Palace belittles rumored death of MNLF’s Malik
MANILA, Philippines – Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Tuesday said Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) commander Habier Malik’s rumored death will not make much difference to the peace process.
“Ang tinitingan po natin ay yung kabuuan ng peace process. We are looking at institutions, mga organizations, hindi lang sa indibidwal,” Coloma said during a regular press briefing at the Palace.
(We are looking at the whole peace process. We are looking at institutions, organizations, and not just individuals.)
Malik recently made headlines for leading the MNLF attacks in Zamboanga last September. He led at least 300 fighters loyal to MNLF founder Nur Misuari.
Coloma said that they have not even received confirmation that Malik indeed died of diabetes last November, as mentioned in a Philippine Daily Inquirer article in December.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko po ay wala pang kumpirmasyon. Hihingi po tayo ng update sa AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” he said.
(Based on what I know, there is no confirmation yet on his death. We will get an update from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.)
The Secretary pointed out that the cause of rebellion is not affected by the life or the death of a single individual.
“Kasi kung meron pa ring dahilan para maghimagsik o magrebelde ang mga mamamayan ay hindi po ito affected ng buhay o pagkamatay ng iisang indibidwal lamang,” he said.
(Because if there is a reason for an uprising or a rebellion, it is not affected by the life or death of a single individual only.)
“Ang pananaw po natin, para maging makabuluhan ang paghahanap natin ng kapayapaan, kinakailangan tukuyin natin yung pinanggagalingan ng discontent o pagrerebelde,” Coloma added.
(We believe, that for a meaningful pursuit for peace, we need to identify the root of discontent or rebellion.)
Coloma also said authorities are still looking for Misuari, who has a warrant of arrest issued against him. He is facing charges for rebellion and violation of humanitarian laws because of the Zamboanga City siege.
The Misuari faction of the MNLF is said to have launched the so-called Zamboanga City siege because of the ongoing negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The group believes the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro would replace and water down what they have achieved through their own peace agreement with the government in 1996.
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