orders a month-long ceasefire for the Christmas holiday season (Reuters, 12/05/95).

December 13, 1995: A clash between the MILF and Ituman, a Christian militia organization, results in the deaths of five Ituman members (Reuters, 12/13/95).

January 4, 1996: A 1995 Philippine Defense Department report indicates that membership in Abu Sayyaf rose 12%, from 580 to 650, in 1995. The combined strength of the MNLF and the MILF grew 11%, from 22,330 in 1994 to 24,870 by last November. The leader of Abu Sayyaf, Libyan-trained Abdurajak Abubaker Janjalani, 32, is now the most wanted criminal in the Philippines; the group is reported to have links with Ramzi Yousef, the main suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (Japan Economic Newswire, 01/04/96).

January 7, 1996: The 4th round of talks between the MNLF and the govt will resume in Jakarta next month. Five major issues remain unresolved — the timing of a plebiscite to set up the autonomous government; the geographic scope of autonomy; the number of MNLF forces to be integrated in the army and the national police; revenue-sharing in the autonomous area; and the establishment of a regional security force (Xinhua News Agency, 01/07/96).

January 11, 1996: MNLF leader Nur Misuari refuses a government offer to lead the ARMM, sticking to the MNLF demand for “more meaningful autonomy”.

January 11, 1996: The MILF accuses the government of violating a truce agreement by deploying over 900 soldiers in the area of an irrigation project in North Cotabato province. The $65.4 million project was halted in 1994 following battles between the MILF and the government that left over 50 people dead (UPI, 01/11/96; Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 01/11/96).

February 29, 1996: Several mayors and provincial governors in the south refuse to participate in a meeting with MNLF leader Nur Misuari to help prepare the region for autonomy (UPI, 02/29/96).

February 29, 1996: After 20 years of hostilities, the MNLF and a rival Christian movement, the Illaga, form an alliance to promote peace and development in the south (UPI, 02/29/96).

March 2, 1996: Talks between the government and the MNLF, under the auspices of the OIC, break down over the issue of setting up a Muslim provisional government. Manila wants to hold a plebiscite before a provisional government is established while the MNLF wants the government set up by presidential edict as it fears that the Christian majority will reject autonomy. Representatives of the OIC and MNLF leader Misuari warn that the failure of the negotiations could strengthen the hands of radical groups such as the Abu Sayyaf (Reuters, 03/02/96 & 03/03/96).

March 5, 1996: The second largest Muslim group in the Philippines, the MILF, throws its support behind efforts by the MNLF to ensure that autonomy in the south will include the 13 provinces and 9 cities that were first outlined in the 1976 Tripoli Agreement (Deutsche Presse- Agentur, 03/05/96).

March 11, 1996: The bombing of two Roman Catholic Churches in Zamboanga leaves 12 people injured. Authorities believe that Abu Sayyaf is responsible for this attack along with numerous others bombings during the past three years (Bangkok Post: Reuter Textline,
03/11/96).

March 20, 1996: The MILF accuses the Philippine military of using nerve-gas bombs on the southern island of Mindanao. The military denies the charges, stating that it does not possess any such weapons (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 03/20/96).

April 4, 1996: President Fidel Ramos orders the armed forces to help halt a wave of bombings on Mindanao. Abu Sayyaf is reported to be responsible for eight bombs that have exploded in the past three weeks (Reuters, 04/04/96).

April 10, 1996: Battles between the MILF and government forces in North Cotabato result in 11 deaths (UPI, 04/10/96).

April 18, 1996: A seven-point agreement is reached between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to halt hostilities on Mindanao. Thirty-four people have died in battles during the last two weeks (UPI, 04/18/96).

April 24, 1996: President Fidel Ramos states that he will never impose martial law in order to deal with separatism in the south (Reuters, 04/24/96).

May 1, 1996: Officials claim that the MILF suffered a major defeat in gunbattles with the military in early April, revealing that it is not in a position to survive an all-out war with the country’s armed forces. The MILF states that it will abide by any agreement reached between the government and the MNLF, providing it does not compromise on full autonomy (The Straits
Times, Singapore, 05/01/96).

May 14, 1996: The Philippines government has reportedly devised a compromise in order to help break the deadlock in its negotiations with the MNLF. Under the proposal, Muslim rebels would take part in peacekeeping and development in Mindanao for at least two years. After that, a plebiscite would be held to determine the level of support for the provisional authority. Muslim groups have repeatedly warned of a renewed war if the current peace talks fail (Reuters, 05/14/96).

June 3, 1996: Some member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference are holding talks in Jakarta aimed at addressing the deadlock in the negotiations between the Philippines government and the MNLF. The representatives from Bangladesh, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Indonesia are discussing issues such as a plebiscite and the geographical reach of the autonomous area. The Philippines government and the MNLF are in attendance (UPI, 06/03/96).

June 5, 1996: A breakthrough has been reached in talks in Jakarta between the Philippines government and the Moro National Liberation Front. Although no specific details were provided, it appears that a government compromise plan unveiled on May 14 helped break the deadlock over the two sides’ differing interpretations of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. Indonesia heads an OIC ministerial committee that is brokering the talks (Reuters, 06/05/96).

June 20, 1996: The Philippines government and the MNLF fail to agree on the issue of integrating rebel forces into the army. This is one of the main issues blocking an agreement that would establish an MNLF transitional body to supervise development in the southern Mindanao region (Reuters, 06/20/96).

June 23, 1996: Following three days of talks between government and MNLF negotiators, an agreement is reached to establish the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. The Council, which will be run by the MNLF and guided by a consultative assembly of local officials and representatives from NGOS, is expected to pave the way for an autonomous region. Fourteen provinces and nine cities in the south will be governed by the council; this is basically the region that was laid out under the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. A plebiscite will be held in 1999 to determine if the region’s residents want to continue the council’s rule. However, two key issues still remain unresolved: an MNLF demand to establish its own regional police force and the integration of the rebels into the national army. These issues will be tackled by a special working group (Reuters, 06/23/96).

June 25, 1996: A Christian Congresswoman from Zamboanga is threatening to lead mass demonstrations to protest the establishment of the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. Church officials have also expressed concern over the role Muslim rebels will play in governing the region (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/25/96).

July 2, 1996: As he arrives in Zamboanga, President Fidel Ramos is greeted by around 20,000 Christians protesting the peace agreement with the MNLF. Ramos is traveling in the region to garner support for the accord (Reuters, 07/02/96).

July 8, 1996: The Roman Catholic Church urges President Ramos to defer a peace agreement with the Moros, warning that its implementation could lead to war by the Christian majority in the area (Reuters, 07/08/96).

July 10, 1996: At least 29 governors, vice governors, mayors, and congressmen in Mindanao sign a resolution expressing their support for a Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD) (Xinhua News Agency, 07/10/96).

July 12, 1996: MNLF leader Nur Misuari states that he will seek the governorship of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in elections this September. He will run under a coalition with President Ramos’ Lakas Party. The MNLF leader says his decision signals the return of the entire MNLF to the constitutional fold (Reuters, 07/12/96).

July 14, 1996: Philippine President Fidel Ramos has sent a letter to Indonesian President Suharto thanking his country and the OIC’s Committee of Six for their help in peace talks with the MNLF. Ramos states that the breakthrough in the talks would not have been possible without the consistent support they provided (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 07/14/96).

July 15, 1996: MNLF chief Misuari threatens to withdraw from September elections for the governorship of the ARMM unless he is confirmed as the head of the proposed Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. Misuari’s leadership of the SPCPD was part of the agreement reached between the two sides. However, some politicians argue that, legally, officials are barred from simultaneously holding two positions. Meanwhile, around 15,000 Christians in General Santos City protest against the peace deal (Reuters, 07/15/96).

July 17, 1996: President Fidel Ramos states that his secret meeting with Libyan leader Qaddafi in February 1992 began the process of the current peace talks with the MNLF. During the early and mid-1970s, Libya provided key financial and military support to the Moro rebels. Ramos’ trip occurred in the midst of his election campaign for the presidency (Reuters, 07/17/96).

July 18, 1996: The National Ecumenical Consultative Committee, a religious advisory arm to the President, expresses support for the creation of the SPCPD. The Committee is composed of Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim groups. The 1990 government census reveals that only 5 of the 14 provinces the SPCPD will govern have a Muslim population of over 50% (UPI, 07/18/96).

July 23, 1996: In a letter to OIC Secretary-General Hamid Algabid, President Ramos says that he is committed to establishing the Muslim council despite opposition from Christians. During his State of the Nation address, the President calls upon all Filipinos to support the peace proposal (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 07/22/96; Reuters, 07/23/96).

July 30, 1996: The government says that it has spent US $2.78 billion during the last 26 years in its conflict with the Moros. It also states that of the 100,000 recorded casualties, half were Moro rebels while government troops accounted for 30% and innocent civilians the remaining 20% (Xinhua News Agency, 07/30/96).

August 2, 1996: The government and the MNLF agree on the integration of 7500 MNLF members into the military and police services, removing one of the major issues left to be resolved (Xinhua News Agency, 08/02/96).

August 3, 1996: Rejecting the peace agreement between the government and the MNLF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front vows to continue the battle for “genuine Muslim autonomy”. The military estimates that the MILF has a strength of 20,000 compared to the MNLF’s 25,000 members (Xinhua News Agency, 08/03/96).

August 15, 1996: Chief government negotiators Manuel Yan and Eduardo Ermita and the leader of the MNLF will initial the peace agreement in Jakarta at the end of the month. It will be formally signed in Manila the following week (Reuters, 08/15/96).

August 16, 1996: Informal talks have begun between the government and the MILF. The government is also concerned about other splinter groups such as Abu Sayyaf and the Islamic Command Council but has not stated whether it will also open talks with them (Xinhua News Agency, 08/16/96).

August 19, 1996: The first meeting in 10 years is held between President Ramos and MNLF leader Misuari in Malabang. The two are finalizing the peace plan (08/19/96).

August 23, 1996: The Philippines Senate gives its unanimous support to President Ramos’ peace proposal for Mindanao. However, the Senate reiterates its demand for some amendments that will be considered before the executive order is signed to create the southern council (Xinhua News Agency, 08/23/96).

August 30, 1996: An accord to end the Moro insurgency is initialed today by government negotiator Manuel Yan and MNLF leader Misuari in Jakarta. President Ramos states that proposed amendments such as making the study of Islam in schools optional rather than mandatory should diffuse Christian opposition. The OIC, which has facilitated and mediated the talks, may continue its involvement in the peace process. This could be through the creation of an interim OIC monitoring team. Indonesian President Suharto says the accord is the result of four rounds of formal talks in Jakarta, three international consultations, and at least 70 other meetings in the Philippines (Reuters, 08/30/96; The Straits Times, Singapore, 08/31/96).

September 1, 1996: The peace agreement between the Philippines government and the MNLF is formally signed in Manila on Monday, September 2. Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and OIC Secretary General Hamid Algabid are present at the ceremony (UPI, 09/01/96).

September 2, 1996: Alex Magno, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, says that the peace agreement “allows the MNLF to reach a political settlement…without losing face and losing honor”. Magno also states that it “allows the Philippine government to signal that western Mindanao is now a peaceful place, [it] is our front door to the southeast Asian common market and is now open for business”. The Philippines government is forming a special “growth zone” that includes southwestern Mindanao and parts of Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia in order to promote trade and development and break down barriers between economically deprived areas. Magno expects that the MILF will eventually join the peace process, isolating the few hundred members of Abu Sayyaf, and that perhaps the greatest threat might emerge from Christian extremists (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 09/02/96).

A recent UNDP study found that functional literacy ranges from 48.1 to 68.7% in the ARMM compared to the 1994 national average of 83.8%. Life expectancy in the region averages in the fifties, the lowest in the country and below the national average of 66.9 years (Inter Press Service, 09/02/96).

September 3, 1996: Abu Sayyaf denounces MNLF leader Nur Misuari as a traitor for signing a peace agreement with the government. It vows to continue the battle for an Islamic state (Reuters, 09/03/96).

September 11, 1996: Nur Misuari is elected governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Misuari ran unopposed and is reported to have received 90% of the votes cast. The turnout is estimated at 80%. He will formally assume office on September 30. Meanwhile, President Ramos announces $1.2 billion in aid to develop the region (Reuters, 09/11/96; South China Morning Post, 10/01/96).

October 2, 1996: President Ramos issues an executive order to create the Southern Philippines Peace and Development Council. The order clears the way for the appointment of Misuari as head of the body. Opponents of the council vow to challenge the legality of the order. One of Misuari’s top priorities is expected to be convincing almost half a million refugees in Malaysia to return home. The refugees mainly fled to Sabah during the 1970s and while some have become Malaysian citizens, the strain on the Sabah economy has been an issue in Philippine-Malaysian relations (Agence France Presse, 09/24/96, 10/02/96).

October 8, 1996: Nine Christian House of Representative Members and a Provincial Governor ask the Supreme Court to void the agreement to establish the autonomous Muslim region. They argue that Muslims would be ruling over Christian-majority areas. No date is given for a judgement (Reuters, 10/08/96).

October 22, 1996: Nur Misuari is appointed as head of the SPCPD (Reuters, 10/22/96).

October 30, 1996: Clashes between the MILF and the government claim at least 26 rebel lives this month. 11 soldiers are injured. Meanwhile, the wave of kidnapings in the south continues. Former rebels are reportedly responsible for the extortion efforts (Reuters, 10/30/96).

November 6, 1996: The MILF begins exploratory talks with the government (Reuters, 11/06/96).

November 28, 1996: The government declares a unilateral 60-day ceasefire against all armed groups. 7 soldiers die in clashes with the MILF (Reuters, 11/28/96).

December 4, 1996: From 50-200,000 Muslims rally in Maguindanao province demanding a separate state. It is not known if the MILF organized the rally (Reuters, 12/04/96).

December 11, 1996: At an annual meeting of donor countries and the Philippines government, $400 million is provided in grants to Mindanao along with $2.5 billion in loans. Half of the total amount is courtesy of Japan (Reuters, 12/11/96).

December 26, 1996: Asiaweek reports that the Moro insurgency cost 100,000 lives — half of these were rebel casualties, 30% were soldiers, and the rest civilians. Overall, the government spent $3 billion and an average 40% of its military budget to combat the Moros. Reports also reveal that per capita income in one of the four ARMM provinces is $159 while on Tawi Tawi (another province), average life expectancy is 53 years and the illiteracy rate is around 50% (Reuters, 12/26/96).

January 7, 1997: Talks begin between the government and the MILF. They will meet again on February 25. Estimates are that the MILF has a force between 6-8,000 while Abu Sayyaf numbers in the several hundreds (Reuters, 01/07/97).

January 27, 1997: A ceasefire is signed between the MILF and the government. Since the new year, at least 33 rebels and 4 civilians have died in various incidents (Reuters, 01/27/97).

February 4, 1997: A Catholic bishop, the highest ranking priest in the south, has been killed. He was involved in efforts to unify the two religious communities. No one has claimed responsibility (Reuters, 02/04/97).

February 27, 1997: The MILF and the government agree to create a panel of church people and lawyers to monitor their ceasefire (Reuters, 02/27/97).

March 23, 1997: 10-13,000 Muslims protest following the deaths of 11 civilians reportedly due to army shelling that was directed toward rebel positions. President Ramos orders an investigation (Reuters, 03/23/97). In May, an independent probe determines that the civilian deaths are likely the result of army shelling (Reuters, 05/21/97).

April 6, 1997: Since the peace agreement was signed last September, the federal government has allocated $1.6 billion for infrastructure development in the south (Reuters, 04/06/97).

April 23, 1997: Talks resume between the government and the MILF. So far this month, at least16 Abu Sayyaf members and up to 25 MILF rebels have died in confrontations with soldiers. A University of the Philippines political science professor says that while the agreement produced high expectations, it has been a big letdown. The professor worries that uneducated youth might join the remaining rebels. President Ramos has ordered the fast-tracking of development programs in Mindanao (Reuters, 04/23/97).

April 24, 1997: The next round of talks between the MILF and the government are set for May 13-14 (Reuters, 04/23/97).

April 28, 1997: Sri Lankan politicians assert that their government should follow the Manila model and involve separatists in all efforts at conflict resolution. The politicians returned from the Philippines where they observed such practices between the Moros and Manila. A peace plan
to eliminate the Tamil insurgency is being prepared by Colombo but to date the LTTE has not been involved in the process (Reuters, 04/28/97).

April 29, 1997: The MILF says that it is not responsible for a hotel fire in Cotabato on April 26 that resulted in 27 deaths, including MNLF members. The fire occurred two days before Nur Misuari was set to give a state of the region address. His talk was postponed. The MILF asserts that someone is trying to sow discord between the two organizations (Xinhua News Service, 04/29/97).

April 30, 1997: The MILF is suspected in a grenade attack on the village of Pera, Zamboanga del Norte Province. There were no casualties. Since the middle of this month, 25 rebels have been killed by police in the area (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/30/97).

May 1, 1997: 23 Abu Sayyaf and 25 MILF members surrender to police authorities (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/01/97).

May 2, 1997: A reported MILF attack on a military detachment in Tungawan results in two deaths (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/02/97).

May 7, 1997: The MILF fires rockets at a power station in Zamboanga Province (Lloyd’s List, 05/07/97).

May 9, 1997: 18 MILF and 7 Abu Sayyaf rebels surrender and are given an amnesty package (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/09/97).

May 10, 1997: Japan Economic Newswire reports increasing disgruntlement among the Moros due to the slow nature of the implementation of the autonomy accord. Residents are believed to be particularly concerned over the lack of economic development and the slow nature of the rehabilitation process of former MNLF rebels. This has raised concerns about a renewal of violence by MNLF members (05/10/97).

May 11, 1997: Two rebels are dead following clashes between the MILF and soldiers in Maguindanao province (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/11/97).

May 12, 1997: The MILF has denied it is responsible for the killing of an airline executive. Since 1993, kidnappings and deaths associated with these incidents have increased significantly in the south (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/12/97).

May 16, 1997: The World Bank has given the Philippines a $10 million loan for small-scale livelihood and basic services projects in Mindanao. The funds will be distributed by the regional council. The loan is part of a $1.13 billion package the World Bank has allocated for 18 projects in the Philippines over the next three years (Japan Economic Newswire, 05/16/97).

May 17, 1997: The government deploys the marines to the south to help deal with gangs that have engaged in numerous kidnappings over the past few years. Businesses in the region are threatening a week-long strike to protest the kidnappings (Straits Times, Singapore, 05/17/97).

May 18, 1997: The Philippines military reports that some 1500 MNLF members have joined the
MILF (Xinhua News Service, 05/18/97).

May 20, 1997: President Ramos releases $203,800 US for poverty alleviation in the south. Low-level talks resume between a government-MILF committee (Xinhua News Service, 05/20/97).

May 27, 1997: No progress is reported in talks between the MILF and the government. The two sides will meet again June 17-18 (Xinhua News Service, 05/27/97). Some 1100 MNLF members will begin training this week to promote their integration into the military. A total of 5500former MNLF rebels will eventually join the armed forces (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/27/97).

June 16, 1997: Two Abu Sayyaf rebels are killed in a police attack (Agence France Presse, 06/16/97). June 18, 1997: Eight rebels and one soldier die in a government operation to free hostages (UPI, -35-06/18/97).<

Category: Uncategorized

CONGRATULATIONS 2011 IMAN BODs!

Photos of the General Assembly Meeting and BOD elections held at Alvior Hall, University of the Philippines-Manilaon February 6, 2011New Board of Directors Elected into Office as of February 6, 2011Dr. Sherjan KalimDr. Khasmin IsmaelDr. Al-Radjid Jamir…

Category: Uncategorized

Weeding Out the Undesirables

By Hb Zakaria bin Abdullah
February 18 , 2011
  The movement for decolonization of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam (SSDI) was spearheaded by Datu Ladjamura “Uda” bin Datu Wasik Aranan, now known as Paduka Mahasari Sultan Bantilan Muhammad Mu’izzuddin II. Although there were others engaged in similar undertaking in their own stride, such as Asreemoro or Asreesulu, me and a few others thru the print and electronic media, it was Datu Uda who singlehandedly brought the message to the grassroots of the Tausug masses breaking several myths along the way.  Julasri “Asreemoro or Asreesulu” Hajad wrote a book, Tausug and the Sultanate of Sulu, that had reopened many slumbering hearts and minds of Tausugs to reality and revived the hopes and aspirations of the majority. For my part and few others, we could only make web postings to propagate the issue.
Among the myths that existed in the hearts and minds of the Tausugs were that any form of independence movement must have to go through armed struggle to succeed. Another myth is that the sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu had already lapsed and subsumed to the colonial government through various acts of the sultans, the last being the Carpenter Agreement of 1913 between Sultan Jamalul Kiram II and Frank W. Carpenter of the USA, the then governor general of the Moro Province.  The most dreaded myth is that; the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) won’t hesitate to massacre any group that would seek to create an independence movement or to raise another flag different from the Philippine’s.
Where all other proponents of the Sulu Sultanate’s revival failed, Datu Uda succeeded. He didn’t have even a single armed security escort throughout his campaign, although he made a number of enemies amongst the aspirants to the sultanate who wanted to eliminate him by any means. Since his rivals are afraid to kill him frontally, they used unconventional means through dark and evil manipulations. 
Bored and long feeling insecure under the aegis of Philippine colonial administration, the masses readily threw their support behind the call of Datu Uda for Tausug unity to restore the lost monarchy of the “Sulu Empire.”  Still cognizant of the prosperity the Tausug masses enjoyed under the previous monarchies, even without giving hints that their present predicament could be turned around, they already have felt the difference and bright prospects.
Datu Uda had already covered around 70 percent of Sulu province, had organized a number of rallies and demonstrations, and raised a number of Flags when Atty. Meltino Ulung Sibulan joined the movement. Datu Uda welcomed the participation of the attorney with high hopes he can pave the way for the message to be brought to the level of the graduates and professionals in urban cities and the international community. Such was the expectation laid on the shoulder of the attorney even though he chose to go to the rural areas which had already accepted the message, rather than the urban areas highly expected of him. The trust and confidence accorded the attorney by Datu Uda was so high that it amounted to almost a blanket authority. For some time the partnership endured and prospered until the attorney concurred with the masses in 2009 that it was time to crown Datu Uda as Sultan. Still not settled to accept the title by virtue of his financial and residential insecurity, he declined. He neither had any financial backing or sponsor, nor a permanent house that can be called his “Astanah.” But with the solid assurance of mass leaders and the attorney himself, Datu Uda obliged. He was crowned Sultan at a simple but meaningful ceremony in Jolo on March 19, 2009. Almost simultaneously, a royal charter was produced for all to endorse or ratify without the benefit of getting to know what the contents was all about.  Anyway, as there was no reason for suspicion to creep in, everybody signed the constitution. After which, the Sultan was made to understand that, from then on, he will have to wait for what the Rumah Bichara would legislate for him to act on anything. Still, the Sultan obliged as he knew he is not above the constitution. Although he already felt something fishy was cooking, he kept his cool and tried to telescope the movement from behind the scenes. But for keeping himself out of the limelight, according to the Constitution,  the attorney later accused him of doing nothing!
My desire to join the thick of the movement was always hindered by financial difficulties. So, for a time I had to be contented with monitoring the issue through Asreesulu who was the only most privileged among us in West Malaysia. Asree rarely missed most of the major gatherings organized by the sultanate in Jolo and Zamboanga cities.
Unfortunately, as later on suspected, Atty Ulung squandered the trust and confidence, and the vast authority afforded him by the Sultan. He still had the nerve to go out of his way to usurp the functions and prerogatives of the Sultan. To reinforce his stature in the movement, he invited Datu Albi Ahmad, a retiree from public service, who also adopted Julkarnain (of the Royal Sultanate of Patikul) as his surname. Without the concurrence of other SSDI leaders, including Datu Uda, the attorney appointed Datu Albi prime minister, leaving no way for others to vet Albi’s background and qualification. But in the interest of unity, the majority accepted Albi without any pre-condition, in an interim capacity.
Prior to the declaration of assertion of independence of SSDI, the proposal prepared by the UTC was mocked at by Atty Ulung, relegating it to third class of the three proposals under consideration.  But we kept our cool and patience, preventing a debate that could hurt some member’s sensitivities. But after the affair, it was proved that the UTC proposal was the most logical and should be the one implemented. Yet, nobody called on the attorney to retract his unkind words against the UTC and the proponents of the proposal. That was the extent played by the UTC to maintain harmony and understanding no matter how others had maligned our integrity. Foremost in our hearts and minds is the interest of the sultanate, even though other people put our integrity under odium and contempt.
Towards the November 17, 2010 Declaration of Assertion of Independence of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam, only a few of us were planning for the parade and other activities including the venue. The Atty was always evasive, refusing to sit down with us, as if to say he is more capable than anyone in the leadership circle. So, we prepared only a simple program just in case he can’t produce anything. Anyway, we gave him the benefit of the doubt, carefully shielding the real status from the masses. But our sincere efforts took a toll in their sustained machination. The Divine verdict was to edge them out – that they, on their own accord, decided to part ways on a wrong premise, on their own accord.
First, they decided to go on a massive campaign in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. Publicly, they denounced the Sultan as unfit to rule due to being poor and had no proper education. The masses who were already committed to the Cause, took up the cudgels to preserve the integrity of the Sultan and braced themselves for a showdown with the group. The Sultan also rallied up a defensive shield, mobilizing the grassroots support who pledged loyalty to hm. The rumour mongers had to leave Bongao in haste as the masses took up arms for possible confrontation with the power usurpers. With their bad intentions already unveiled and repudiated by the people, feeling guilty of insubordination and usurping the power of the Sultan, the recalcitrant group decided to find a noble way out. Their case against the Sultan was in anyway shallow and negligible.
 Motivated by their avarice for money and power, they went out of the norms and legal practice to crown an impostor. The Atty-Albi tandem targeted the millionaire datu in Sabah to be crowned sultan using their interim positions in SSDI. Their intentions found the match in the Sabah datu, who offered them fat bonuses and government recognition through playing politics. They thought by declaring their intention “to drop the Sabah Claim” they can get the full support of the Malaysian government. They thought the Malaysian government can be hoodwinked by their intermediate grade antics, unmindful of the fact that Malaysia is comparable to the best among nations in their intelligence services. For their blunder, their newly crowned sultan found his way into the detention centre of the State, with the majority of Malaysians, including the Tausugs in Sabah recommending their indictment.
Obviously, the attorney had from his entry to SSDI been planning a ‘coup d’etat’. During most of his lectures, he was campaigning for loyalty to himself, or at least against the sultan. Little did he realize that the people were already politicize and convinced that the Movement initiated by Datu Uda was to crown a sultan of his stature. Therefore, although the people were hoodwinked to register under the Atty’s faction of UTP (people), they believed their registrations were anyhow for the Sultanate and not for the individual. So the attorney could only be counting the wrong chicks in his hatchery, using it to tell the people he commands the majority of the Tausug membership in the SSDI

Malaysia

Malaysia Tourism Events 2011
Date Festive Place Event
06 March – 04 December Sabah Cultural Hot Spot Laman Seni, Wisma Budaya, Kota Kinabalu
Held for the the third consecutive year, the National Department for Culture and Arts, Sabah will be organising an event entitled “Sabah Culture Hot Spot” on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2010. The event will kick off on 6 March onwards highlights will be showcased. This platform for local artisans aims to preserve the local cultural heritage, while creating appreciation and understanding amongst the multifarious races through a variety of activities.
On March Putrajaya Watersports Festival Federal Territory of Putrajaya N/A Information.
11 March – 13 March Negeri Sembilan Adat Perpatih Festival Negeri Sembilan
This festival showcases the unique Adat Perpatih matrilineal social system which is practiced in the state of Negeri Sembilan.
12 March – 13 March Raptor Watch Week Tanjung Tuan, Port Dickson
Birdwatching enthusiasts can delight in spotting hundreds of migratory raptors flying across the Straits of Malacca in their annual journey back to the northern hemisphere. Tanjung Tuan is an excellent venue to catch this natural spectacle.
15 March – 15 April Malaysia GP Sale Throughout ALL Malaysia
Fantastic bargains and discounts are awaiting shoppers in this nationwide sale carnival. Held to complement the hottest race in the country, the sale offers unbeatable offers and sizzling hot deals on everything from fashion, electronics, accessories and many more.
On April Gendang Nusantara Festival MBMB Square, Ayer Keroh
A must see event that showing a variety of percussion and drum music from all over the world.
On April – July Squid Jigging Fiesta Redang Island, Terengganu
South China Sea is teeming with squids and the methods of jigging remains since generations. What used to be a source of income has now becoming a popular recreational activity for all ages.
07 April – 10 April Malaysia International Shoe Festival Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur
From glamorous stilettos to stylish sandals, classic pumps and trendy boots, the festival takes visitors on a fascinating journey into the world of designer footwear.
08 April – 10 April Malaysia Water Festival (Fishing Carnival) Langkawi Island
Cool the tropical heat with some water sports. Enjoy jet ski races, parasailing, kayaking, yachting, boat rides, fishing and other fantastic activities.
08 April – 10 April Petronas Malaysia F1 Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit, Selangor
Catch the blazing action at one of the most challenging tracks in the world. With its extreme hot and wet conditions, the Sepang International Circuit tests the skills of the world’s finest racers to the limit. Be there to witness the action, live!
22 April – 24 April 12th Sabah Adventure Challenge Sabah
Witness gutsy participants from all across the globe take on the challenge of the oldest established multi-day adventure race in Asia. The gruelling three-day event will assess teams in multiple challenges such as bamboo rafting, tyre tubing, mountain biking and trail hiking as they race across 120 kilometres in the highlands of Sabah. The race will also test contenders in skills like using a topographic map, repairing a broken-down bicycle and changing a flat tyre. This is the true test of the endurance of the human mind, body and spirit!
22 April – 24 April Labuan International Sea Challenge (LSC) Federal Territory of Labuan
Cool the tropical heat with some water sports. Enjoy jet ski races, parasailing, kayaking, yachting, boat rides, fishing and other fantastic activities.
22 April – 24 April Regatta Lepa Semporna, Sabah N/A Information.
30 April – 01 May Sabah Fest – A Cultural Extravanganza Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Sabah’s most anticipated cultural event where ethnic groups in Sabah displays rich and colourful kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions. Sabah Fest is the prelude to the statewide celebration of Harvest Festival. A unique assembly of Sabah’s colourful culture presented through dance, music, fashion and food, which is a must-see for all.
On May Miri International Jazz Festival Miri, Sarawak
This annual event sees jazz groups from around the world converging at the Miri Resort City. Around 7,000 spectators and participants, comprising of locals, expatriates and visitors, are expected at this exciting musical galore.
08 May – 14 May International Pahang River Rafting Expedition Pahang River, Pahang
Traverse the Pahang River on a raft to experience the charming sights and sounds along the riverbanks. This annual event draws participants from around the world.
21 May Colours of 1Malaysia Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s premier cultural extravaganza is back to dazzle everyone. Enjoy a cornucopia of spectacular traditional performances, colourful parades and exhibitions that will showcase the country’s arts and crafts.
26 May – 06 June Wedding Craft Promotion Kuala Lumpur
Couples who will be tying the knot will find a variety of interesting exhibits under one roof at this fair. Browse through the collection of crafts, decorations, bridal services and many more to make the big day memorable.
30 May – 31 May Tadau Kaamatan Celebration Panampang, Sabah
Experience the Kadazandusun Harvest Festival celebrations on its grandest scale here. Join the local folks as they sing, dance, eat and play traditional games. This is also the main stage for the final round of the Unduk Ngadau (State Harvest Beauty Queen) pageant!
01 June – 2 June Gawai Dayak Festival Sarawak
Gawai Dayak is a harvest festival celebrated by the state’s indigenous people, particularly the Ibans and Bidayuhs, in their traditional costumes. Ceremonial offerings of various local traditional delicacies and ‘tuak’ (home-made rice wine) are made to the gods of rice and prosperity. This unique festivity is a ‘must-see’ occasion for local and foreign tourists alike.
On June
Malacca River Fiesta Melacca River Square and Spice Garden Malacca
Enjoyed the excitement of fulfilled activities specially programmed along Melaka River. You will be fascinated by the various activities that had been arranged to make this festival as a memorable one.
4 June ISTIADAT MENGARAK PANJI-PANJI S.P.B BAGINDA YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG Kuala Lumpur
The ceremony is conjunction with the birthday of HIS MAJESTY S.P.B YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG.
05 June Tadau Kaamatan Open House Celebration Sabah
Tadau Kaamatan is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Sabah. The festival marks the end of the harvesting season and the beginning of a new season. Visitors can watch traditional dances, musical performances and participate in other interesting activities.
11 June – 12 June Penang International Dragon Boat Festival Teluk Bahang Dam, Penang N/A Information.
12 June Gawai Dayak Open House Celebration Sarawak
Celebrated in Sarawak, Gawai Dayak is a colourful festival that reflects the traditions of the ethnic communities. Visitors are invited to enjoy the exciting cultural shows, savour ethnic food and experience the joyous atmosphere.
15 June – 31 August Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival Throughout ALL Malaysia
The most-awaited sale is back! Get everything from designer labels, home décor items, computer peripherals to electrical appliances at irresistible prices.
17 June – 18 June 5th KK Jazz Festival Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
The fifth installation of this musical festival promises to be another ground breaking experience with a great line up of local and international artistes. This fund raising event will support various community projects in Sabah.
17 June – 19 June Super GT International Series Malaysia Sepang International Circuit, Selangor
Japan’s biggest racing series – Super GT is coming to Malaysia and Sepang is all geared up and ready to organise the Malaysian round of Super GT International Series Malaysia.
18 June – 19 June 26th Sabah Dragon Boat Race Likas Bay, Sabah
A traditional Chinese event that evolved from myths and legends that has grown into one of the main highlights of the year. This exciting race has attracted many teams from as far as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Singapore and Brunei.
1 July – 31 July Sarawak Regatta Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak
Historically and culturally significant, the Sarawak Regatta traces its origins to the days of the Rajah Charles Brooke. The regatta relives the former glory with traditional long boat and dragon boat races, as well as a host of traditional contests and games.
1 July – 31 July Kuala Lumpur Festival Kuala Lumpur
An exciting annual event, the Kuala Lumpur Festival features a colourful line-up of activities and performances. Launched in the year 2006, the event has united Malaysians from all walks of life through the spirit of creativity and solidarity.
02 July – 30 September Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism Festival ALL Malaysia
This prestigious event gives an insight into Malaysia’s fascinating contemporary art scene. The unique platform showcases both the established and up-and-coming names in the art scene.
07 July Anniversary of UNESCO World Heritage City Celebration Banda Hilir, Malacca
On 7 July 2008, Melaka was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO. Its heritage buildings, cultural enclaves and places of worship are visited by history buffs and tourists from around the globe. Participate in the second anniversary celebrations to commemorate the historic occasion.
08 July – 10 July Rainforest World Music Festival Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak
Tap to the rhythm of diverse ethnic music amidst the magnificent rainforest of Sarawak. One of the largest musical events in Malaysia, the Rainforest World Music Festival aims to celebrate ‘world music’ with performances by ethnic musicians from around the world.
09 July – 17 July Putrajaya Floria Federal Territory of Putrajaya
Don’t miss the chance to watch floral exhibitions and ornately decorated floats in various hues. Be here in Putrajaya as the whole city is transformed into an enclave of beautiful flowers.
16 July Bon Odori Festival Shah Alam, Selangor N/A Information.
18 July Ipoh Open International Run Ipoh Perak
Catch the action as nearly 1,200 participants race across the Ipoh town! Contestants hail from various countries such as Thailand, Nigeria, the United States of America, Singapore, Indonesia and many more. Be there to cheer your favourite contestants!
22 July – 24 July 6th Sabah International Folklore Festival Sabah Cultural Village, Sabah
Dance troupes from around the world gather in the Land Below the Wind for the 5th Sabah International Folklore Festival. This folklore festival promises entertainment as well as education of the different cultures of the participating countries.
22 July – 24 July Port Dickson International Triathlon Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Catch the live action as athletes compete in a test of endurance and stamina. Challenges include swimming, cycling and running. Don’t miss this chance to be at Port Dickson, the most popular beach on the peninsula’s west coast.
01 August – 30 August Bazaar Ramadhan Throughout ALL Malaysia
As the fasting month begins, stalls and bazaars sprout around the city, offering an array of delicious fare for Muslims to break their fast. Sample the authentic delights or watch the cooking demonstrations.
05 August – 07 August Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge Kuala Rompin, Pahang
This annual event puts the small town of Rompin in the international limelight. The challenge draws anglers from as far as the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
30 August – 31 August Hari Raya Aidil Fitri ALL
After fasting from dawn to dusk for a month, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a day that signifies victory for Muslims everywhere. On this special day, Muslims attend special morning prayers in mosques and visit the cemeteries of their loved ones. Decked in their traditional finery, friends and family from near and far come together to celebrate this joyous occasion. There will be lots of tasty delicacies to make the celebration memorable!
31 August Malaysia National Day Kuala Lumpur
Be enthralled by the parades, fireworks displays and concerts held to commemorate Malaysia’s National Day. Join in the festivities and share the joy as people from all walks of life come together as one.
11 September Hari Raya Open House Celebration Kuala Lumpur
Mingle with the locals and enjoy the traditional goodies as you watch fascinating performances. The Hari Raya Open House will be a memorable occasion and a great platform to experience the unity among Malaysians.
12 September Lantern Festival Central Market, Kuala Lumpur
Watch processions with pretty lanterns in various colours, shapes and designs. The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the eighth month of the Chinese Lunar calendar and is a delightful event for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the chance to savour tasty mooncakes that are found in abundance during this festival.
15 September – 17 September Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race Sepang International Circuit, Selangor N/A Information.
16 September Malaysia Day Celebration ALL
This historical event marks the establishment of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. It marks the day when the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo joined the peninsula to form a new nation named Malaysia. Celebrations are held at various parts of the country.
16 September Music, Arts and Style International Festival (MASiF) Kuala Lumpur
MASIF is a unique event specially crafted to commemorate Malaysia Day. Touted as the ‘Fusion of Cultures’, it is the first-of-its-kind and will be a celebration of the diverse music, arts and styles in the country.
29 September – 20 October Textile Craft Promotion Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex
This promotion showcases the beautiful textiles of Malaysia, such as batik and other materials. Browse through the outlets selling a variety of textiles and visit the exhibitions and demonstrations.
01 October – 31 October Fabulous Food 1Malaysia – Malaysia International Gourmet Festival ALL
Get ready for a delectable feast as gourmet restaurants and top chefs whip up a variety of special dishes and delicacies using fine, quality ingredients. Travel around the country and savour delicious culinary creations.
21 October – 22 October Rhythm of Kinabalu. Theme: “Rhythm of Mountain” Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Enjoy the melodious music of Sabah. This festival offers a glimpse into the state’s lovely musical heritage.
21 October – 23 October Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit, Selangor N/A Information.
22 October – 23 October 24th Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon 2010 Kundasang, Sabah
Dubbed as ‘The World’s Toughest Mountain Race’, this race is a true challenge to the spirit of human endurance. The average climber takes two days to climb the mountain but participants of the race can make it in less than 3 hours up and down Mt. Kinabalu (4095.2m), with a total distance of 21km for all Men, Women and Men’s Veteran categories. The Climbathon is part of the Sky Runners World Series Circuit for the 9th consecutive year and is the only race that is in the circuit held outside Europe. The Sky Runner World Series is regulated and coordinated by the Europe-based Federation for Sport at Altitude (FSA).
17 November Hari Raya Aidil Adha Throughout ALL Malaysia
Commonly known as Hari Raya Haji, this festival marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mekah which is performed by millions of Muslims annually. It is also known as Hari Raya Qurban. Muslims in the country celebrate the festival with prayers and the sacrifice of cattle.
18 November – 21 November Flora Fest Photo Exhibition 2010 KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur
The Flora Fest 2010 Photography competition was held last April with the theme,“Flora, Parks and Garden”. A total of 2140 entries were received throughout Malaysia. In this flora fest photo exhibition, 166 photographs were selected and will be displayed at this exhibition.
19 November – 21 November Langkawi Birding & Fotofest 2010 Langkawi Island
Celebrate all things birds and wildlife set within one of the world’s most beautiful group of islands in the world. Join BirdRace, Wildlife Photography Competitions, lectures and workshops on conservation, eco-tourism and exhibitions of the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts.
19 November – 27 November Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta Port Klang, Selangor
A prestigious event on the sailing fraternity, this regatta is held under the royal patronage of the Sultan of Selangor. It has been an annual feature since 1996 and draws participants from various parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Singapore.
25 November – 28 November Paintball World Cup Asia 2010 Kuala Lumpur
The World Cup Asia (WCA) materialized from over 5 years of planning and execution. Held annually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the World Cup Asia is one of 3 internationally organized World Cup tournaments in the world of paintball. The other two are the World Cup – Orlando (USA) and World Cup – Paris (Europe).
25 November – 30 January 2012 Showcasing artworks of prodigious savant, Yeak Ping Lian MaTic, Malaysia Tourist Information Centre
Remarkable showcase by autistic prodigy,Malaysia Yeak Ping Lian. There are fewer than 100 prodigious savant living worldwide. His works have been exhibited in New York, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Brisbane, London and Germany.
26 November – 05 December Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Show (MAHA) 2010 Malaysian Agro Exposition Park (MAEP)
Serdang, Selangor
The MAHA Exposition biennial series is Malaysia’s leading agricultural show. Hosted by Ministry of Agriculture and Agrobased Industries and organised by the Federation Agriculture Marketing Authority, it certainly is amongst the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the region, if not in Asia.
30 November – 05 December Monsoon Cup Pulau Duyung, Terengganu
A prestigious competition, the Monsoon Cup Terengganu is dubbed as the ‘Formula One of Sailing’. Locals and foreign tourists will find a range of interesting programmes held to coincide with the competition, including displays of Terengganu’s splendid arts and heritage.
15 November – 01 January 2012 Malaysia Year-End Sale (M-YES) Throughout ALL Malaysia
The Year-End Sale is back with great discounts! The season is awaited eagerly by Malaysians and visitors alike for the unbelievable discounts, bargains and promotions. Load your shopping carts with gifts, souvenirs, branded items and everything else you need for the year-end festive season!
26 November – 11 December The Piala Seri Endon Batik Design Competition Kuala Lumpur
The Piala Seri Endon was conceived to discover and provide a platform for support, recognition and encouragement of Malaysia’s batik-making talent. It is an annual event that is open only to Malaysians over 18 years of age, and is part of the Malaysia Batik – Crafted For the World movement, which was launched by Tun Endon in 2003.
01 December – 24 December Fabulous Food 1Malaysia – Street Food Festival Throughout ALL Malaysia
Irresistible aromas, delicious tastes and lip-smacking flavours! Malaysia’s street food is reputed to be among the best in the region. From spicy, subtle to sweet, the different tastes of local food will leave you absolutely delighted! Be adventurous and titillate your taste buds in this great festival!
02 December – 11 December A Journey Through Time IV Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
A Journey Through Time IV is gazetted in the Malaysian annual calendar of events as Asia’s largest luxury watch and jewellery showcase for the fourth consecutive year from 2 – 11 December 2010. This year, A Journey Through Time IV is collaborating with major watch and jewellery principals of the world, underlined by the support from the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia.
05 December Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Dance Festival Dataran Merdeka
Held for the second time, the fiesta offers a chance to experience the dazzling cultures and traditions that make up the unique fabric of Malaysian society. Enjoy the dances, folk arts and cultural shows that portray our community spirit and camaraderie. In short, the fiesta reflects the concept of 1Malaysia at its best!
25 December Christmas Throughout ALL Malaysia
The Christmas spirit is made merrier with Malaysia’s tropical weather and friendly people. Visitors will be spoilt for choice as there are many restaurants, bistros, shopping malls and hotels that offer great promotions planned specially for the occasion. Join in the celebration and have a sunny Christmas in Malaysia!
09 December – 11 December Kuala Lumpur International Batik 2011 KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
An event that showcases the multiple dimensions of Batik – art and craft, technique and technology, marketing and business – to the world.
01 December Fabulous Food 1Malaysia – Street Food Festival (Launching) Throughout ALL Malaysia
Irresistible aromas, delicious tastes and lip-smacking flavours! Malaysia’s street food is reputed to be among the best in the region. From spicy, subtle to sweet, the different tastes of local food will leave you absolutely delighted! Be adventurous and titillate your taste buds in this great festival!

Sarawak

Tourism Events Highlights 2011DateFestivePlaceEvent29 April – 01 MayMukah Kaul FestivalPantai Kuala Dana, Mukah”Kaul” is a traditional festival celebrated by the Melanau community living alone the coast of central Sarawak region. The festival is a ritu…

Tafseer Soorah Al-Qadr

Masjid Al Emadi in BinMahmoud, Doha Qatar

Tafseer Ibn Kathir sa Wikang Filipino

I-download sa PDF: http://viewer.zoho.com/docs/xF0Qj

Ito ay ipinahayag sa Makkah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Sa Ngalan ni Allah ang Mahabagin ang Maawain

]إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَـهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ – وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ – لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ – تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ – سَلَـمٌ هِىَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْر[ِ
  1. Katotohanang Aming ipinanaog ang Qur’an sa Gabi ng Al Qadr
  2. At paano mo mapag-aalaman kung ano ang Gabi ng Al Qadr
  3. Ang Gabi ng Al Qadr ay higit na mainam sa isang libong buwan
  4. Dito ay bumababa ang mga anghel at Ruh sa kapahintulutan ng kanilang Panginoon, hinggil sa Tadhana na ipinapasiya (sa lahat ng bagay)
  5. Sa buong Gabing ito ay mayroong Kapayapaan at Kabutihan hanggang sa pagdatal ng bukang liwayway

Ang Kabutihan ng Gabi ng Al Qadr [Kapasiyahan]
Sinabi ni Allah na Kanyang ipinadala ang Qur’an sa Gabi ng Al Qadr, at ito ay gabing puno ng biyaya na kung saan sinabi ni Allah,

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِى أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ

”Ang Ramadan ang buwan nang ipinahayag ang Qur’an” (2:185). Sinabi ni Ibn Abbas at ng iba pa na ”Ipinaaog ni Allah ang Qur’an sa kabuoan nito mula sa Al Lawh Al Mahfudh pababa sa Baytul ’Izzah, na nasa Kalangitan ng mundong ito. Pagkatapos nito, ito ay ibinababa ng baha-bahagi sa Sugo ni Allah ayon sa mga pangyayari na naganap sa loob ng dalawampu’t tatlong taon.” Dinakila ni Allah ang kalagayan ng Gabi ng Al Qadr na Kanyang pinili upang ipahayag ang Qur’an nang Kanyang sabihin,

]وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ – لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ[


”At paano mo mapag-aalaman kung ano ang Gabi ng Al Qadr. Ang Gabi ng Al Qadr ay higit na mainam sa isang libong buwan ”. Naitala ni Imam Ahmad na sinabi ni Abu Hurayrah “Kapag dumating ang Ramadan, Sinabi ng Sugo ni Allah,

«قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ، شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ، افْتَرَضَ اللهُ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ، تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ، وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ الشَّيَاطِينُ، فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ، مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِم»

“Katunayan na ang buwan ng Ramadan ay dumating na sa inyong lahat. Ang buwan na ito puno ng biyaya, na kung kalian na ginawa na obligado ni Allah sa inyo na mag ayuno. Sa panahong ito ang tarangkahan ng Paraiso ay bukas, at ang tarangkahan ng Impyerno ay sarado at ang mga demonyo ay nakagapos. Sa loob nito may isang gabi na mas mainam kaysa sa isang libong taon. Ang sinuman ang pinagkaitan ng kabutihan mulda dito ay talaga naming napagkaitan.” Itinala din ni An-Nasa’i ang hadith na ito. Bukod pa sa katotohanan na ang pagsamba sa Gabi ng Al Qadr ay katumbas sa pagsamba na isinasagawa sa loob ng isang libong taon, napatunayan din sa dalawang Sahih[1] na sinabi ng Sugo ni Allah,

«مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِه»

(Ang sinuman na tamayo [sa pagdarasal] sa Gabi ng Al Qadr nang may pananampalataya at umaasa sa gantimpala, patatawarin sa kanya ang kanyang nagdaang mga kasalanan.)
Ang pagbaba ng mga Anghel at ang Pagpasiya sa lahat ng kabutihan sa Gabi ng Al Qadr

[تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ ]

(Dito ay bumababa ang mga anghel at Ruh sa kapahintulutan ni Allah, hinggil sa Tadhana na ipinapasiya), ibig sabihin, nagsisipanaog ang pagkarami-raming anghel sa Gabi ng Al Qadr dahil sa masaganang biyaya nito. Ang mga anghel ay bumababa kasama ng mga bumababang biyaya at awa, tulad ng kanilang pagpanaog kapag ang Qur’an ay binabasa, kanilang pinapalibutan ang nagsasagawa ng Dhikr[2] at kanilang ibinababa ang kanilang mga pakpak dahil sa tunay na pag-galang sa mga nagsasaliksik ng kaalaman. Tungkol naman sa Ar-Ruh, sinasabi na ito ay si Anghel Gabriel. Tungkol naman sa salita ni Allah,

[مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ]

(hinggil sa Tadhana na ipinapasiya (sa lahat ng bagay). Sinabi ni Mujahid, “Kapayapaan sa lahat ng bagay”. Sinabi ni Sa’id bin Mansur, ’Sinabi sa amin ni ’Isa bin Yunus na sinalaysay sa kanila ni Al-A’mash na sinabi ni Mujahid tungkol sa salita ni Allah,

[سَلَـمٌ هِىَ]

(May kapayapaan) “Ito ay kapayapaan na kung saan si Satanas ay di makakagawa ng kahit anumang kasamaan o kapinsalaan”. Sinabi ni Qatadah at ng iba na, “Ang mga bagay-bagay ay napagpasyahan sa panahong ito, at ang mga oras ng kamatayan at mga panustos ay sinusukat.” Sinabi ni Allah,

[فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ ]

(Sa panahong ito itinakda ang lahat ng bagay-bagay na tinatakda.) (44:4). Sinabi ni Allah,

[سَلَـمٌ هِىَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ ]

(Sa buong Gabing ito ay mayroong Kapayapaan at Kabutihan hanggang sa pagdatal ng bukang liwayway). Sinabi ni Sa’id bin Mansur, “Sinabi sa amin ni Hushaym mula sa kay Abu Ishaq, na nagsalaysay tungkol sa Salita ni Allah,

[تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ – سَلَـمٌ هِىَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ ]

(Dito ay bumababa ang mga anghel at Ruh sa kapahintulutan ng kanilang Panginoon, hinggil sa Tadhana na ipinapasiya (sa lahat ng bagay). Sa buong Gabing ito ay mayroong Kapayapaan at Kabutihan hanggang sa pagdatal ng bukang liwayway). ‘Ang mga anghel ay nagsisipagbati ng kapayapaan sa panahon ng Al Qadr sa mga tao sa Masjid hangga’t umabot ang bukang liwayway.’ Sinabi nina Qatadah at Ibn Zayd tungkol sa salita ni Allah,

[سَلَـمٌ هِىَ]

(May Kapayapaan.) “Ibig sabihin ay lahat ng ito ay kabutihan ay walang kasamaan dito hangga’t sa umabot ang bukang liwayway.


[1] Sahih Muslim at Sahih al Bukhari
[2] Pagalala kay Allah
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Updates for Donations

Alhamdulillah last friday afternoon right after the Friday Prayer kah Madz Dahamban transported some of the donations to Iligan City (First Batch) and the rest will be transported tomorrow by his friend (not know his name). InshaAllah all of the donati…

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Updates for Donations

Alhamdulillah, we have already collected most of the donations from the different Drop-in areas to our main Headwuarter: Exan’s bakeShop (5th Street.). so far we have: 23 Sacks of used clothings 9 packs of used Clothings 1 Sack of rice, 1 sack of relie…

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Sabah Land of King Kong

gisthiran Kesultanan Sulu ada Kewajaran dan Berfakta, ia hendaklah dipandang terugga hari ini oleh semua lapisan R
Sabah The Land of King Kong
        
Artikal Oleh : Abdullah Sani Hj.Abdul Salleh     

Bercerita tentang fakta kesultanan Sulu di Sabah memang tidak dapat dinafikan berdasarkan fakta Sejarah dan Perjanjian Pajak Gadai 1881 (Perjanjian Bulan dan Bintang) diantara Sultan Sulu dan B.N.B.C (Syarikat Bristish) sehinggalah kedaulatan itu diambil-alih oleh kerajaan British pada tahun 1946.

Hak Sultan Sulu tetap terjamin dan di-iktiraf oleh British bila waris terakhirnya Dayang-Dayang Piandoa membawa kesnya ke Mahkamah Bristish pada tahun 1930 yang memberikan hak kepada beliau untuk menjadi pewaris sah Kesultanan Sulu yang berada di North Borneo pada masa itu dan berhak untuk meneruskan tuntutannya terhadap Perjanjian Bulan dan Bintang 1881 itu dengan memperolehi wang sewaan bernila 5,000 fences (Wang Spain), hari ini telah digantikan dengan wang berbentuk RINGGIT MALAYSIA dan terus diterima oleh waris waris yang berada di Sulu iaitu Sultan Ismail Kiram dan Keluarganya.
Niat baik Kesultanan Sulu terhadap kerajaan Malaysia harus dipandang secara positif dan tidak seharusnya kita berpandangan prejudis terhadap mereka apabila mereka memperjuangkan hak mereka terhadap apa yang sepatutnya mereka perolehi mengikut perjanjian Bulan dan Bintang’ 1881.
PEMBAYARAN SEWA DITERUSKAN.
Sultan Ismail Kiram Penerima Sewa RM 5,000.00
Pajakan keSultanan Sulu dari Kerajaan Malaysia
Dalam Isu Perjanjian dan soal pembayaran yang telah menjadi perjanjian diantara Kerajaan dan Kerajaan sepatutnya tidak timbul sama sekali , kerana kita memang sudah biasa dengan perkara ini dan telah berjalan sekian lama sebagai satu perjanjian yang perlu dipatuhi oleh semua pihak.
Sebenarnya kita Sabah amat beruntung kerana, harga Pajakan diantara kesultanan Sulu dan British hanyalah RM 5,000.00 ringgi Setahun atau RM 13.69 sen sehari benbanding harga sewa sebuah kereta kancil RM 80.00 sehari  dan perkara ini juga berlaku diantara KeSultanan Kedah dan Pulau Pinang dimana Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang juga perlu membayar sewa pajak terhadap Pulau ini sebanyak RM 10,000.00 setahun menurut Perjanjian Bulan dan Bintang 1876 diantaran Francis Ligth dan Sultan Kedah dan sewa berkenaan dibayar Kepada Keluarga Diraja Kedah sehingga hari ini.
Pulau Pinang yang sebesar Pulau Banggi itu dapat sewaan  RM 10,000.00 setahun sementara Sultan Sulu Cuma dapat RM 5,000.00 setahun walau pun luas Geograpi Sabah hampir 10 Negeri di Semanjung Malaysia.
Begitu juga halnya diantara kerajaan Persekutuan dan Kerajaan Selangor yang perlu membayar Beratus Billion Ringgit dan perlu membayar 1 Billion setahun kepada Negeri Selangor kerana Pajakan Wilayah Pesekutuan Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya tetapi tidak pula membayar Pulau Labuan yang menjadi Wilayah itu.
KEARAH KEAMANAN DAN PEMBANGUNAN SABAH SULU
Rumah Bicara atau Istana Negara Kesultanan Sulu.Jolo
Saya masih teringat satu ketika 5 tahun dahulu  apabila  Kesultanan Sulu,  Sultan Ismail Kiram seorang sehabat saya, pernah meminta bantuan khidmat saya supaya menyampaikan hasratnya terhadap kerajaan Malaysia mengenai Pembangunan Filipina Selatan dan perbincangkan soal kedaulatan serta keamanan dirantau ini.
Sebagai seorang sehabat saya diminta oleh beliau menjadi wakil khas Kesultanan Sulu secara rasmi dengan mengeluarkan satu surat Pelantikan dari Istana Rumah Bicara Maimbung Sulu Philippines tempoh hari , saya sendiri pernah menemui Perdana Menteri Malaysia (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) untuk menghantar surat itu bagi membincang soal pembangunan dan keamanan dirantau ini khasnya Filipina Selatan dan Sabah bagi mengekalkan keamanan dan merancakan ekonomi pembangunan Petrolium,Pelancungan, Barter Trade dan Industries Rumpair laut kedua-dua Wilayah dengan sokongan kesultan Sulu yang berada di Philippines Selatan itu.
Jesteru itu marilah kita sama sama memandang Isu kesultanan Sulu ini dari sudut Positif dan jangan ada diantara kita rakyat Malaysia khasnya di Sabah yang buta sejarah dan memandang secara prejudis serta prasangka terhadap mereka.
Laporan di Blog dan internet mengenai Kesultanan Sulu yang banyak diperbincangan secara bersosial FB dan Twitter , secara ilmiah dan secara sindiran serta tidak puashati rakyat terhadap isu ini boleh menjejaskan hubungan baik antara kaum di Negeri ini yang mana mempunyai sejarah panjang dan indah diantara kita Rakyat Malaysia dan Waris Waris kesultanan Sulu serta Mesyarakat Bajau Suluk di Negeri ini.
Namun tidak kiralah ianya siapa, semada Bajau, Suluk, China dan lain – lain mereka yang isthiharkan diri menjadi Sultan biarlah mereka dengan dunia mereka sementara kita rakyat Sabah dengan dunia kita sendiri.
Isu Kemiskinan, Isu Pembangunan dan Isu kedaulatan wilayah kita masih terjamin bebas dari ancaman walaupun  pengistiharan Kesultanan Sulu itu dibuat dalam Negera kita.
Semada ada kita Melayu, Cina, Kadazan Dusun ,Bajau sebenarnya kita semua adalah rakyat Sabah dalam Malaysia yang perlu menghormati aspirasi mesyarakat lain seperti mana yang dibuat oleh Bangsa Taosug dan bangsa Cina terhadap Negeri ini untuk mengistiharkan diri sebagai Sultan.
Mesyarakat Kadazan Dusun mempunyai ‘Huguan Siau’ (Paramount Leader), Bisaya dengan Ganang Gayuhnya, Suluk dengan Sultannya, Bajau dengan Panglimanya.
AKJAN ISTHIHAR DIRI SEBAGAI SULTAN
Memang kita dikejutkan lagi dengan satu pertabalan Peribadi bersama 60 orang pengikutnya seorang Sultan baru di Kg. Likas Kota Kinabalu pada 4hb. Feb2011.
Saudara Datu Akjan Ali Muhammad  sebelum ini dikenali sebagai si Akjan yang agak polular dengan kisah hidupnya yang menjadi bualan ramai.
celebreti ini yang telah mengistiharkan dirinya sebagai Sultan Sulu seperti mana yang dilaporkan oleh laman web sabahkini.net tempoh hari dan beberapa akbar tempatan.
Tidak dapat dinafikan fakta dan sejarah kesultanan Sulu yang wujud telah tertulis sebagai rujukan genarasi akan datang khasnya rakyat Sabah.
Cuma rasanya adalah lebih baik kita tumpuhkan pemerintahan Negeri ini didalam Persekutuan Malaysia dimana kita mempunyai seorang Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Dipertuan Negara sendiri sebagai wakil Ketua Kerajaan Negeri dalam Majlis Raja Raja Malaysia.
Akjan yang mengistharkan diri sebagai Sultan Sulu langkap dengan Perdana menteri dan Kebinetnya kerajaan buangannya yang tidak Bernegara , Namun kita juga amat faham bahawa ada banyak waris Sultan Sulu menjadi Sultan atas keturunan masing-masing dimana rekod menunjukan 123 waris Sulu mengistiharakan diri Sebagai Sultan Sulu , North Borneo dan Mindanao di seluruh dunia mengikut risikan Agensi C.I.A Amerika.
Saya harap rakyat Sabah tidak cemas dengan tindakan beliau kerana kita berada dalam satu Negera yang berdaulat serta Merdeka secara mutlak  dibawah Pemerintahan DYMM Yang Di Pertuan Agong dan biarlah Akjan menguruskan kerajaan Buangannya bersama waris Sultan sulu yang lain.
SULTAN TOUSUG VS SULTAN TIONG HWA CINA

Allen Wong Mei Wah Ishiharkan diri sebagai KING OF BORNEO
in Land of King Kong.
Saya juga amat tertarik denga pengistiharan seorang Sultan di Hong Kong, China dengan dihadiri oleh Hakim besar Bangsa Bangsa Bersatu iaitu Raja Borneo    King   Allen Wong Mei Wah yang telah diistiharkan sebagai King Of Borneo,Sulu & Mindanao dan langkap dengan barisan protokolnya tempoh hari.Untuk mengetahui secara lanjut Pengisthiharan RAJA BORNEO ini sila ke Laman Web Kami di www.ppsemporna.blogspot.com dimana Vedio Pengisthiharan beliau ada terdapat disana.
Salam
Dari Saya sebagai Rakyat Sabah.
   Abdullah Sani Hj Abdul Salleh

SUGBUANON CONFUSION OVER SINULOG OR SINUG:TAUSUG HAS THIER OWN DEFINITION!

Neldy Jolo
Cebuanos are debating the correct name to the Cebu Sinulog Festival honouring Señor Santo Niño at Cebu every third Sunday of January according to tradition. Sinulog is also celebrated at Digos, Davao del Sur.
A more than 80 year old lady Estelita Diola or known as Nang Titang pronounced Sinulog as Sinug. Nang Titang is being acknowledged as “the Keeper of the Sinulog Beat” by the Cebuano Studies Center, University of San Carlos.
Jobers Bersales concluded in his article “Sinug or Sinulog?” that “Sinulog is Sinulog and has never been “Sinúg’” Mr. Bersales was surprised as said that Sinulog was once exist as Sinug in the pre-Spanish period.
Mr. Besales also simply said that it was the penchant of Cebuanos in the urban areas to remove letter ‘L’ from almost every Cebuano word.”
Mr. Bernales stressed that, “Whatever the case, the practice has stuck but to say that “Sinúg” is the older word is untenable. No dictionaries of the early missionaries down to the end of the Spanish period ever mention any “Sinúg””
Nang Titang called her dance as “Sinug Dance”, of two steps forward and one step backward. The dance steps are depicting the movements of the sea current called “Sulug” which is the original steps of Sinulog steps.

Mars G. Alison writes, “Sinug is the traditional prayer-dance for people seeking personal intentions…Back then, it was not a contest but purely offering”.


The possibility of the word “Sinulog” to exist accordingly was from the earliest photograph of the “Sinulog” found in Felix Laureano’s “Recuerdos de Filipinas” published in 1895.
In the exact reproduction of the photo in 2001 in the translated book by Felice Noelle Rodrigues labelled it as “Sinulog or Moro-Moro”. It was even describe that “Sinulog or Moro-Moro” as performed during fiestas.
The Cebuanos traces the Sinulog dance from the Raja Humabon’s wife Nuyla or Juana. She dances upon receiving the image of Señor Santo Niño as gift from the group of Ferdinand Magellan after accepting Catholic faith.
Accordingly, historians assumed that traditionally, Cebuanos dancing the same upon seeing the image of “anito.” They also trace the dance in the story of Baladhay; saying while Baladhay was sleeping in the Nuyla’s room suddenly wakes up and dances with Santo Nino.
Sinug in Sulu Archipelago does mean “utterance of Bahasa Sug or Sulu language.” Sinug was a short form of Sinulug from the word Sulug also means sea current. Sinug also mean as “Of Sulu”, “Of Sug” or “Of Sulu language”. Like “Of Samal or Of Sama” as Siamal, Sinamal or Sinama.
Sulu people or Tausug is commonly to silent the letter “L” in the middle of the word, thus Sulug shortened to Sug. Sug referring to the sea current and people’s collective identity and Sulu to the country based from the sea current of the Sulu Sea along Sulu Archipelago, thus signifying Sulu as the “Island Country of Southeast Asia.”
To clear out the uncertain origin of the word Sinulog or Sinug in Cebuanos, the Tausug has the point view based from lingual and historical interpretations. It could be interpreted that Sinulog or Sinug dance was performed by the Sugbuanon in the pre-Spanish time when the Sulu diplomat are coming to Sugbu (wave) that time.
The dance could be derived from the dance offering of the Sugbuanon to the Sulu people or Tausug and named it Sinulog or Sinug. They honoured the arrival of the Tausug with the dance as they perhaps then part of the Sulu dominion. They dance with personal intentions to thank the visit of their leaders coming to their island.    
While Sinulog dance was labelled as “Moro-Moro” by the Spanish, the possibility of the named Sinulog was taken from Tausug or Sulu is confirmed per interpretation.
The ambience of the happy offering was changed the perception of the Sugbuanon towards the Tausug. This was happened when the Spanish turned the move of Tausug to combat Spanish colonialism as “Piracy”.

The Spanish colonialism to Visayas was so intense until everybody converted to Christianity. That’s how Spanish changed the culture of the Cebuanos, but failed to subjugate and Christianize Tausug.


Source: http://www.travelph.ganiboi.com/

 When the Tausug arrived to Visayas Island, the people there will be shouting “El Moro! El Moro!” and ran towards the mountain.

The called “Moro Raids” is depicted in the dance in Salakayan Festival being celebrated in Iloilo. Salakayan for Tausug is “Sakayan” meaning outrigger boat.

The legend of Sulu Sail or Layag Sug will be coming soon as independent film. Let us witness and be part of its making. You could be producer, co-producer and many more!
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UNDERSTANDING SULU SULTANATE

On the basis of historical documents and written Sulu Tarsilas [genealogical narrations], it can be asserted that in the early part of 13th century there were already few Muslim “Ummah” living independently and working separately from each other. An “Ummah” is a small ancient Muslim village in “Lupah Sug” where the natives li…ve together and cooperate among themselves due to their affiliation in Islam faith with the guidance of their chieftains. They owned their early conversions to Islam due to the efforts of the members of the household of Prophet Muhammand s.a.w., known the “Ahlul Bait” in Arabic.

The approach of the Wali Songo Influenced the

Tausug Way of Life.

Historical records show that Tuhan (Tuan) Maqbalu was the first known Arab scholar that introduced Islam in Lupah Sug in 710 A.H. or 1310 A.D., however, Tuan Shyeik Maska‘ika was the first Ahlul Bait missionary who established the Muslim “Ummah” among the “Buranon” tribe of Maimbung, Sulu. Soon after, another Muslim Ummah was established among the Baklaya tribe of Patikul, Sulu.

About the middle of 13th century, another Ahlul Bait missionary arrived at Bwansa “Banua” or village of Lupah Sug who was popularly known as Tuan Karimul Makhdum, whose real name was Sayyid Ibrahim Zainul Al-Akbar. He had successfully conveyed the messages and the teaching of Islam, in which the Tagimaha tribe of Bwansa village accepted and embraced Islam peacefully. During his stay at Bwansa village, he built a house locally called “Langgal” for religious worship of the Muslim Ummah of Bwansa.

The lack of basic knowledge on Islam religion among the natives of Lupah Sug [Sulu mainland] demand for more Muslim preachers. Sulu Tarsila recorded of the coming of other Ahlul Bait missionaries like the persons of Makhdum Aminullah or Sayyid Un-Nikab, Syed Alawi Balpaki, Syed Mohadum and many others. In the early part of 14th century more Ahlul Bait missionaries coming from the school of Sufism came to Sulu that strengthen the teaching of Islam. They adjusted themselves with the natives’ customs and traditions, who learned to speak the native tongue. They also intermarriages with the natives that enable Islam go beyond the limits of foreign missionaries and they became parts of the Muslim Ummah of Lupah Sug. They have taught the natives that as a religion, Islam is centered in the supremacy by one God-Allah. Islam to Muslims, is more than a religion, it is a way of life. Literally, Islam means PEACE.

part II

The issues brought in the study of Sulu Sultanate is to understand its historical existence that may offer new perspective to resolve the continuous struggle of the adherence to fight the aggression of their homeland, economic resources, political legal rights, cultural heritage, religion, and freedom for self-determination. As Dr.Jose Rizal said: …“In order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past”.

The Sulu Muslim “Ummah” political theory did not start with the idea of having a state political government, but with the option that the “Ummah” or community of the faithful must possess leadership to make possible the creation of proper condition of “Ibadat” or worship and strict adherent to the “Shariah” or Islamic Laws. The leadership should always strong enough to completely safeguard the internal order of the “Ummah” against disharmony or disloyalty. Under the principle of Islam, the purpose of the individual and the “Ummah” or community is the same – the execution and enforcement of the will of ALLAH [God]. For Islam is a religion that defines a unified way of life; hence, there is no distinction between the religious and the secular.

The Sulu genealogy accounts that after the “Ahlul Bait” Missionaries established few Muslim Ummah or communities among inhabitants of Lupah Sug [Sulu mainland] living along the seashores, rivers and verdant hills and valley, another personage arrived at Bwansa, Lupah Sug, whose name was Rajah Baginda. He was the son of King Pagar and belongs to the royal family of Pagar Ruyung of Menangkabaw, Sumatra, Indonesia. Rajah Baginda was not a religious scholar but in all probability could have included a number Islamic Malay scholars as part of his entourage to Sulu. The arrival of Rajah Baginda at Bwnasa Ummah strengthen the Islamic polity of the Tagimaha tribe of Bwansa Ummah and nearby villages of Lupah Sug due to his advance knowledge in Islamic governance. Rajah Baginda was accepted as the ruler of Bwansa Ummah, although Sulu genealogy did not mention that he establish a central government in the mainland of Sulu. He got married to the daughter of a Tagimaha Chieftain, and was able to effect the implementation of the “Shariah” or Islamic laws at Bwansa village.

In a related Sulu royal Tarsila narrates the arrival of another Arab scholar by the name of Sayyid Abu Bakr Hashim. His arrival to Bwansa village was welcomed by Rajah Baginda, and because of his expertise in the Islamic jurisprudence, Sayyid Abu Bakr (pronounce as Abubakar) was accepted member of the royal court of Rajah Baginda. He got married to the daughter of Rajah Baginda.

When Rajah Baginda reached the old age, he entrusted the administration of the government affairs of Bwansa Ummah to his son-in-law, Sayyid Abu Bakr, and he remained in complete retirement at Bud Datu until his death. His grave yard is still found to the present day on the top of Bud Datu, Indanan, Sulu.

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Donations Collected: Update

The Swara bangsa Student Organization had so far collected the following donations for the Flood Victims in Sulu:5 sacks of used Clothings from the different Dormitories in MSU MArawi6 Sacks of used Clothings from the Banocag Family (Salamat po talaga)…

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New Authority for Moro

Every time a national statistic on Philippine economy is mentioned, my morale dips to its lowest ebb. For while the rest of the country is being portrayed with positive growth, Muslim Mindanao always come out with the red marks, or always rated further down the rung.

For that matter, some Filipino political leaders develop a conscience of guilt. Those who are in position to give justice to the Moro situation are driven to initiate changes in the bureaucracy by restructuring some existing institutions to give Muslims more say in the management or governing board. Unfortunately, as the general outlook of Filipinos have already been ingrained in contrast to Malaysia’s “prosper thy neighbor policy,” the exercise usually end up only in the name change.

NCMF replaces OMA

Republic Act 9997 created the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). It was formerly the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA), but the name may have already been mired in unsavory developments under the direction of certain presidential cronies. Enacted along with NCMF is the Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MinDA), otherwise known as R.A. 9996. Through these twin enactments, Mindanao is expected to become “the lynchpin of the Philippines in this century creating economic growth just like the Central Plains which became the country’s Rice Bowl,” said Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.

On paper, it appears that both MinDA and NCMF laws “will put an end to the issue that Imperial Manila decides the fate of Mindanao for Manila’s interests,” as Zubiri puts it, adding that “Putting Muslim Filipinos at the forefront in the socio-economic development of Mindanao also bodes
well for ending poverty-driven conflicts in Mindanao.”

The Statistics

“These are the essential partner documents of the peace process as they enter the socio-economic development phase in the talks. Today we end the lip service to peace and development in Mindanao. These laws empower all Filipinos including Muslim Filipinos to do real development.

“Despite the rich natural resources of Mindanao especially its rich biodiversity, many Mindanaoans are poor. In 2006, poverty incidence in Mindanao was as high as 78.9% of families in Tawi-Tawi, 63% in Zamboanga del Norte and 62% in Maguindanao. Even gold-rich Compostela Valley exhibits high poverty incidence at 39.8%.” (According to the latest National Statistics Office figures.)

“In a recent Social Weather Station survey on self-rated poverty / food-poverty, both indicators declined in most areas but rose or were practically the same in Mindanao at 55%. For poverty, a 10-point drop to 50% was noted in the Visayas, while the figure for the Balance of Luzon was six points lower at 43%. It was down two points to 38% in Metro Manila.

“Many in Mindanao are hungry even if some food items are cheap because of lop-sided development thrusts by the national as well as local governments.” Self-rated food poverty rose by 11 points in Mindanao to 48%. In Balance Luzon, it went down seven points to 36% and by five points in the Visayas to 41%. In Metro Manila it went down by two points to 30%.

“Likewise, belt-tightening by families is reflected by the self-rated poverty threshold — or the monthly budget that poor households need in order not to consider themselves poor in general – paint a gloomy picture of Mindanao.”

The median poverty threshold for poor households rose to P6,000 in Mindanao, P8,000 in other parts of Luzon, to P7,000 in the Visayas. In Metro Manila, the amount went down to P12,000. The median food-poverty thresholds for poor households remained at P3,000 in Mindanao. It went up to P7,000 in Metro Manila, to P5,000 in other parts of Luzon and to P4,000 in the Visayas.

Zubiri fought for the inclusion of a representative from the NCMF, as a member of the board of the MinDA. With that, he was hopeful it could lead to progress and development in Moro communities.

Some people in the government think they can change the condition of the people through legislation overnight. In general, as in many other countries, it is possible, but sadly, not in the Philippines and involving Muslim Mindanao. The invisible enmity the ancestors of Moros and Filipinos had embedded in their succeeding generations, formatted by over three centuries of war of attrition, can hardly be healed by even a well-intentioned congressional legislation. The series of frustrated Spanish attempts to subjugate the Moros with the active participation of Christianized Filipinos from the 16th to 19th centuries have already left a scar that has no cue of full restoration to normalcy. It may never heal unless the general mindset and idiosyncrasy of both nationality changes, which is not as easy at it may seemed to some people. The biases and prejudices of the Castilians over the Moros have only but partially minimized in the Filipino psyche today.

The above statistics did not mention the poverty incidence in Sulu, the nerve centre of the conflict, which should be worse than or at least equal to that of Tawi-Tawi. The Tausugs (Moros of Sulu) have already woke up to the reality that they can be better off on their own than to remain perennially subservient to Filipino colonialism.

Toothless ACA

For a moment, perhaps, the following thought could crept into one’s mind to ponder … “if there could only be many Zubiris in Philippine Congress, the sad state of poverty incidence in Muslim Mindanao may not be as worse today … “

On second thought, however, it may not at all change the whole scenario since Zubiri and colleagues in Congress can legislate laws only. The implementation of the laws are done by other Filipinos, most of whom do not share the sentiments and zeal of Zubiri in efforts to uplift the sad state of Moro economy and to prosper them. The absence of a strong-willed anti-corruption agency (ACA) also may never change the norm in public service where transparency is but an exception.

Statutory bodies such as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to a friend who had just left that office but declined to be identified, cannot function as desired because it is operating on at most an 80 per cent budget only. The remaining 20 per cent has to be left behind at the Department of Budget Management (DBM) for certain officials there “to disburse” in their behalf, otherwise they have to wait until an uncertain date, as “cash is ‘available’ only that much for that period!” for them.

With so much of its budget sliced, the tendency is for the ARMM to delay the implementation of certain projects by using the available cash for “other purposes.” And the absence of a meaningful ACA, emboldens every tom-dick-harry to sidetrack any disbursement procedures. Such state of affairs could also be true to other government bodies drawing their budget from DBM aka ‘Department of Budget Manipulation!’

The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) cannot function fairly due to the fact that if they have to run after the minor “cheats”, they have to start and to contend with (based on volume corruption) the official who conceived and dramatized the “Hello Garci” scandal.

How sure can we be that the DBM crocs are doing such ‘Dirty Budget Management’ on their own initiatives only, without some abetment from the authors of the infamous “Broadband” transaction?

Irreconcilable Differences

By any standard, the relationship between Moro and Filipino is 180 degrees off-tangent. The MILF is just too patient in dealing with the whims and caprices of the GRP on and off the negotiation process. But even the international communities following the GRP-MILF peace process are already irritated and disgruntled at the antics of the Filipino peace panelists. For the meantime, there may be wisdom in clinging on to the peace process until the GRP can no longer produce new antics except to recycle their “paikutin” (fooling around) concoction. By then, the GRP Peace Panelists may finally come to terms with their own follies and to learn that they have only been fooling their own selves or that they are the only ones partaking of their own rotting dishes.

Paper Powers

According to the proponents, the NCMF will have broader powers “to further ensure their (Moro) contribution to national goals and aspirations and to make them active participants in nation-building”. Zubiri has been very optimistic that his brainchild will at least be able to restrain the Moro people from cutting off the umbilical cord of Moro-Filipino coexistence and the ‘anchor’ that had temporarily held the Muslim Mindanao Ship docked at the Philippine Jetty for over half-a-decade now.

Going through the legislated functions of NCMF, at the outset, Muslims could only feel they have got all what it takes to achieve progress and remain Filipino. But to think of its implementers and the mode of implementation they had grown with for the past half-a-century, everyone would demand: “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, GIVE US LIBERTY or WE’LL FIGHT TO THE LAST STRAW OF OUR EXISTENCE TO ACHIEVE DE-COLONIZATION, NOW! /z

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Mindanao and Old Suspicions

by Manuel L. Quezon III, mlquezon3@gmail.com

When the commercial attaché of the US Embassy in the Philippines announced last month that the US was “still bullish” over Mindanao, it provoked a below-the-radar but still buzz-worthy attack on American motives in the region. With the Philippines simmering in a political crisis, could it be Uncle Sam’s interests were best served by letting the politicians in Manila tear each other apart, so that Mindanao, the main interest of America, might all the better fall into its lap?

After all, sovereignty over Mindanao had been negotiated and then enforced by the Americans during several campaigns distinct from the war which conquered the rest of the (Christian) Philippines. Maj. Gen. Elwell Otis, commander of the US Army forces quelling the “Philippine insurrection,” had ordered Gen. John C. Bates to negotiate a treaty with Sultan Jamalul Kiram of Jolo, which he did, successfully. What came to be called the Bates Treaty was signed on Aug. 20, 1899. The Americans’ English text read that “The sovereignty of the United States over the whole archipelago of Jolo and its dependencies is declared and acknowledged,” while the “rights and dignities of His Highness the Sultan and his datos shall be fully respected,” and that the Americans would not interfere “on account of their religion.” Problems arose when it turned out that the Tausug version of the treaty had not relinquished the Sultan’s sovereignty. Eventually when the Americans began exercising what they felt to be their sovereignty — by establishing the “Moro Province” in 1903 among other things — there was war and the Muslims finally accepted American sovereignty in 1915 (the Carpenter-Kiram Treaty).

While all of this was going on, of course, Filipinos could only fret over what they felt might turn out into a separate accommodation with the Moros. Teodoro M. Kalaw, for example, filed a bill in the Philippine Assembly in 1910 which “disapproved the dismemberment of Philippine territory until such a time as the American Congress could define the real political status of the Philippines” — at a time when there had already been four major Muslim uprisings.

The fear that the Americans would dispose of Mindanao as they pleased refused to go away — it actually increased as time went by. Even as Filipino officials had a fit over Wood’s thoroughly Republican plan to “run the government out of business,” Kalaw wrote that “There was also talk of separating from the Philippine archipelago the island of Mindanao, and subsequently Americanizing it.” The American Chamber of Commerce of Mindanao and Sulu had even sent a telegram to President Calvin Coolidge proposing Mindanao’s conversion to an unorganized territory under the American flag. Matters came to a head when a Republican Congressman, Robert L. Bacon, filed a bill in the US Congress (June 11, 1926), which sought to separate Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan from the jurisdiction of the Philippine government, and establish a separate and distinct form of government in those areas directly under American sovereignty.

Mass meetings were held in Manila to denounce the Bacon Bill. The Philippine Legislature condemned the bill. The brouhaha died down, but King’s justification for his bill would rankle in the memory of Filipino leaders. A Filipino Muslim, in 1922, was quoted as saying, in response to a request by an American for the Muslim’s opinion on the political situation, “”No, no, I do not want to say a word. If I say I like independence, the Americans get sore. And if I say I do not like independence, the Filipinos get sore. I say nothing.”

Hence the conviction of the leaders in the 1930s that the Muslims had to be dealt with firmly. This was, at best, a confrontational attitude: “Us” against “them.” Of course once Filipino Christian leaders achieved autonomy in 1935 and independence in 1946, they saw no contradiction between the rhetoric they had been repeating for twenty years — that the Filipino people were able to assume responsibility for themselves — and their policy of refusing to extend the rights they enjoyed to minorities. Filipino leaders were genuinely concerned about Mindanao and began efforts to spur development — but only to relieve agrarian tensions elsewhere in the country. Or to be more accurate, Muslim affairs were viewed within the context of how they could best be manipulated to the advantage of the new government.

The end result can all the more be seen as internal colonialism. Flooding Mindanao with Christian settlers — the way Americans flooded the Midwest in the US — became one of the most effective ways of ensuring that the island would stay in the hands of the Philippine Republic. By the 1950s, Muslim leaders had become familiar fixtures in national politics. The gradual extension of voting and other rights to the Muslims was accompanied by the gradual rise of Muslim politicians who played the game, Manila-style, or at least in the fashion adopted by provincial Christian warlords who had private armies. While today’s Muslim leaders have no nostalgia for the days of American rule, Filipinos in Manila continue to harbor historical suspicions indeed.

(We published this article without comment, coming as it is from the ruling elite of the Christian community at the center of power in Manila, as it has relevance to the latest political developments in Mindanao and Sulu)

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LUNTARSUG: A LOST ANCIENT SULU WRITING SYSTEM!

Neldy Jolo

Pre-Spanish Philippines has said to be known of having the ancient writing system known as Baybayin. It was noted by a Spanish priest Pedro Chirino in his “Relación de las islas Filipinas” in 1604 and Antonio de Morga in 1609.

There was no mention of specific place where Baybayin was discovered. Spanish called Baybayin as “Tagalog letters” while Bikolano called it “Basahan”. To the Tausug, Basahan or Bassahan means a “place to read, a manner of reading or will be reading” from the word “Bassa” meaning “to read”.  


Baybayin was used generally to write personal writings; poetry and diary. William Henry Scott argued that there was no literacy was first achieved and no historical record of the writing system itself because some Datu from 1590’s could not sign affidavits and oaths in 1620’s.  

Ferdinand Magellan’s chronicler Antonio Pigafetta wrote that Visayans were not literate in 1521, but Miguel Lopez de Legazpi reported that Visayans have letter and characters learned from Malay.

This was supported by Francisco Alcina, a century later that Visayans learned it from Tagalog and Tagalog learned it from Bornean known to them as “Moro Writing”. Baybayin was perhaps learned from Sulus or Tausug because Sulu was in the height of its civicultural influences as well as politico-economic power in 1500’s.

At least five theories about the origins of Baybayin, such as: Kawi Script from Java, Pallava Script from Sumatra, Lontara Script from Sulawesi, Assamese Script from Bengal and Cham Script from Champa. These theories were coming from scholars David Diringer, Fletcher Gardner and Isaac Taylor.


Baybayin means “spelling” that comes from the Tagalog word “baybay” which means “to spell”. Baybay in the Visayan language could mean “beach”. Baybayin as a writing system had invited many scholars to research on.

Dean Paul Rodriguez Versoza of the University of Manila changed Baybayin into Alibata in 1914 when he gave lectures in 1921 and explained it in his writing “Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas” in 1939. He coined Alibata from the first three letters of Arabic characters; Alif, Ba, Ta’ where it widely known in Mindanao and Sulu Archipelago.

Some historians do not agree with Dean Versoza, especially Paul Morrow because his claimed of Alibata has no indication of ancient writing system in the archipelago; it is totally a modern creation and absolutely has no relationship to Baybayin.

Father Francisco Lopez introduced “Doctrina Cristiana” in Ilocano published in 1621 using the Tagalog form of Baybayin to preach Christianity to the natives. Despite of extensive usage of Spanish priest for evangelization in 1500’s, Baybayin was started to get abandon in the late 1600’s and later disappeared.  

Tausug historian, Samuel K. Tan wrote that the first written literature of Sulus or Tausug was called Luntar. It was known as ancient writing of the Tausug aside from Sulat or Surat Sug. Sulat Sug is of Arabic characters that use to write in Bahasa Sug or known as Jawi in Malay world. Luntar was believed to be an individual and personal historical accounts and biographies.

The Luntar was perhaps practiced before the widespread advent of Islam begun in 7th or 9th century to Sulu Archipelago. Luntar was perhaps lost and burned during the first burning of Jolo by the Spanish armada in 16th century.


Spanish destroyed the Tausug writings perhaps to bury the ancient Tausug symbol of civilization. The Spanish might dispirited for not winning the battle with Tausug in their coercive attacks.   

Luntar means “tossing words from mouth”. Paul Morrow wrote that pre-Hispanic writing tools were called panulat. Panulat is a Tausug word which means “writer” and “hipanulat” means “tool uses to write” from the word Sulat which means “to write and letter.”

Since the theories of the origin of Baybayin was from Kawi of Java, Pallava of Sumatra, Lontara of Sulawesi, Assamese of Bengal and Cham of Champa and the Tagalog and then Visayans learned the Baybayin from Bornean, it seems that scholars are inconsistent about their discovery of the Baybayin where it was derived and learned from.
These five theories of the origin of Baybayin don’t agree with the place where it was learned by Tagalog and then Visayans.

If Baybayin was learned by Visayans from Tagalog then Tagalog learned it from Bornean, therefore the lost original script for this Baybayin was from Sulu Archipelago and Borneo known as Luntar.

Some Bornean in the early century are also known as Sulus, Sulug, Suluk, Tausug or people of Sulu Archipelago and Borneo. This was during the pre-Spanish invasion in 15th century.

Upon the analysis to the assumptions of historians regarding the origin of Baybayin and/or Alibata that seems contracting to each other, I and Asree Sug developed the Baybayin and/or Alibata into a new writing to name it LUNTARSUG.

We have added few characters to Baybayin and/or Alibata to suit with the modern spelling of words according to the English alphabet and named the font and its system as “ASREENELDY”. Those characters are; ja, za, ra, fa, patay and sangka’.

It would be published later as part of the book “Sejarah Sulug dan Teori Likusantara: Kepulauan Sulu sebelum muncul nama Philippines” or Sulug History and Likusantara Theory: Sulu Archipelago before named Philippines exist.

In this book the pre-Spanish Philippines was known as part of the Sulu Archipelago.

CHENG HO SAILS TO SULU ARCHIPELAGO AND THE GOLD AND SILVER COINS

Neldy Jolo
Some of the seven naval sails of Laksamana Cheng Ho were dropped by Sulu Archipelago. Year 1405 was the enthronement of Sayyid Abu Bakr, the Sulu first Sultan as Paduka Mahasari Maulana Sultan Sharif Al-Hashim.
1405 was also the year that China sent mission to Sulu, and 1405 also the year when Emperor Yung Lu first entrusted his favour to Cheng Ho as the admiral of the gigantic armada designated for international tributary missions.
It was usual to Laksamana Cheng Ho to erect landmark at mountain or hilly place in the country they sailed to. In 1409, he brought stone tablet to be erected in Sri Lanka, it is presently known as “Galle Trilingual Inscription” erected in 1411 in Galle.
Upon Cheng Ho’s arrival to Sulu Archipelago, specifically at Tanjung, Jolo in 1408, he left his companion Pei Pei Hsien to settle in Jolo when Pei Pei Hsien aboard Sam Po Kong fleet fell sick. Pei Pei Hsien stationed and lives at Maubuh for about eight years after his transfer from Tanjung.
Pei Pei Hsien built a deep-well artesian as the symbol of gratitude for the hospitality the Sulu native people, the Tausug. Upon his death he was buried at Jati Tunggal, Indanan.
His tomb is right now known as Poon Tao Kong and Poon Tao Kong become known as a Chinese temple in Sulu Archipelago. Poon Tao Kong temple are also found in Bongao and Siasi, Sulu.
Gregorio Zaide said as mentioned in Chinese records Pan Tao Kong or Pei Pon Tao died on 26 December 1405 while the ship of Laksamana Cheng Ho was anchored in Jolo shore during the their first voyage to the Malay and Sulu Archipelago. He was the Chinese tribute collector. 26 December was the date that brought Chinese residence in Jolo to make pilgrimage to his tomb every year.  
If this would be the case, the tribute mission that China did to Sulu in 1405 was coincided with the enthronement of Sayyid Abu Bakr as first Sulu Sultan on 17 November 1405. Tausug historian shall still look for Chinese records to prove that Pei Pei Hsien died in 1408 and Pei Pon Tao died in 1405 in Tanjung, Jolo, Sulu are the same person.
In 1415, Lakasaman Cheng Ho second in command Wang Jinghong was buried in Indonesia after his stay in Simongan, Semarang passed through Jawa Sea. A proof of their visit was a landmark called Kelenteng Sam Po Kong with statue known as Mbah Ledakar Dampo Awang Sam Po Kong, the same name with the fleet boarded by Pei Pei Hsien that visited to Sulu Archipelago. They also docked at Muara jati, Cirebon.
Günter Schwarz & Rosalinda Morgado-Schwarz wrote in the article Philippine Chronology, Laksamana Cheng Ho trip to Sulu Archipelago now renamed Philippines was sent by Emperor Yung Lu with a large fleet of around 60 ships.

The ships visited Pangasinan, Manila Bay, Mindoro and Sulu Islands and perhaps established a Chinese community there. This is also known when Indonesian Scholar Slamet Muljana writes that Cheng Ho had founded Muslim communities first in Palembang, Kalimantan, Jawa, Malay Peninsula and the Philippines as well as Sulu Archipelago.

The last voyage that Cheng Ho had was during the reign of Emperor Xuande in 1426- 1435. Cheng Ho died during this last voyage where his tomb never found until today. Although it was known today his tomb is in Nanjing, China but has been proven as empty.
This was brought to the notion that he was buried at sea like other admirals. Some historians believe Cheng Ho was buried at the Malabar sea coast near Calicut, Wes India. According to the oral tradition of the Tausug, there is a lost tomb beside the Poon Tao Kong Temple in Jolo that is believed to be the tomb of Laksamaan Cheng Ho.
Laksamana Cheng Ho was a descendant of a certain Bayan through a Persian Sayyid Ajjal Shams Al-Din Omar that was working during the Mongol Empire and was serving as Yunnan Governor during early Yuan Dynasty. He was known as Zheng Ho, Ma He, Mahmud Shams, Ma Sanbao (three jewels) that was born in 1371 and was a second son of a Muslim family.
Every 11 July of the year, Chinese celebrated the Maritime Day to commemorate the memory of Cheng Ho. He was named Cheng Ho by Prince Zhu Di when his horse was killed in a battle outside of Zhenglunba.  Since Laksamana Cheng Ho is Ahlul Bait of Rasul, Nabi Muhammad (s.a.w) he should be addressed as Laksamana Habib Sayyid Mahmud Shams Al-Din Omar.

The tribute mission of the second Sultan of Sulu to Emperor Yung Lu, Sultan Kamaluddin was believed to be escorted by the armada of Laksamana Cheng Ho before Sultan Kamaluddin Ibni Sultan Sharif Al-Hashim Sayyid Abu Bakr died and buried in Shandong Province, China in 1417.

Laksamana Cheng Ho is related to Sayyid Abu Bakr since both are descendant of Ahlul Bait that bears the noble title of “Sayyid”.
Lakasamana Cheng Ho brought Tin coins made of copper minted in China under the authority of Ming Emperor along with the silver seal to be given as a gift to any country they harboured. In their voyages he never seeks for gold, silver, slaves and spices as European did.
There were an ancient coins discovered by the David M. Glickman while doing scuba diving in the Gulf of Siam. These coins are an authentic Chinese coin minted during the Sung Dynasty (960 A.D. – 1279 A.D.) and subsequently recovered from the Chinese shipwreck of the Yung Lo period of the early Ming Dynasty. Laksamana Cheng Ho used these historic coins as legal tender during his voyage.

By the rise of Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam to stability the similar tribute mission shall be conducted of both countries. The common interest of Chinese and Tausug are the mutual business partnership inherited from the early history of China and Sulu that traded using coins made of gold, silver and copper. These are called to date as dinar, dirham and daniq (fulus).

Sulu Sultanate as an “Island country of Southeast Asia” is soon to use the currency known as Pilak that is made of gold, silver and copper as Tausug have been using this before the colonial administration arrived to the shore of Sulu. Extensive research about Sulu-China ancient relations shall be conducted soon, for it is the first relations that linked China to trade with the present Philippines.
That is why Tausug doesn’t want to be called Filipino or the people of the Philippines. They are Tausug and the people of Sulu, thus Sulu is not part of the Philippines. Filipino is not Tausug and Tausug is not Filipino!
Laksamana Cheng Ho navigational skills to explore the world prove that China is a great nation. Sulu also has then a navigator named Bahatol that guided Europeans to sail along Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea and other seas in Likusantara using moon and stars as guide.
The legendary sails of Laksamana Cheng Ho to Sulu Archipelago were one of the symbols of greatness and freedom of the Tausug Citizens back then to trade with other country of nation such as sleeping giant of the east, China!
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