Al Camlian: The Top 90 Cadre, Elite Core of the Moro National Liberation Front, Revealed 

Editor’s Note: SDN — SciTech and Digital News was given the privilege to learn about all the names of the Moro braves who were trained abroad and the Moro leader who sent them off to their training camp in a “neighboring friendly country”. This is how it happened.

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By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News

Part 1 of 4


MANILA, May 19, 2023 (SDN) — When one speaks of the “Top 90”, the elite cadre of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), it is safe to say only very, very few, not even a handful, has all the names.

Al Camlian is on the podium in one of the events he attended as he speaks about the Mindanao peace process.

Memorizing 90 names is difficult if you don’t have a photographic memory. Unless you already own a list.

“Top 90” refers to the young Moros who were sent to train in a “neighboring friendly country” in the late 1960s in preparation for “defending the Muslims”. And what turned out to become the MNLF’s war for self-determination whose objective was to separate Mindanao as “independent state”.

While Top 90 was a buzz word during the Mindanao war the complete names of all the trainees are still unknown until now. No one can remember all the names.

Of course, those few in the know may come up with names such as Prof. Nur “Maas” P. Misuari, Abul Khayr Alonto, Ameril “Commander Ronny” Malaguiok, Dimasangkay “Kumander Dimas” Pundato, Al Hussein “Al” Caluang, Alawi “Commander Awing” Mohammad, Pundumah “Dumah” Sani, Jamil “Commander Fox” Lucman, Yusof “Commander Tanny” Malaguiok, Salafudin “Commander Asraf” Tayuan, Sali “Sal” Wali, and maybe a few others.

But that’s it.

Remember, the Top 90 has 90 names, and the names could be lost in the memory of the Bangsamoro people unless someone knows all of the names of the brave and courageous MNLF leaders who led the struggle and defense of the Moro people, long oppressed and considered second-class citizens in their own country. They were people excluded religiously, economically, and socially in the Philippine nation’s grand scheme of things.

As luck would have it, SDN — SciTech and Digital News was privileged to have an exclusive opportunity to have seen and publish the names from the Official List (the only one) of the names of the Top 90, duly signed and attested by one of the members, preserved for all eternity.

Incidentally, aside from the top 90 and Top 300, there were other batches trained abroad, including the trainees for the Bombardment Group, OKSA Group, and 18 Carat Group.

Honoring the MNLF’s Top 90 and Top 300 cadres

At least the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), through the Parliament of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), wants to immortalize the MNLF’s Top 90 as well as the Top 300 young Moro braves, who also trained in guerrilla warfare in a “neighboring friendly country” to honor their valor in defending their people.

MNLF Founding Chairman Prof. Nur P. Misuari on Qatar Airways jet returning to Manila from one of the peace talks in August 2010 with the Philippine government in Tripoli, Libya. (Photo: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

The bill’s authors have found it “strange” that until the present day the young Moro braves have not been given a “fitting monument in the BARMM”. None also was made during the 20 years of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It is highly ironical and, perhaps, an offense, since the ARMM was headed before by three top MNLF leaders, one of them a Top 90 himself.

Parliament Bill No. 84, or “An Act Memorializing the Valor Exemplified by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Top 90 and Top 300 Core Members, Authorizing the Appropriation of Funds, therefore, and for other Purposes”, describes them in its Explanatory Note as the “courageous men who fought to assert our rights and affirm our distinct historical identity and birthright from those who attempted to subdue it”.

The Explanatory Notes continues: “The Top 90 and 300 core members, the unsung champions of the Bangsamoro struggle, should be given proper recognition for the bravery they have manifested in continuously fighting for our rights”.

First, before SDN gives off all the names of the Top 90, let us honor, too, the Moro leader who was responsible for sending them off on an island of a “neighboring friendly country” where they were put under punishing and rigorous guerrilla training.

So, this is the untold story behind the clandestine guerrilla training of Moro braves who became the MNLF’s Top 90 cadre that waged war since the early 1970s as they struggled to free their people from the clutches of “Imperial Manila” through the independence of Mindanao.

Untold. Until now! (✓)


Next: The Top 90, and the role of Hadji Abdulla U. “Al” Camlian

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