Senators frown on Misuari’s war threat
MANILA, Philippines — Senators frowned on Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari’s threat to go to war if the government fails to pursue federalism.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself disclosed Misuari’s threat during their meeting last Tuesday.
“Sabi ni Misuari kagabi (Misuari said last night), if you do not give it to me, I will go to war,” Duterte said Wednesday.
Reacting to the threat, Sotto said, “I wonder if there’s a law against threatening the government.”
“Pangalawa, does he (Misuari) even know what kind of federalism he wants? Why are we going to jump into something because a citizen of a country says he wants this or that? Hindi ganun kadali yun e. Pinag aaralan yun e (It’s not that easy. We need to study that),” the Senate leader said at the Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday.
Sotto also questioned the MNLF chief’s “sudden passion” for federalism for the entire country, when something is already being done to address the problems in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Duterte recently signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that would establish a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that would replace ARMM.
“I hope that he does not violate any laws by inciting to sedition, inciting to rebellion or what have you,” Sotto said.
Misuari’s threat did not also sit well with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
“With that threat to go to war, if true, Misuari has provided the single most important argument against federalism,” Drilon said in a text message to reporters.
“No one should be allowed to threaten the very existence of the Republic if his or her demand is not granted by the government,” he added.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, stressed the importance of keeping Misuari close or by the side of the President “or at least within close monitoring range of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) given the transition period of the BARMM.
“By making public that part of his conversation with Misuari, the President is actually still pursuing and campaigning for federalism,” Lacson said in another text message. /ee
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