Redefining domestic counterinsurgency post-2001: Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Redefining domestic counterinsurgency post-2001: Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Just as the Hukbalahap (Huk) communist revolution in the decades following
World War II saw a massive infusion of U.S. military assistance to the various
Philippine administrations, as well as the ensuing civil unrest, the contemporary Moro
revolution of the southern Philippines has seen history repeat itself. The majority
Muslim provinces in this area—Mindanao—are a powder-keg and the unstable
detonator is the province of Sulu in the Sulu Archipelago. The New People‘s Army—the
military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines—still has a significant
following in the remote jungles of the Philippines and their inveterate agenda is similar
to the various paramilitary Muslim organisations in the southern Philippines, that is the
right to self-determination free of U.S. influence and Manila oligarchies. The hypothesis
of this dissertation, spelt out in this chapter, draws heavily on the aspirations of the
Muslim Bangsamoro and the opposition to them from players that have a vested interest
in maintaining the status quo.
In 1968, following the =Jabidah massacre‘ involving a number of Muslim army
recruits at Corregidor, an island located in the entrance of Manila Bay, Philippines, the
first contemporary Muslim para-military insurgency group, the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF) was formed. When Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos
declared martial law in 1972 the MNLF could be best described as a =national
insurgency, group, that is, antagonists fighting a national government which has some
degree of legitimacy and popular support. With the formal recognition of the MNLF by
the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1975, which is headquartered in
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the MNLF could then be seen as a =liberation
insurgency‘ group, namely antagonists fighting a ruling government/group that can be
seen as outside occupiers—for example, the former white minority government in South

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