Monday, July 28, 2014
Advertisement

Misuari’s group a spent force — MILF

By Joyce Pangco Panares | Aug. 02, 2013 at 12:01am
Taunted to prove clout in Bangsamoro polls, not in gimmicks

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Thursday brushed aside Nur Misuari’s threat that its Moro National Liberation Front faction would declare independence for Mindanao if the government fails to recognize the 1996 final peace agreement, saying that Misuari’s group is already a “spent force.”

“Misuari cannot sustain his gimmicks and propaganda,” MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said.

“The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro will benefit all Bangsamoros, including the MNLF. But Misuari is not seeing that,” he added.

Iqbal said it was “clear” that Misuari has his own interests that is why he could not see that the Bangsamoro is the higher concern for all stakeholders.

The FAB, signed by the government and the MILF in October last year, will be part of a comprehensive peace agreement that will pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro.

The Bangsamoro will replace the ARMM, a product of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the MNLF which Aquino called a “failed experiment.”

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the dividends of the Bangsamoro “will eventually redound to the benefit of Muslim Mindanao.”

Lacierda also challenged Misuari’s group to “prove its clout” by participating in the 2016 elections when the Bangsamoro - the political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao - would already have been established.

“The MILF is registered already as a political party. Everybody is invited to join the electoral process,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

“There is that avenue available to them where everybody who would like to make a better Muslim Mindanao may participate in the process,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda added that the dividends of the Bangsamoro “will eventually redound to the benefit of Muslim Mindanao.”

Iqbal, meanwhile, allayed fears raised by Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat that the peace pact with the MILF will turn Mindanao into a “blazing inferno” if the MNLF is left out in the process.

“That is a wrong perception. The Bangsamoro is for everyone, not just the MILF,” Iqbal said.

As this developed, a MNLF official denied allegations that Misuari still felt bitter over Malacanang’s refusal of his request to be appointed as ARMM governor.

“It’s a mere propaganda,” MNLF Peace Panel Chair Rev. Absalom Cerveza said.

Cerveza denied the statement attributed to a Malacanang official that Misuari felt hurt after he was not appointed to the ARMM post and his threat to declare independence for Mindanao was his way of trying to get back at the government.

“They go for the highest bidder,” said Cerveza, referring to the government’s decision to award the ARMM post to other officials other than Misuari.

“The truth was Malacanang and the  governors agreed to let Misuari run in the recent  mid-term elections unopposed but he refused, and to their dismay Misuari ran on his own,” Cerveza said.

He said Misuari decided to snub Malacanang’s  offer since that would mean that he would  be  succumbing to the Palace’s wishes.

“If he accepted the offer to run unopposed, he is going to be beholden to the government,” Cerveza said the same thing happened during the administration of then President Fidel Ramos when Misuari yielded to pressure from Malacanang

Misuari ran as ARMM governor during Ramos’ time unopposed and eventually won the post and held it for five years. He, however, was later linked to a controversy arising from alleged malversation of P37 billion of government funds .

But the Commission on Audit later told a Senate investigation that the P37B was only an appropriated amount and only P15 B were disbursed for the salaries and other expenses for the ARMM staff and employees.

Cerveza added that Misuari would announce his plan for independence in a remote area that would only be accessible to media through remote transmission.

“Misuari changed the scheme the declaration of independence. Instead of  announcing it publicly, he would do it incognito,” Cerveza said.

Misuari’s plan has been relayed to MNLF members in Mindanao.

Meanwhile the military in Jolo where Misuari plans to declaration independence for Mindanao remained peaceful.

Col. Jose Johriel Cenabre, Commander of Task Force Sulu said there has been constant coordination with Misuari’s trusted men in order to maintain peace in the area.

Earlier,  presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles said that even the MNLF expressed its desire to amend the ARMM Organic Act during the tripartite review process being brokered by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“We are doing better than just amending the ARMM. The framework agreement is for the entire Bangsamoro people. It is an opportunity for all Bangsamoro stakeholders to participate,” Deles said.

Deles also appealed to the Misuari-led faction of the MNLF to “put the Bangsamoro agenda above personal or other narrower interests.”

“To insist on a more limited framework to achieve self governance is not for the Bangsamoro but maybe for some other agenda. This should be the higher concern of all Bangsamoro leaders,” she said.

OIC representatives, along with officials of the United Nations, have already called on Misuari to hold off his plans of declaring independence for Mindanao. With Francisco Tuyay
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by MST.ph. Comments are views by manilastandardtoday.com readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandardtoday.com. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with MST.ph editorial standards, MST.ph may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section
comments powered by Disqus

Want Updates?

Be the first to know on what is latest from MST.ph, simply enter your email below to get started. We don’t spam dont worry!

Advertisement