Bangsamoro Core leaders unify after 40 Years

After more than 40 years, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), traditional leaders, and the Rajah Mamalu Descendants has finally unified into one, with the creation of Bangsamoro Biwang Unified Coordinating Council (BBUCC).

The BBUCC aims to resolve grievances, and armed conflict in Palimbang, and adjacent municipalities in Sultan Kudarat Province.

About 500 top leaders, and officials of the two Moro Fronts, and members of the BBUCC witnessed the significant occasion during its 1ST Inauguration held on January 6, 2018 at Barangay Malisbong, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat province. 

The distinguished guests were Ghazali Jaafar, BTC Chairman, and 1ST Vice Chairman of the MILF, CC, and Mohaguer Iqbal, Chairman of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel, and Chairman of the MILF Central Committee of Information. 

The BBUCC officials and members upon seeing the guests were inspired, and vowed to support the current peace process.

BTC Chairman Jaafar was represented to the occasion by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Raby Angkal. In his message to the participants, he acknowledged, and appreciated the Bangsamoro leaders who in one way or another initiated in consolidating the four core leaders of BBUCC based in Sarangani, and Sultan Kudarat provinces. 

Angkal related the historical background of the Bangsamoro armed struggle that started in early 70s where bloody encounters between MNLF Forces, and combined members of the Philippine Constabulary, Philippine Army, armed militias, and the dreaded ILAGA Fanatics that took place in almost all part of Mindanao, and island provinces.

He said that amidst the weak and mostly home-made firearms of MNLF Forces then, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had suffered major setbacks as a result of strong, committed, and unified Bangsamoro. 

The BTC Chairman’s message refreshes the wounds, and mixed emotions of the audience with tears fallen on their eyes while they’re chanting: ALLAHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR!

Abdulsatar Badrudin, Chairman of Biwang State Revolutionary Committee (BSRC) of the MNLF related on how does the four unified council was organized, and consolidated. 

He said that on September 7, 2017, a caucus meeting of more than 100 Top leaders was held, where they first created the “committee on grievances” to address issues on grievances, and miscommunication to strengthen unity, and solidarity of the BBUCC as one Organization with one common objective to regain the Bangsamoro right to self-determination (RSD). 

On October 7, 2017, the BBUCC was formally organized, and designated a secretariat to draft its Constitution-and-by-laws based on the principles demonstrated by the two (2) prominent Bangsamoro Front leaders, the late Sheik Salamat Hashim, and Prof. Nur Misuari, Badrudin said.

Kimboy Bayang, Chairman of Biwang Provincial Political Committee of the MILF expressed his thanks, and gratitude to the guests namely; BTC Chairman and 1ST Vice Chairman of the MILF, CC Jaafar, represented by his Chief of Staff Prof Angkal; MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chairman, and Chairman of Information Committee of the MILF, CC Iqbal; Datu Muslimen Sema, Chairman of Bangsamoro People’s Congress of the MNLF; Datu Romeo Sema, Vice Chairman of the MNLF Political Committee, Datu Utto Salim Cutan, Acting Mayor of Maasim, Sarangani; Labualas “Sambroud” Mamansual Abdul, former Mayor of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, and other guests who attended the symbolic inauguration of the BBUCC. 

Bayang narrated the story behind the creation of the BBUCC that emanated from the previous experience a couple of years ago where a mere miscommunication between Rajah Mamalu Descendants, the MNLF, and the MILF resulted to armed conflict. 

Acting Maasim Mayor Utto Salim Cutan urged Bangsamoro leaders to stand firm, and hold on to the organization’s Vision, and Mission for members of the Four Core organizations to stop killing each other.

“Even if we conduct Islamic symposium every day without unity, and adhere to teachings of Islam, we could not realize our main objective We must proceed with our struggle with one goal, one destiny to regain our right to self-determination, Cutan said. 

Former Palimbang Mayor Labualas “Sambroud” Mamansual Abdul expressed optimism that the aspiration of the BBUCC to have a strong, and unified command can be achieved through adhering to the saying, “In unity, there is Strength.”

“Such kind of unity started in the early 70s, and has been proven effective with tangible results, he added.

“The results of our activity today viz-a-viz, the consolidation of the four (4) organizations will be submitted to higher authorities (MNLF, MILF, etc) for their information, and guidance,” he further said.

Malisbong is where more than 1,000 Bangsamoro; young, and aged men, and women, including children were massacred by members of the Philippine Navy on September 24, 1974 inside a mosque at the height of MartiaL Law. To date, there’s no justice rendered to the victims.