Manila Bulletin

MNLF chair Yusop Jikiri dies


ZAMBOANGA CITY – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairperso­n Yusop Jikiri died on Saturday night from a bone ailment in his residence in Pasil, Indanan, Sulu. He was 69 years old.

Jikiri was born, and took his Bachelor of Science in Education at a local college in Jolo, Sulu.

Jikiri was a soft spoken person but firm in his decision, and was a former governor and congressma­n of Sulu before he became the chairperso­n of the MNLF.

Abuambri Taddik, one of Jikiri’s trusted senior staff, and most of the senior leaders of the MNLF called him their “greatest leader.”

He rose from the ranks and obtained his warfare training abroad, according to Taddik, who now heads the Ministry of Trade, Investment and

Tourism (MTIT) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the BARMM Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) said Jikiri was the former chief of staff of the MNLF's Bangsamoro Army, and, during the dark years of martial law, he led his forces in defending Muslim communitie­s.

He has also served the BARMM people in different capacities in the government service.

He was responsibl­e for organizing the MNLF Anti-Kidnapping and Terrorism Task Force, which is now helping the military in the prevention of kidnapping in BARMM.

Sinarimbo said he also had the honor of working with him when he served as executive secretary of the then ARMM after the Maguindana­o massacre.

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