Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a political association that has continuously sought for an independent Islamic state from the Philippines government. The organization emerged in the late 1960s during the height of Philippines’ Muslim civil unrest (East 2006, p.6). The tension between Philippines’ Muslims and Christians in Mindanao has existed for centuries. In 1968, it reached its heights during the “Jabidah” massacre (East 2006, p.8). Since then, talks have been ongoing between the MNLF leaders and Philippines leaders to negotiate stipulations and lawful frameworks towards the formation of MNLF nation.
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Critics argue that the MNLF state would not function effectively once declared an independent state (East 2006, p.10). However, a close analysis on the MNLF structure reveals otherwise. The MNLF political structure is organized into three factions. These are the Misuari, Alvarez, and Islamic command council. In addition, there are other executive committees under the mandate of the mayor of Cotabato city (East 2006, p.10). Another core wing of the MNLF is their armed forces. Under the leadership of Dr. Nur Misuari, MNLF associates believe that their state will succeed independently upon the adoption of appropriate policies and strategies (East 2006, p.8).
In their future, the movement aims at fostering nationalist objectives across Mindanao. Analysts anticipate that once the state has attained its independence, the guerilla warfare employed by its members will definitely decline (East 2006, p.11). The fact that MNLF’s past practices indicate they can peacefully coexist substantiates this consideration. Upon the MNLF’s independence, peace and order will eventually rein enhancing economic activities. The MNLF has been significantly depending on mineral and businesses tax and other extortions as their source of revenue. In this regard, analysts anticipate that with well-organized and transparent structures and policies, the MNLF government will in future be able to effectively manage and increase revenues from their region (Engeland & Rudolph 2008, p. 45). This will not only facilitate the state’s economic growth, but will also allow the development of infrastructure in the region. In the peace accord signed between the Philippines and the state, the two parties agreed to share equally their resources (Engeland & Rudolph 2008, p. 40). In this regard, the young state will be able to manage its various undertakings using the shared resources.
Since the MNLF is a political movement, it is expected that their grievances will be tackled by addressing their political issues (Engeland & Rudolph 2008, p. 45). Thus, there is no better way of solving their grievances than self-independent. The Philippines government proved this concept through their amnesty programs reintegrating the rebels back into the society. With a similar approach, MNLF officials will reintegrate their rebels and form a formal army to defend their state. Since the inception of the group, their Muslim allies have continuously supported them in provision of military arms (Engeland & Rudolph 2008, p. 45). Analysts believe that the MNLF members are already in possession of adequate guns enabling them to defend themselves. However, critics argue that the MNLF insurgences are poorly equipped with modern firearms for defense something the group leader denies.
According to the MNLF leader, Dr. Nur Misuari, MNLF envisions future policies and strategies tolerant to all civilians (Buendia 2007, p.11). Thus, they aim to form a unified state with that promotes fairness and peace. The leader is determined that with their independence, the state will implement policies mandating their government to be entirely accountable to the civilians. Similarly, the leader asserts that the state will allow media independence. Through this open society ideologies, the state hopes to eliminate the current officials and politicians deemed to be corrupt (Buendia 2007, p.11).
Bob, E. 2006. Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF): A Profile of Determination | QUT ePrints. QUT ePrints. Web.
Buendia, R. G. 2007. THE POLITICS OF ETHNICITY AND MORO SECESSIONISM IN THE PHILIPPINES. Asia Research Centre. Web.
Engeland, A. v., & Rudolph, R. M, 2008. From terrorism to politics. Ashgate: Aldershot, England.