Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is Scared to Ilaga (Christian Militia Group)

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is Scared to Ilaga (Christian Militia Group)

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a rebel group that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969.[1] The MNLF struggled against the Philippine Government (GPH) to achieve independence [2] of the Bangsamoro Land (or Bangsamoro Nation, or Mindanao Nation). The MNLF-GPH Peace Process is ongoing since the 1976 and both parties are working together to negotiate the terms and conditions of the legal framework and implementation of genuine autonomy as a peaceful path towards independence.[3] As defined by the MNLF, the territory of Bangsamoro Land covers Sulu, Mindanao, Palawan, and Sabah.

MNLF is internationally recognized by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) and its Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States (PUIC).[4] Since 1977, the MNLF has been an observer member of the OIC.[5] The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, and has membership of 57 states spread over four continents.[6] The Philippine Government also requested similar recognition as observer member but was denied by the OIC.[7] On 30 January 2012, MNLF became an observer member of the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC), as approved during the 7th PUIC global session held in Palembang, Indonesia.[8]


The Ilaga (Visayan: rat) is a Christian militia in the Philippines that operated during the 1970s in Southern Mindanao that fought against Moro Islamist[citation needed] militia.[1] Increased tensions in the Philippines since 2008 have since seen the reemergence of the armed vigilante group calling themselves the Bag-ong Ilaga (Visayan: New Ilaga).[2] Since 2008 violence flared up with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Armed Forces of the Philippines after the Supreme Court of the Philippines overruled the proposed treaty for an Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. [1] [3] The group committed its bloodiest act in June 1971 when it massacred 65 civilians in a mosque. [4]

Violence attributed to the Ilaga reached its bloodiest in June 1971 with the massacre of 65 old men, women and children inside a mosque at Barangay Manili in Carmen, North Cotabato.[citation needed] The group was composed of Settler villagers used by the Philippine Constabulary to attack Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) communities. Some members reportedly cut off the ears of dead Moro and wore them around their necks as trophies.[citation needed] One senior member, Norberto Manero, aka Kumander Bukay, also gained notoriety in the 1980s after he was convicted of murdering and eating the brain of Italian priest Tullio Favali whom he had suspected of having links with Communist insurgents.[citation needed] Santiago (spokesperson of the Reform Ilaga Movement), who is in his mid-60s, claimed that his group had at least 10,000 armed members and 10,000 more supporters.[citation needed] At the press conference, the Philippine Daily Inquirer saw some 300 armed men present.[citation needed] Some fighters had strange amulets, which, Santiago said, “came from their elders during the time of Kumander Toothpick.” The religious based amulets are believed to lose their powers when a person using it had done something bad.[citation needed] “Our instruction to them is not to go to battle if they have done something wrong against other people. To follow God’s commandments to avoid accidents that may lead to their deaths,” Santiago said.[citation needed


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