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|Chair of the Central Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front|
|Assumed office |
October 21, 1972
|Preceded by||Position established|
|President of the Bangsamoro Republik|
August 12, 2013 – September 28, 2013
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|3rd Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao|
|Preceded by||Lininding Pangandaman|
|Succeeded by||Alvarez Isnaji|
Nurallaji Pinang Misuari
March 3, 1939
|Spouse(s)||Desdemona Tan (Deceased)|
Subanen woman (Unidentified)
|Education||University of the Philippines, Manila (BA)|
University of the Philippines, Diliman (MA)
|Allegiance||Moro National Liberation Front|
|Years of service||1972–present|
Nur Misuari was born on March 3, 1939 in Tapul, Sulu, Philippines. 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. 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. 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. 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, which allowed him to study at 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 the fact that his father "hated" lawyers. 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 the College of Law at University of the Philippines, Diliman 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, Diliman. 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).
Until 2016, Misuari had five wives, his first wife was Desdemona Tan, who died of illness in Islamabad, Pakistan. The elder sister of the deceased Desdemona, Eleonora Rohaida Tan then became his second wife. His third and fourth wives are Tarhata Ibrahim and Maimona Palalisan. His fifth wife comes from the tribe of Subanen, while Sherry Rahim became his sixth wife. As per polygyny, Islam allows men to marry up to four wives currently alive at the same time, thought Misuari already have six wives, this does not include his first wife who have been deceased.[better source needed]
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. 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.
Removal as ARMM governor
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, thus illegally escaping to Sabah, Malaysia. During his time there, his third wife Tarhatta together with their three children were allowed to visit by the Malaysian government. 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. 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, 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. On April 25, 2008, he was allowed to post bail, upon the instructions of the Cabinet security cluster. 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.
Controversy and criticism
Since the 1970s, there has been an animosity between Moro separatist leaders that resulted in the creation of MILF and other factions of MNLF due to dispute with Misuari. His anger towards Malaysia began when the Malaysian government deporting him back to the Philippines and supporting the MILF on the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro that resulted in his dissatisfaction towards Malaysian leaders. As a form of revenge to the Malaysian government, 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, as well supporting an intrusion by a self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III of a defunct-Sultanate of Sulu as legal. 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, 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). Misuari also began to accuse 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".
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. 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. 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. 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. Misuari had since been living in self-exile and insisted that they were attacked by the AFP. The Philippine government has been trying to get him in custody for causing chaos. In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would drop any previous charges by past administration for the arrestment of Misuari due to his old age. The move was also supported by the Department of Justice (DoJ). However, in the same year, Misuari again make a controversial proposal by calling the government to include the extreme terrorist-group Abu Sayyaf in Moro peace talks that was responded with a rejection by the Philippine government and the country armed forces as the group have committed "too many murders to innocent civilians", Duterte also citing the Abu Sayyaf group has been repeatedly called before to stop their terrorist activities, but the group continue to do so and obeying the law that push the need for the group to be destroyed. Despite Duterte plan to drop charges against Misuari, the government of Zamboanga City has make a clear stand that they will pursuing cases against Misuari for his previous siege in the city as we ought to follow the rule of law though we respect the actions of the President according to the city legal officer, Jesus Carbon Jr.
Misuari return to accusing neighbouring Malaysia by saying "Malaysia using Moro people for kidnappings since the 2000 Sipadan kidnappings and said want to drag the country leaders to International Criminal Court (ICC), saying that "the [pieces of] evidence are available as his people are everywhere and Malaysia cannot escape as because they are continue to hiring Moro people". Responding to the accusation to neighbouring country, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman urges Misuari to prove his allegation as such claims could strain relations between Malaysia and the Philippines. Malaysian state assemblyman from Senallang of Semporna Nasir Tun Sakaran urge Misuari to give his evidence and name any Malaysian politicians who he claimed involved as any allegation must be accompanied by evidence. Adding that as Malaysia has its own laws, they would investigate and punish the involved suspects immediately if they know their identity. Malaysian Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee also urging Misuari to prove his allegation if his claim was true, while Kinabatangan member of parliament Bung Moktar Radin said he was not surprised by the accusation towards Malaysian politicians as he had seen similar talks occur in Malaysia coffeeshops, but stressed if the allegation was true the Malaysian authorities must take action on any individuals involved. Meanwhile, the Sabah Suluk Solidarity Council (SSSC) regrets by the remarks and urging the Malaysian Embassy in Manila with the help of Philippine government to find out the identity of any Malaysian leaders who were involved in the kidnapping activities. The AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) also requesting Misuari to present his evidence than only making allegation. Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim began investigations to verify claims by Misuari and admits there could be involvement of certain groups. In response to all questions directed to him, Misuari said he will present all the evidence only to ICC. He also stated that he will not sit on the same negotiating table with MILF who he described as "traitors", as well accusing fellow MNLF faction Muslimin Sema and ARMM Governor Mujib Hataman of "associating with drug lords and involvement in the 2016 Davao City bombing". As a response, President Duterte said ready to give Misuari group a separate peace talks as Misuari did not want a similar peace talks with the MILF. The President stated "I will talk to everybody soon after my visit to Malaysia".
Misuari have been charged with graft following the "anomalous" bidding of educational materials that was committed between 2000–2001 during his term as the governor for the ARMM, amounting to P137.5 million. He was charged with 3 counts of graft and 3 counts of malversation of non-existent educational materials. According to the charge sheets filed before court by the Office of the Ombudsman on May 22, 2017 and released to media on May 24, Misuari authored the purchase of materials for 3 separate educational projects in the ARMM in 2000 and 2001. All of these materials, according to state investigations, were never delivered.
- Tom Stern (2012). Nur Misuari: An Authorized Biography. Published and exclusively distributed by Anvil Pub. ISBN 978-971-27-2624-8.
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- University of the Philippines, U.P. Biographical Directory, Supplement 1, University of the Philippines, Quezon City (1970)
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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.
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- Nur Misuari: Has the ‘good warrior’s’ long struggle come to a disgraceful end? by Ann Bernadette S. Corvera of The Philippine Star
- Freedom for Misuari? by Fel V. Maragay of Manila Standard Today