Nur presence at MNLF meet in Sulu confirmed
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Fugitive Nur Misuari, founding chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), was among over 2,000 MNLF members and supporters who came from all over Mindanao to attend a “general membership meeting” in Sulu province on Saturday, according to a top faction leader of the group.
Habib Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the Islamic Command Council of the MNLF, said the discussions were focused on preparations for the tripartite meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Jan. 25-27.
Misuari faces multiple murder charges in connection with the 2013 siege of Zamboanga City by his followers, which left more than 200 people dead and hundreds of thousands of families homeless. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the court in December 2013.
But there was no move by law enforcement agencies to arrest the MNLF leader during the meeting in the rebel stronghold in Barangay Kagay in Indanan town.
“It is not our job to serve the warrant of arrest,” said Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Army’s 501st Infantry Brigade, who confirmed Misuari’s presence in Kagay. “It’s the mandate of our police. If they (police) need our help as backup support, we will do so,” he said.
Mudjahab said it would not be easy for government security forces to arrest Misuari in the presence of thousands of MNLF members and supporters. “The meeting was in full coordination with the local authorities, and maybe they made an evaluation about the repercussions (of a Misuari arrest),” he said. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao