Nur Misuari

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Nur Misuari
Nur misuari.jpg
Nur Misuari in 2009.
Chairman of the Central Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front[1]
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 77)
Tapul, Sulu, Commonwealth of the Philippines
Spouse(s) Desdemona Tan (deceased)
Eleonora Rohaida Tan
Tarhata Ibrahim
Maimona Palalisan
unidentified Subanen woman
Sherry Rahim
Alma mater University of the Philippines
Religion Sunni Islam
Military career
Allegiance MNLF
Years of service 1970s –

Nur Misuari (Tausug language: Nūr Miswāri, born Nurallaji Pinang Misuari on March 3, 1939 in Tapul, Sulu, Philippines)[2] is a Moro revolutionary and politician, founder and leader of the Moro National Liberation Front.

Personal life[edit]

Nur Misuari was born in Tapul, Sulu on March 3, 1939.[2][3] The fourth of ten children, his parents were of Tausūg-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.[citation needed] Nur Misuari is a direct descendant of Panglima Mahabasser Elidji, a Tausūg warrior and representative from the Sultanate of Sulu who he claims helped the Sultanate of Brunei forces under Sultan Muhyiddin during the civil war in northern Borneo, after which the eastern part of Sabah was rewarded to the Tausūgs by Sultan Muhyiddin.[4] Misuari's father moved their 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.[2] Misuari's family experienced financial difficulties and could not afford to send him to college. His teacher assisted him to acquire a scholarship from the Commission on National Integration,[5] which allowed him to study in the University of the Philippines in 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 the fact that his father "hated" lawyers.[2] 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 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.[2][5] 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).[5]

Until 2016, Misuari had five wives, his first wife was Desdemona Tan, who died of illness in Islamabad, Pakistan.[6] The elder sister of the deceased Desdemona, Eleonora Tan then became his second wife. His third and fourth wives are Tarhata Ibrahim and Maimona Palalisan. Sherry Rahim became his fifth wife. However, Islam allows men to marry up to four wives currently alive at the same time, and does not consider the deceased when considering this condition.[7][better source needed]

Political career[edit]

Through Cesar Adib Majul, Misuari became a lecturer at the University of the Philippines in political science in July 1966 until his retirement as instructor on November 15, 1968.[2][5] 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 and 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. Misuari departed to Saudi Arabia in self-exile, returning to the Philippines after Marcos was removed from office during the People Power Revolution in 1986. 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, where Misuari became governor.[8]

Removal as ARMM governor[edit]

Nur Misuari in 2007.

After he was installed as the region's governor in 1996, his rule ended in violence when he led a failed rebellion against the Philippines government in November 2001,[9] thus illegally escaping to Sabah, Malaysia.[10] During his time there, his third wife Tarhatta together with their three children were allowed to visit by the Malaysian government.[11] The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) regional chairman suggested the Malaysian government send Misuari to Saudi Arabia or Libya to avoid "political persecution" by the Philippine government.[11] However the Malaysian leader at the time, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resisted by saying; "We cannot entertain asylum as Misuari had not used his powers correctly although we provide support for him in the past for his bid on autonomy that saw the creation of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)". He was then deported back to the Philippines,[11][12][13] and removed from his office by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001 before being 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.[14] On April 25, 2008, he was allowed to post bail, upon the instructions of the Cabinet security cluster.[15] According to Moro sources, Misuari is a "charismatic leader" who held considerable sway over the indigenous people in Mindanao but lost this backing because of his mismanagement and the corruption of his officials during his tenure as governor for the ARMM.[16]

Controversy and criticism[edit]

As a revenge to the Malaysian government for deporting him back to the Philippines along with his dissatisfaction over Malaysian government support for the MILF on the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro,[17] he made a controversial statement by stating the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah as part of the Bangsamoro lands between March and July 2013,[18] as well supporting an intrusion by a self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III of a defunct-Sultanate of Sulu as legal.[19] As a consequence, his word has resulted into many Moro refugees (who have resided illegally in both states since the 1970s to escaping the war in southern Philippines) to suffer in discrimination and been deported back to the Philippines,[20][21] as well making himself been labelled as a "terrorist" by the Malaysian government (which also had been on effect to the Jamalul Kiram III group).[22][23] Misuari also start to accusing the MILF as "a tool been used by the Malaysian government to promoting disunity among the Moro peoples" in which he was then criticised by the MILF for his attitude of "blaming everybody for the failure of his past leadership and growing irrelevance to the Bangsamoro struggle to self-determination".[24] On September 9, 2013, Misuari was blamed for his rebels encounter with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which saw massive casualties and thousands of residents been affected.[25] In denying their action, the MNLF stated they were in Zamboanga City only to hold a peaceful rally to assert the implementation of the GRP-MNLF Agreement but they were coerced by the AFP that compelled them to defend their own lives.[26] The AFP and the Philippine government portrayed the MNLF as terrorist as they were causing chaos in the city and using civilians as a human shield.[27][28][29] The conflict lasted until September 28, 2013 with more than 50,000 families, comprising 118,000 people (which 23,000 of them are children) lost their homes and many other properties.[26][30] Misuari had since been living in self-exile and insisted that they were attacked by the AFP.[31] The Philippine government has been trying to get him in custody for causing chaos.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Abdullah Osman (August 2, 2014). "MISUARI CALLS FOR UNITY OF ALL BANGSAMORO FREEDOM FIGHTERS". BANGSAMORO News Agency. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tom Stern (2012). Nur Misuari: An Authorized Biography. Published and exclusively distributed by Anvil Pub. ISBN 978-971-27-2624-8. 
  3. ^ University of the Philippines, U.P. Biographical Directory, Supplement 1, University of the Philippines, Quezon City (1970)
  4. ^ Erwin Tulfo (April 10, 2013). "Misuari stakes family's claim to Sabah". Interaksyon. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Nur Misuari – Founding Leader and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (Mnlf)". Study Mode Research. January 17, 2011. p. 22. Retrieved October 1, 2014. [unreliable source?]
  6. ^ Edd K. Usman (May 15, 2015). "Misuari takes a new bride". Tempo. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Julie S. Alipala (June 22, 2015). "MNLF's Nur Misuari 'very much alive and happy with his 6th wife'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 23, 2015. [not in citation given]
  8. ^ Harvey W Kushner (December 4, 2002). Encyclopedia of Terrorism. SAGE Publications. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-1-4522-6550-6. 
  9. ^ "The Philippines and Terrorism". Anti-Defamation League. April 2004. Archived from the original on February 16, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ Barbara Mae Dacanay (December 20, 2001). "Nur Misuari seeks asylum in Malaysia". Gulf News. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Misuari's wife, children arrive in Malaysia". Gulf News. December 26, 2001. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Philippines rebel leader arrested". BBC News. November 25, 2001. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 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. 
  13. ^ "Nur Misuari to be repatriated to stand trial". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. December 20, 2001. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Judge denies Misuari's bail petition[dead link]
  15. ^ Tetch Torres (April 25, 2009). "(UPDATE) Misuari allowed to post bail--DoJ". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  16. ^ Peter Chalk; Angel Rabasa; William Rosenau (2009). The Evolving Terrorist Threat to Southeast Asia: A Net Assessment. Rand Corporation. pp. 46–. ISBN 978-0-8330-4759-5. 
  17. ^ "Set up SabahCom if Misuari involved: Yong". Daily Express. July 17, 2014. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Sulu claims spread to Sarawak". The Borneo Post. March 5, 2013. Archived from the original on October 23, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ Teoh El Sen (March 14, 2013). "MNLF supports Sulu claim, says Nur Misuari faction". Astro Awani. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ Charlie Saceda (March 6, 2013). "Pinoys in Sabah fear retaliation". Rappler. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  21. ^ Mohamad Abdullah (June 15, 2015). "Suluks to be deported". The Borneo Post. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Nur Misuari involved, says Zahid". Bernama. MySinChew English. July 16, 2014. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Press Statement: Meeting with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, H.E. Albert F. del Rosario on 4 March 2013". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. March 5, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  24. ^ Edwin O. Fernandez (March 20, 2013). "Misuari hit for claiming Malaysia used MILF to bolster claim on Sabah". Philippine News Agency. Interaksyon. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  25. ^ Joseph France (September 25, 2013). "The Zamboanga standoff: Role of the Nur Misuari group". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b Jaime Sinapit (September 10, 2013). "Houses burn as heavy fighting resumes in Zamboanga City". Agence France-Presse and Philippine News Agency. Interaksyon. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  27. ^ Carmela Lapeña; Amita Legaspi (September 9, 2013). "MNLF attacks Zambo City, using 20 hostages as 'human shields;' six killed". Reuters. GMA News. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ Titus Calauor; Benjie Vergara; Al Jacinto (September 11, 2013). "Human shields beg for help". Agence France Presse. The Manila Times. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  29. ^ Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III (November 27, 2013). "Resolution directing the appropriate Senate Committee's, to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the motives, behind the Zamboanga City siege in September 2013 which resulted in a humanitarian crisis in the said city, with the end in view of enacting measures to prevent the reccurrence of a similar incident in the future" (PDF). Philippine Senate. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  30. ^ Nikko Dizon (October 6, 2013). "Out of Zamboanga siege, Soliman makes deal with God". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  31. ^ William B. Depasupil (February 17, 2014). "Military says Misuari 'hiding like a rat'". The Manila Times. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Nur Misuari charged in Philippines for Zamboanga siege". Agence France-Presse. The Star. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 

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