COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Police are readying sedition charges against founding chairman Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front for declaring Bangsamoro independence in Mindanao days ago.
Misuari is seen to be fomenting a Moro uprising in the region by declaring a Bangsamoro independent state contrary to the enhanced set-up of autonomy being worked out by its breakaway group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Aquino government.
“I have directed my PPO (Provincial police Office) in Sulu to prepare filing a sedition case against the MNLF leader for issuing a seditious statement,” said Chief Superintendent Noel Delos Reyes, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police director.
He said the Sulu police director, Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita, has been given until Wednesday (August 21) to comply with the directive.
Delos Reyes said Orbita should look into Misuari’s statement as seditious and unconstitutional at a time when the government and the MILF have started the crucial and final stage of the peace negotiation.
If the case was filed in court, the MNLF leader could be arrested and arraigned for the charges, Delos Reyes said.
During his reign as elected ARMM governor, Misuari was nabbed by Kuala Lumpur authorities in Malaysia and presented to the Philippine government to face rebellion charges when he reportedly led an MNLF armed assault in Sulu.
ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Masuhud-Alamia has appealed for understanding and sobriety amid Misuari’s call for revolt for an independent Moro state, the original cause of the MNLF struggle in the ‘70s.
“Peace is paramount at this stage of world chaos and violence,” said Alamia as she cited the spate of explosions and bomb threats in Mindanao and elsewhere, notwithstanding the frequent occurrence of natural calamities.
“We are for peace and co-existence, and the best way to settle differences is through peace dialogue, not through violent means that left mostly innocent civilians as collateral damages,” said Alamia as the region celebrated Monday the United Nation’s World Humanitarian Day.
Misuari’s group opted for autonomy instead of total independence in 1976 when he signed the Tripoli Agreement in Libya with the Philippine government then headed by the dictator president, Ferdinand Marcos.
The signing of the accord prompted a faction within the MNLF to break away two years and establishi the Moro Islamic Liberatiuo Front, headed by Maguindanaoan Salamat Hashim.
In 1996, the government under President Fidel Ramos convinced the Misuari-led MNLF to ink a `Final Peace Agreement.’ Misuari would later complain that the Philippine government failed to fulfill its commitments on the establishment of the regional security force and wealth sharing.
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