Nur Misuari leads meeting of 2,000 MNLF members, supporters in Sulu
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Led by their founding chair, the fugitive Nur Misuari, over 2,000 members and supporters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) from all over Mindanao converged in Sulu.
Misuari faces several charges for the 2013 Zamboanga Siege that left more than 200 people dead and hundreds of thousands of families homeless.
Habib Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the Islamic Command Council of the MNLF (ICC-MNLF), said the gathering led by Misuari was a “general leadership meeting where discussions were focused on the preparation of the incoming tripartite meeting.”
Last week, over 40 MNLF members, who were intercepted in this city, were monitored until they boarded a boat bound for Sulu.
Mudjahab said the MNLF leaders ironed out some details “for the January 25 to 27 (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) Tripartite meeting in Jeddah, and the replacement of the late Ustadz Zain Jali by Alibashier Sidri as new chair of the Bangsamoro Parliament.”
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the 501st Army Brigade, confirmed the presence of Misuari in the meeting held in Barangay (the village of) Kagay in Indanan town.
Arrojado said Misuari presided over the assembly of about 2,000 members and supporters.
But there was no move to arrest Misuari, who has been charged with multiple murder for the 2013 Zamboanga siege where MNLF forces allegedly tried to occupy the city. Hundreds of thousands of residents were displaced by the three-week fighting between national government forces and MNLF members in 2013.
“It is not our job to serve the warrant of arrest. It’s the mandate of our police. If they (police) need our help as back-up support, we will do so,” Arrojado said.
Mudjahab said government security forces would have had difficulty arresting Misuari as thousands of MNLF members and supporters were in the meeting.
“The meeting was in full coordination with the local authorities, and maybe they made an evaluation about the repercussion (of a Misuari arrest),” Mudjahab said. SFM
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