Nur Misuari

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Nur Misuari
Nur misuari.jpg
Nur Misuari in 2009
President of the Bangsamoro Republik (Unrecognized)
In office
August 12, 2013 – September 28, 2013
3rd Governor of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
In office
President Fidel Ramos (1992-1998)
Joseph Estrada (1998-2001)
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2001-2010)
Preceded by Lininding Pangandaman
Succeeded by Alvarez Isnaji
Personal details
Born (1939-03-03) March 3, 1939 (age 76)
Tapul, Sulu, Commonwealth of the Philippines
Spouse(s) Desdemona Tan (deceased)
Eleonora Roida Tan
Tarhata Misuari
Alma mater University of the Philippines

Nur Misuari (Bahasa Sūg: Nūr Miswāri, born Nurallaji Pinang Misuari on March 3, 1939 in Tapul, Sulu, Philippines)[1] is a Moro revolutionary, politician, founder and former leader of the Moro National Liberation Front.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Nur Misuari was born in Tapul, Sulu on March 3, 1939.[1][2] The fourth of ten children, his parents were of Tausug Sama descent and came from Kabinga-an, Tapul Island. His father was Saliddain Misuari, who worked as a fisherman, and his mother was Dindanghail Pining. Nur Misuari is the direct descendant of Panglima Elidji, the Tausug hero and the Sulu Sultan's lieutenant responsible for the re-acquisition of North Borneo (commonly known as Sabah) for the Sultan of Sulu from the Sultanate of Brunei.[citation needed] Misuari's father moved the family from Tapul to Jolo, Sulu when he was still young. He attended Jolo Central Elementary School from 1949 to 1955 and studied at Sulu National High School for his secondary education from 1955 to 1958.[1] Misuari's family experienced financial difficulties and could not send him to college. His teacher assisted him in acquiring a scholarship from the Commission on National Integration,[3] which allowed him to study in the University of the Philippines Manila.

Misuari initially took up a degree in Liberal Arts, intending to pursue Medicine. Instead, Misuari shifted his course to Political Science in his second semester with the intent of taking up law, despite that his father "hated" lawyers.[1] He became active in many of the university's extra-curricular activities, particularly in debate. After attaining his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines Manila in 1962, he entered law school but dropped his law studies in his second year after being convinced by his mentor and now national author, Caesar Majul, to pursue a master's degree related to political science. He finished his master's degree in Asian studies in 1964 at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines.[1][3]

In 1964, Misuari founded a radical student group called the Bagong Asya (New Asia). Together with Jose Maria Sison, he also founded the Kabataan Makabayan (Patriotic Youth).[3]


Through Dr. Cesar Adib Majul, Misuari became a lecturer at the University of the Philippines in political science on July 1966 until his retirement as instructor on November 15, 1968.[1][3][3] In the 1960s, he helped establish the Mindanao Independence Movement which aimed to organize an independent state in southern Philippines. The Mindanao Independence Movement formed the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that sought political reforms from the Government of the Philippines. Unable to gain reforms, the MNLF engaged in military conflict against the Philippine Government and its supporters between 1972 to 1976 under the leadership of Misuari. The military resistance to the government of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos did not produce autonomy for the Moro people. He departed to Saudi Arabia in exile, returning to the Philippines after Marcos was removed from office during the People Power Revolution in 1986.

Nur Misuari in 2007.
Latest picture of Nur Misuari (with friends) on August 10, 2011.

Misuari justified the MNLF armed struggle on the non-implementation of the Tripoli Agreement, originally signed by Ferdinand Marcos and later included and accepted in the peace agreement signed by former Philippine president Fidel Ramos in the 1990s. This agreement established an autonomous region for Moros with Misuari became the governor. Nur Misuari was installed as the region's governor in 1996 but his rule ended in violence when he led a failed rebellion against the Philippines government in November 2001,[4] thus illegally escaping to Sabah, Malaysia before being deported back to the Philippines by the Malaysian authorities.[5][6][7] He was then removed from his office when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became president in 2001 and was arrested in 2007 on charges of terrorism. On December 20, 2007 he was denied a petition for bail and remained under house arrest in Manila. The Philippine court however, granted the bail petition of Misuari's seven co-accused, at 100,000 pesos.[8] On April 25, 2008, he was allowed to post bail, upon the instructions of the Cabinet security cluster.[9] On September 9, 2013, Nur Misuari was blamed for his army an encounter between the Arm Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and some members of the MNLF. There were conflicting versions of the cause of the encounter that caused fatalities and burned several barangays (small community) populated mostly by the BangsaMoro constituents of Zamboanga City, a major city in Southern Philippines. According to MNLF, they were in Zamboanga City to hold a peaceful rally to assert the implementation of the GRP-MNLF Agreement and they were coerced by the AFP that compelled them to defend their lives. On the other hand, the AFP and the Philippine government version portrayed the MNLF as terrorist intending cause chaos in Zamboanga City. The conflict lasted until September 28, 2013. After this conflict more than 50,000 BangsaMoro households lost their homes and many other properties.

Misuari has been in self-exile and insisted on their version of the conflict. The Philippine government has been trying to get him in custody.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Stern, Tom (2012). "Misuari's Childhood". Nur Misuari : an authorized biography. Manila: Anvil Publication. pp. 6–16. ISBN 9789712726248. 
  2. ^ University of the Philippines, U.P. Biographical Directory, Supplement 1, University of the Philippines, Quezon City (1970)
  3. ^ a b c d e sfgranada (January, 2011). "Nur Misuari – Founding Leader and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (Mnlf)". Retrieved 01 October 2014.
  4. ^ "The Philippines and Terrorism". Anti-Defamation League. April 2004. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Philippines rebel leader arrested". BBC News. 25 November 2001. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015. Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Norian Mai said Mr Misuari and six of his followers were arrested at 3.30 am on Saturday (1930 GMT Friday) on Jampiras island off Sabah state. Manila had ordered his arrest on charges of instigating a rebellion after the government suspended his governorship of an autonomous Muslim region in Mindanao, the ARMM. Although the Philippines has no extradition treaty with Malaysia, the authorities have already made clear that they intend to hand Mr Misuari over to the authorities in Manila as soon as possible. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had said before the arrest that, although his country had provided support to the rebel group in the past in its bid for autonomy, Mr Misuari had not used his powers correctly. "Therefore, we no long feel responsible to provide him with any assistance," he said. 
  6. ^ Barbara Mae Dacanay (20 December 2001). "Nur Misuari seeks asylum in Malaysia". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Nur Misuari to be repatriated to stand trial". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 December 2001. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Judge denies Misuari's bail petition
  9. ^ "(UPDATE) Misuari allowed to post bail--DoJ -, Philippine News for Filipinos". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

External links[edit]