The Moro National Liberation Front’s founding chairman Nur Misuari has alerted his commanders to an eventuality arising from attempts by the government to raise the Philippine flag on MNLF- liberated areas.
MNLF Spokesman Absalom Cerveza said Misuari issued the alert-order to 30,000 fighters following a supposed directive from AFP Chief Gregorio Catapang to raised flags in MNLF territories.
“There are preparations for whatever eventuality that may be sparked by any attempts to establish a semblance of sovereignty over those areas,” Cerveza said.
“War could erupt if they would be intruding... it is an assault or invasion of territories and we are bound by international law to defend ourselves, Cerveza explained.
He said the MNLF territories where there are camps are deemed liberated areas.
Misuari’s order came last Sunday after learning of the military plan that prompted the MNLF high command to raise a security concern.
Cerveza said Catapang issued the order after it raised a red alert status in Sulu, Basilan and other parts of Mindanao following a massive operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group and other lawless elements shortly after the release of two German nationals held captive by the terrorists.
The liberated MNLF areas were recognized by the government in accordance with the peace agreement under the Jakarta peace accord signed between the MNLF and Philippine government in 1996.
The MNLF claims control over areas in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Palawan and the mainland Mindanao.
Cerveza said the government’s move to raise Philippine flags in MNLF territories would be considered “water under the bridge” after Misuari declared independence in Mindanao.
Misuari was disgusted after the government abrogated the tripartite review mechanism and also notified the OIC Jakarta Committee of 12 that brokered the 1976 final peace agreement that it had fully complied with all the terms and conditions set forth in the peace deal.