|Southern Nationalist Party|
|Malay name||Partai Kebangsaan Selatan|
|Filipino name||Makabayan Partidong Timog|
|Spanish name||Partido Nationalista del Sur|
|Headquarters||Kota Batu, Philippines|
|Youth wing||Defenders of Mindanao|
The Southern Nationalist Party (Filipino: Makabayan Partidong Timog, Malay: Partai Kebangsaan Selatan) or the SNP or Partai Kebangsaan is a southern nationalist and pro-secessionist political party in the Philippines, particularly in the southern Philippines in Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, Palawan and Sabah.
It states that its ultimate goal is for a "free and independent south, and to the restore the culture of the archipelago before being perverted by the Spanish imperialists".
It also advocates for the elimination of Spanish influence in the Philippines, in favor of adopting and adjusting ancient pre-Hispanic traditions.
Its ideology is rooted from Moro and Lumad nationalism, also known collectively as Southern Philippine nationalism, and was heavily influenced by Malay nationalism and Filipino Nazism, and originated in the late 1980s by Moro and Lumad nationalists, ex-Nazis, separatists and secessionists from the southern Philippines who opposed the anti-Nazi and seemingly Hispanophilic administration of Nina Alvarez, and rejected Mindanao, Sulu, Palwan and Sabah's statuses as Philippine territory - seeing them as part of one independent southern nation under Philippine occupation.
It is a member of the Organization of Nationalists of the Philippines.
The party was founded by Gumbay Piang, the son of Datu Piang as the Mindanao Nationalist Party. Piang was a Moro nationalist who led militant-insurgencies against the Japanese occupation, and is seen as a political and cultural hero for people of the southern Philippines. Even after the Republic of Mindanao's dissolution, it remained active and eventually became one of southern Philippines' most powerful political parties. Originally catering to the people of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, over time the party had begun to exert considerable influence and gain supporters from Palawan and Cebu to as far as Metro Manila, all with significant Moro and Hispanophobic populations. Therefore in 2016, the party changed its name to the Southern Nationalist Party, to include all Filipinos of the southern regions, regardless of island group, religion or native language.
The party's goals are to protect the native culture of the southern Philippines and to resist Latinizing of Mindanao, Sulu, Sabah and Palawan, unite the people of the mentioned regions and island groups and preserve the Malay-influenced culture, as well as the language. The party was successful in getting many bills passed that would protect the culture of the southern Philippines.
Political allies include the Lakas-CMD Party, a center-right political party from Mindanao, as well as the Nazi Party of the Philippines.
The party was found be ex-members of the Nazi Party of the Philippines, who whilst disagreeing with a "one-party" authoritarian regime, preserved the Filipino Nazi's ideology of favoring pre-Hispanic Philippine traditions. After the fall of the Nazi regime in the Philippines, the peoples of Mindanao, particularly the Moro and Lumad peoples, feared that Hispanization of the islands would return with the persecution of their culture.
Al-Faris Isnaji, a former Nazi and former officer of the Sulu Defense, now defunct under the new liberal and anti-Nazi government, gathered Muslim leaders from across Sulu and Mindanao in 1983 and organized the Muslim Coalition of the South, its 1st Session being held in Cotabato City. While the Philippine president was not a member of the Conservative Party, she evidently favored a Spanish-based Philippine culture, and re-instated Spanish as an official language in the country. Isnaji however, was murdered by militant members of the Conservative Party, an avidly anti-Islamic and Hispanophilic group. He was replaced with Muslimin Sema, from Cotabato City and former officer in the Mindanao Defense. Sema eventually gathered and called on to, not just Muslims from Mindanao and Sulu, but also from Sabah and Palawan to join the 2nd Session. Sema pointed the blame at the president, who denied any claims in killing Isnaji.
In eastern Mindanao however, the Lumads, the non-Muslim natives of the South, were organizing their sessions.
Sema's group eventually began to take power in Mindanao, becoming leaders of administrations. It is at this point, that Sema realized the need for a political party, that in hopes of one day, would free the entire south from the Philippines.
Muslimin Sema found the Mindanao Nationalist Party. For most of the years of its early inception, the MNP would be dominated by Muslims, Moro and Filipino alike, as well as ex-Nazis - giving it the image of an Islamist and neo-Nazi party.
Muslimin Sema was replaced with Nur Misuari, former Maharajah of Sulu. Misuari eventually realized that he needed support from non-Muslims as well. For the 1st Session of the MNP in Zamboanga City, Misuari invited Lumad leaders.
In addition, Misuari had armed members guarding the session, after news of Filipino soldiers, as well as Catholic paramilitary groups killing Moros and Lumads broke out.
The MNP formed the Mindanao Defense Force, the paramilitary armed wing of the the MNP, again, with its leader Ameril Umbra Kato. After intensive training, the MNP launched a retaliatory attack against Filipino settler communities in northern Mindanao, in addition to leading an ambush on Philippine military bases in Mindanao.
In 2016, the Mindanao Defense Force was renamed to the Southern Defense Force. A section of the SDF, in cooperation with the Nazi Party of the Philippines, formed the Mindanao-SS, a direct reference to Hitler and his anti-Jewish pogrom.
In January of 2016, concerns about the party's name led to conventions and talks about an official name change. Proponents of the name change argued that the party not only catered to Mindanao, but the entire southern Philippines, in this case including the Sulu Archipelago, Sabah, Palawan and Cebu and Bohol in southern Visayas and that supporters from these island groups feel excluded. Proponents also argue that the party has received a false reputation and image of being an Islamist party, even though clearly the party's goals are to protect all southern Filipino culture, including the Lumad Christians of the mountains, as well as any inhabitant of the south that supports the cause.
Several names were proposed, which included the Justice Party, the Moro-Lumad Alliance Party, Southern Alliance Party, the Gumbay Piang Party, the Southern Conservative Party, Partai Merdeka and the Southern Nationalist Party.
The Partai Merdeka, literally meaning the "Independent Party" in Malay, as well as the Southern Nationalist Party received the most votes. By a small and close margin, the Southern Nationalist Party was chosen to be the new official name. The changes went into effect on March 1, 2016.
Although the ultimate goal of the SNP is to achieve independence from the Philippines, it sees this as a final step in a process.
The SNP is opposed to the Philippine government military providing the south with national and internal security, and instead, favors independent and well-trained paramilitary groups to guard the south.
The south has been known as the "paramilitary haven" of the Philippines, with more than five paramilitary groups operating.
Members of the Southern Nationalist Party are opposed to same-sex marriage, as it goes both against Islamic and Christian religious tradition. The party supports the banning of all LGBT activities in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, providing the one exception to the influence of Roman Catholic bishops, who share the same intent.
Culture and language
The biggest goal of the Southern Nationalist Party is to protect the natives cultures of Mindanao, Sulu Archipelago, Sabah and Palawan and to prevent assimilation of the aforementioned islands into mainstream Filipino culture. At the same time, it also advocates for the Philippines to return to its original pre-Hispanic traditions and culture. They aim to preserve the Malay language as the lingua franca of Mindanao, Sulu Archipelago, Palawan and Cebu preferring Malay over Filipino, seeing Filipino, Spanish and English as mere languages to communicate with non-Moros, and Malay as the true unifying language of the south.
The SNP also wants to restrict and limit Catholic Evangelical activities in Mindanao, stating that it is an offshoot of the Spanish Inquisition, whilst vowing to protect non-Catholic Christian sections, as well as native Lumad Catholics. While mainstream media views and portrays the SNP as being "anti-Catholic", it is only true when referring to the Spanish Catholicism practiced throughout the other parts of the country.
Three of the biggest accomplishments of the Partai Kebangsaan was the passage of Republic Act. 5422 passed by Datu Ferdinand Marcos, which set severe restrictions and limitations on migrations of non-natives to Mindanao. The next was Republic Act. 5423 during the presidency of Glorya Macapagal-Arroyo, which allowed Malay to be taught as the language of education in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. The first Malay-language news station, the Berita Selatan, opened in Cotabato City.
Mindanao has a strong agrarian culture, and the SNP opposes government interference in the lives of rural people in Mindanao. As often as not, Mindanao has been referred to as the "breadbasket" of the Philippines. Many of the SNP's leaders and politicians belong to agrarian backgrounds, such as Gumbay Piang himself whose father was a wealthy but rural landlord. The movement heated up when rural land, owned by Moros and Lumads were being given to settlers from Visayas and Luzon, with members of the Sultan Kudarat Guard and Mindanao-SS carrying out illegal arrests of settlers.
The Southern Agrarian Protection Organization (Malay: Pertubuhan Selatan Peladang Perlindungan, Filipino: Perlindungan Samahan sa mga Magsasaka sa Timog) was formed by rural chiefs, both Moro and Lumad alike to protect Mindanao's agrarian culture. The durian industry is almost completely-controlled by Moros and Lumads.
The SNP stresses in full sovereignty of the State, and opposes any foreign political interference. The SNP opposes the Philippines' membership in the Latin Union, as well as the Catholic Commonwealth. They also oppose Philippines-Spanish Friendship Day, and found the Mindanao Sovereignty Day to counter this holiday.
The SNP also spearheaded Philippines-Indonesia Friendship Day.
The SNP is staunchly anti-Zionist, and often burns Israeli flags on the anniversary of Israel's Independance Day. The SNP was hugely criticized, when many of its members carried Nazi flags, as well as pictures of Hitler in solidarity with anti-Jewish movements. Often-not, these anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist rallies are held by joint cooperations between the SNP and the Filipino Nazi Party.
The SNP has been labelled as a hate group by some organizations. This comes to the SNP's failure to address the lynchings, mobbings and killings of Tagalogs, Cebuanos and other non-native Filipino settlers and their descendants by alleged supporters of the SNP.
Ameril Umbra-Kato, a spokesperson for the SNP and former leader of the Mindanao Defense, says that he doesn't regret the actions of the alleged perpetrators. He stated, "Well, the Filipino government used violence and fear to persecute the native peoples of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, like the American and Imperial Spanish regimes before them. We are just returning the favor. Anyways, if we are Filipinos, then why did the 'Filipinos' support the Spanish oppressors in oppressing us, their supposed 'brethren'?"
Other SNP leaders seem to reflect Umbra-Kato's sentiments of supporting violence against non-native Filipinos in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
Muhammad Abdul-Khaled, an SNP leader in Marawi City stated, "Until people get it, that we are not Filipinos, that we live in Mindanao and Sulu, as well Sabah and Palawan, not 'southern Philippines', I could care less how radical we get. Visayas is the southern Philippines, we are a completely different nation. I don't doubt what's happening to Filipinos here in Mindanao and Sulu, I don't doubt what some of our members do, and I completely condone it. Filipinos are the rats and scums of Asia, and nothing more but servants of an empire that went underground. The Spanish Empire never went anywhere, it's pretty much alive, it calls itself the government of the Philippines."
The SNP's decision to create an armed wing, known as the Mindanao-SS, a reference to the German SS as a mockery of Jews and Israel, caused concerns that has some groups labeling the SNP as a terrorist organization.
The Mindanao-SS has carried out bombings of Catholic churches, and shootings of Filipinos, especially in northern Mindanao - which contains a high concentration of non-native Filipinos.