The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is a splinter of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Following a failed 1977 accord between MNLF and the Philippine government, MNLF's second-in-command broke away from the group. Hashim Salamat then created the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. MILF did not stray far from the philosophical foundations of their founding group.
Publicly, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front demanded a fully independent Muslim state in the southern Philippines. Purportedly in advance of this goal, MILF continued their terrorist attacks throughout the 1980s and 1990s. However by the late 1990s, the MILF had begun negotiations for simply an autonomous Muslim region. By 1997, MILF had begun negotiations with the Philippine government. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine president Gloria Arroyo signed a peace agreement in June 2001.
Terrorist attacks were claimed under the name Moro Islamic Liberation Front, even after the June 2001 peace agreement. However, relations between MILF and the Philippine government have substantially improved since 2001. On December 22, 2004, the two announced that they had formed a joint organization to clear the southern Philippines of criminal elements and operatives of two terrorist organizations, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). This development is a clear indication that the peace agreement between MILF and the Philippine government is currently being respected.
Another round of peace negotiations between the MILF and the government of the Philippines to discuss ending the Muslim insurgency began in mid-April 2005 in Malaysia. Issues to be discussed include “ancestral domain” and the natural resources present in rebel-held areas. The MILF, which has now renounced terrorism, continues to deny accusations by the Philippine military that it is sheltering members of Jemmah Islamiyah (JI).