I am a revolutionary, one of the top think tanks of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). I work 24/7 to protect the interest of the Bangsamoro Nation - people born in Mindanao, Sulu, Palawan, and Sabah.
This is an extraordinary work -- there is no school for this, there is no vacancy announcement for this. You don't dream for this work, you can't find it, you can't pursue it. This work finds you.
Contrary to your misconception that we are under command of some revolutionary politicians, the truth is, as a revolutionaries, we only work for our principles. In the revolution, there is no boss, no funder, no employer. It is just me and my principle. In MNLF, we don't have contract of membership, we don't have internal code of ethics that forms as basis for us to judge one another, we only have common principle that bonds us altogether, a very few of us.
My ideology is egalitarianism. It comes from the word "equal". Egalitarianism means respect for basic human rights regardless of differences in religion, color, race, nationality, economic status, gender, and age. Advocates for sustainable development, aka environmentalists, are classified as egalitarians because they protect the rights of two generations (present and future). As a revolutionary, my principle is guided by this ideology. Egalitarianism is the ideology of the MNLF.
My enemies are those who make big money in religious conflicts, racial genocide, poverty exploitation, colonization, systematic large-scale land grabbing, and environmental abuses such as illegal logging and mining. I am aware that my enemies have all the resources and capability to have me assassinated. Death threats, at first it gave me sleepless nights, but later on I became immune to it.
As a revolutionary, I have four major advocacy: (1) Gun Control Advocacy, (2) Anti-Oligarchy and Anti-Political-Dynasty, (3) Mindanao Independence, and (4) Real Estate Professionalization.
As a gun control advocate, I support tighter gun-carry policy and installation of gun-control checkpoints. My mortal enemies here are the undisciplined gun owners who want to carry their guns anywhere; law enforcers who carry their guns even outside uniform and off-duty; and organized crime groups and insurgents who hate checkpoints.
My anti-oligarcy and anti-political-dynasty kicks in during election time. Incidents of election-related assassination in the Philippines is high, so I consider myself on the death list.
Advocacy supporting the Bangsamoro Nation, aka Mindanao Independence Movement is a long-shot protracted struggle and I want it done through a peaceful process.
Being a licensed real estate broker by profession, I am very active in the advocacy for real estate professionalization. I am the trademark owner of the Realter [Rltr] professional title for real estate practitioners (see Realter Society). Also, I am the volunteer lead convenor of the Integrated Professional Organization for Real Estate Service Practitioners (see IPORESP.Org). Correct IPORESP formation is the most important foundation of effective advocacy in this field. Eradication of colorum is the clash point of conflict. My opponents in this advocacy are the tycoons in the real estate project development industry and their cohorts in the PRC and HLURB -- these gangsters are the ones who take in the cash out of operating colorum real estate agents.
There are many kinds of revolutionaries and political activists, the lowest level is the terrorist insurgent; the mid-level are the reformists and exhortationists; but the highest level of honor and patriotism is the secessionist. I am not saying that I want to become a hero; but all national heroes, of whatever nation, is a secessionist.
A secessionist is a person who finds ways and means to liberate his own people out of a political bondage of colonization or domestic discrimination towards a formation of a new independent nation. As organizer of the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM), I considered myself a carrier of the mark of a secessionist.
Revolutionary work is a high-risk work. This fact is not debatable. In the end, most likely, I know that I will die in a violent manner. It could come anytime, but my heart don't pump fast whenever I feel death coming, I am ready anytime. Although I am not afraid to die, I must not die because it is my obligation and responsibility to live longer, and my ultimate patriotic duty to live longer to serve and lead my people to freedom.
Just like any normal human being, we struggle to survive, everyday. Just like any normal people, we need to eat, take a bath, find entertainment, travel, feed our children (if any), and of course put some garments on our body. But unlike the normal people, we have security issues.
As a revolutionary, personal security is one thing I never forget to think about each minute. We have to be very careful so we will survive the next day. The highest possibility of cause of death of revolutionaries is ASSASSINATION. Many revolutionaries believe that carrying a gun is the best self-defense; but this I don't believe. I believe that the most effective defense against assassination is called "whereabouts management". If no one knows where you are and where you will go, there is no way an assassin can be successful on you. So just a word of advice, if you have a revolutionary friend, it is inappropriate to send him text message or some sort to ask his whereabouts.
Whereabouts Management affects my livelihood and lifestyle. There is high security risk if I find a job because working will surely establish a patern of my whereabouts. There is high security risk if I will work as a salesman because the assassin might pretend to be an interested buyer and BANG BANG BANG, I am dead. There is high security risk if I attend family and social affairs such as weddings, baptismals, and even hospital visits. In short, whenever my location becomes known, there is a high risk that the assassin will succeed on me.
Continuing the topic of whereabouts management, there is high security risk if I go back to school in Philippines to pursue higher degree, so I can't even if I want to. There is high security risk if I attend school batch reunions and even ordinary night-outs. So if I come to any of these activities, you must be grateful because it means I love you more than my life and my revolutionary work. If I won't show up in a meeting, please understand, the reason is that my calculations and instinct tells me that the security risk is too high, or more often, I have to reserve my last coins for food. Now you know that it is not easy to become a genuine revolutionary.
In my revolutionary work, I have set of rules in relation to society and government. I work under the following parameters:
- Without disturbing the peacefulness of the community and normality of business days for trade and commerce ;
- Without forcing those who are unwilling to participate;
- Without resorting to violent methods that hurt people physically or emotionally;
- Without expressing ourselves in the threatening or intimidating manner;
- Without conducting mass gatherings that causes traffic jams;
- Without hampering government programs; and
- Without resorting to insurgency, rebellion, and sedition.
There are kinds of revolutionaries who collect revolutionary taxes from their people. I am not that kind of a revolutionary. The MNLF is not that kind of a revolutionary. If you think MNLF is anti-government, you are wrong, we are pro-good-governance. That is why getting arrested by government is never a fear factor among the MNLF. The AFP/PNP loves the MNLF, we can do and say what they are restrained to do. In fact, if we feel something's wrong, we run for shelter to AFP/PNP camps.
One of the privileges of being an MNLF is we can go whenever MNLF travels abroad to attend meetings with the United Nations. It is a chance to breath some fresh air of security. This opportunity comes many times in a year. To walk along the park in a foreign nation or to become a scholar in a foreign nation is the safest place I will ever be. But travel and education abroad is costly, no sponsor, so I just put it aside in my wish-list, under my pillow so I can pray to dream about it before I sleep.
The greatest weapon of a revolutionary in the past is a gun, a pen, and a microphone. But now, it is a laptop that is connected to the internet. In the past, revolutionaries speak on the stage and 50-200 people listens. At present, I post a message in the internet and thousands of people can read. Advancement of information technology is good for revolutionary work, and it made the work safer. Less exposure of our mortal bodies to the public means less risk.
To survive each day, I only rely in the donations given directly by some few people who sympathize for me, my ideology, my principle, my cause-- they have different reasons for supporting me, and various ways also on how they manage to get the funds through. Society is strange, people donate to church, but they don't donate to revolutionaries who advocate social justice, environment protection, and freedom. My family and relatives love me, they want me to quit my revolutionary work, I am too scared to meet my mom because I might see her tears fall, and obviously I should not expect any help from them.
This is THE LIFE of a revolutionary. Two words to describe it: (1) Scary High-Risk, and (2) Financially Difficult. That's why I pray to God a lot more than any praying mantis that ever lived. A true revolutionary is more closer to God or Allah compared to anyone else. Whenever we receive generosity from people, we pray to God or Allah that He return his grace to the giver a hundred times. So far so good, it's been 24 months since I became a revolutionary and I am still alive.