News Flash

September 01, 2015, Tuesday
  • CBCP calls on Catholics not to support same-sex marriage. 7 hours ago |
  • 5 mountaineers drown in Nagsasa Creek in San Jose, Tarlac on Monday afternoon. 7 hours ago |
  • Phivolcs records 5 tremors in areas in Southern Mindanao. 7 hours ago |
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  • Sandiganbayan issues hold departure orders vs. Fmr. Agusan Del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza & 7 others linked to pork barrel scam. 7 hours ago |
  • Binay’s camp claims De Lima is prioritizing political ambition over the resolution of PDAF and SAF 44 cases. 7 hours ago |
  • Binay’s camp calls on Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to resign. 8 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas says gov’t & INC leaders have been in contact with one another since the beginning of the rally at DOJ. 8 hours ago |
  • Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda says INC’s protest peacefully ended through goodwill and convergence of efforts. 8 hours ago |
  • Deputy Pres’l Spokesperson Abigail Valte says talks between gov’t & INC centered on clarification of issues & concerns. 8 hours ago |
  • Palace says there has been no deal made between gov’t and Iglesia ni Cristo. 8 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino led the National Heroes’ Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. 12 hours ago |
  • Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda thanks the INC for ending its 5-day protest rally. 12 hours ago |
  • 9 killed in a collision between a multicab & a truck before dawn Monday in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. 13 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino calls on people to unite & set aside personal interests during his message on National Heroes’ Day. 13 hours ago |
  • Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares says the right of expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson Jr. to file a complaint must be respected. 13 hours ago |
  • CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna says DOJ must continue hearing the complaint of expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson Jr. 13 hours ago |
  • Fire kills 6 stay-in workers in a bakery in Taal, Batangas. 13 hours ago |
  • Clean-up of area around EDSA-Shaw Boulevard ongoing following 5 days of INC’s protest. 13 hours ago |
  • Traffic flow now moving along EDSA-Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. 13 hours ago |
  • Some INC members still trooped to DOJ early Monday morning & left only after INC’s announcement that the protest was over. 13 hours ago |
  • Commuters who were at EDSA-Mandaluyong area about 6 am Monday experienced monstrous traffic jam due to INC rally. 13 hours ago |
  • INC members rejoiced upon hearing their leaders’ announcement at about 8 am Monday that they are ending the protest. 13 hours ago |
  • LRTA says the remaining value stored in the magnetic cards can be transferred to beep cards. 13 hours ago |
  • LRT-2 removes from all its stations the gates for magnetic cards as it paves the way for beep cards. 13 hours ago |
  • Registration for 2016 polls continues in selected malls in the provinces. 13 hours ago |
  • Comelec reminds public to register for 2016 elections before deadline comes on October 31. 13 hours ago |
  • Rains forecast over Central Luzon, Bicol, Isabela, Quirino, Rizal and Quezon. 14 hours ago |
  • Possibility of the LPA near Baler, Aurora developing into a storm remote. 14 hours ago |
  • LPA located at sea 390 kms. east southeast of Baler, Aurora. 14 hours ago |
  • INC evangelist Bienvenido Santiago says INC is concluding its protest as it has reached an understanding with gov’t. 14 hours ago |
  • Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) ends its protest at EDSA-Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. 14 hours ago |

Secession still option, MNLF says

By Francisco Tuyay | Jul. 31, 2013 at 12:03am
Denies Palace claim Misuari dropped plan

The Nur Misuari-led faction of the Moro National Liberation Front on Tuesday debunked the Palace’s claim that the rebel group had backed off from its earlier plan to declare independence for Mindanao.

Trouble in Maguindanao. Armored personnel carriers block a highway laden with two improvised explosive devices (left) planted by rebels from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Guindulungan town in Maguindanao province. At right, troops patrol the same highway after BIFF rebels fired on an oil tanker and planted the explosive devices. AFP Trouble in Maguindanao. Armored personnel carriers block a highway laden with two improvised explosive devices (left) planted by rebels from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Guindulungan town in Maguindanao province. At right, troops patrol the same highway after BIFF rebels fired on an oil tanker and planted the explosive devices. AFP

“It did not change. If ever we will know,” said MNLF Peace Panel Chair Rev. Absalom Cerveza when asked for his reaction on reports that Misuari had a change of heart and had abandoned his secession plans.

The MNLF’s belligerence, coupled with the continuing attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, had put the government in a bind against two contending forces.

On Tuesday, the military reported that eight suspected members of the BIFF Fighters were killed in day-long fierce fighting with government troops in a remote village near a major road in Maguindanao.

Cerveza’s denial came on the heels of a statement released by the Palace,  which said that Misuari’s change of heart was relayed by no less than Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman.

“I believe Gov. Hataman has already spoken with Chairman Misuari and there has been, shall we say, a withdrawal of the earlier pronouncements that the MNLF will renew their claim for independence,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

She also reiterated the government’s appeal to Misuari to give the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro - signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in October last year - a chance.

Misuari had threatened to lead his group in declaring independence for Mindanao if the government terminates the 1996 final peace agreement.

But the Palace had clarified that what the government seeks is the termination of the tripartite review mechanism which is being brokered by the OIC and not the 1996 final peace agreement.

But Misuari took exception to an explanatory note sent by the Palace to the OIC seeking the group’s acknowledgement that the MNLF “was no longer the sole representative of the Bangsamoro.”

On Monday, however, representatives of the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation who attended an assembly called by Misuari, were able to convince the MNLF founding chairman to “temporarily” hold off his plans of declaring independence for Mindanao.

Cerveza said that assuming that the government and Misuari had talked, “it does not mean that Misuari was abandoning his plan. Nothing has changed.”

Cerveza, however, admitted that there are still some loose ends in the final plan for the declaration of independence.

He added that Misuari is in Jolo and was finalizing the structures related to the declaration of independence, which would include leadership issues, cessation of hostilities, consolidation of forces and negotiated actions.

In fact, Cerveza revealed that the OIC has already been notified of the MNLF’s plan of action.

Meanwhile, Army’s 6th Infantry Division Commander Major Gen. Romeo Gapuz said that aside from the eight BIFF who were killed, five others were wounded in the firefight that ensued after the rebels strafed a passing Petron oil tanker along Sitio Bagan, Guindolongan, Maguindanao at around 4 a.m.

Gapuz said the bodies of the slain BIFF rebels were carried by their fellow rebels who had retreated  after being pursued by government troops.

Col. Dixon Hermoso, 6th IB Spokesman earlier reported that three BIFF rebels were killed when army troopers from the 68th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Oliveros chanced upon the rebels.

The rebels tried to escape the troopers, but were intercepted by an blocking force belonging to the 45th Infantry Battalion led by Col. Hongitan.

The stretch of the highway was temporary closed to motorists due to the running battle.

Government troops recovered two firearms, two improvised explosives and a handheld radio from the slain rebels. The  government did not suffer any casualty.

The encounter came a day after BIFF rebels attacked a Civilian Volunteers Organization outpost at the boundary of Midsayap, North Cotabato and Datu Piang, Maguindanao.

In Malacanang, Valte said that steps are being undertaken to ensure that the peace process with the MILF would not be jeopardized by the ongoing clashes between the military and the BIFF.

The BIFF, an armed group which led by former MILF Ameril Umbra Kato that broke away from the MILF, has threatened to detonate bombs along the highway linking General Santos City and Cotabato.

“We remain hopeful that the peace process with the MILF will not be affected,” Valte said.

She also urged the BIFF to keep an open mind on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro which the government and the MILF signed in October last year. With Joyce Pangco Pañares and Florante Solmerin
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