Mnlf Declares Independance

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Malcolm Graham

Seems the MNLF are feeling left out.  Its a big slice of the country he's included into his independence declaration.



AMBOANGA CITY, Philippines  - Police and military maintained  the alert status  amid the declaration of independence and establishment Bangsamoro Republik by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari.

Misuari has been opposing the government's move in forging a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a step that he said will sideline the MNLF and its own final peace accord with the government.

Local government units that would be affected by the declaration of independence  urged national government to respond and seek a dialogue for the full implementation of the 1996 final peace accord with the MNLF.

“We don’t know what will be the effect of this declaration but as I said before,  the city of Zamboanga is for peace and the city supports the peace process of the Aquino administration,” said Mayor Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar.

According to Salazar, while they have no direct verification on Misuari’s declaration but the pronouncement of the MNLF chairman is an “eye opener for the national government to really dialogue with the MNLF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other groups.”

“If we are to achieve peace it should be inclusive to all the different groups that would want peaceful process and co-existence here,” Salazar said.

Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The military and police forces,  on the other hand,  have implemented tighter security in anticipation of the possible hostilities by members of the MNLF.

Col. Andrelino Colina, commander of the Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ), said they have improved checkpoint procedures while patrols have been conducted on the regular basis in areas identified as possible entry points.

“In anticipation we have heightened the alert and intelligence monitoring have been intensified on possible movement,” Colina said.

Colina said the military has not intercepted so far any information of any impending plot to conduct hostility by the Misuari faction.

“There is no major plan of attack,” he added.

The military also dismissed possibility that some of the former MNLF fighters who have been integrated into the regular AFP forces were enticing the troops to support Misuari.

Colina said similar measures are being conducted by the military in others areas affected by the pronouncement of Misuari.

As this developed, OPAPP Undersecretary Jose Lorena  debunked the pronouncement of Misuari that the government has failed to dialogue with the MNLF to discuss the 1996 peace accord.

Lorena, who is also a former legal adviser of the MNLF, clarified that the OPAPP was not aware of any reason that would  support Misuari's claim that the  government has abandoned the MNLF.

“Our aim has always been to complete the Tripartite Implementation Review so that we can move forward with concrete actions towards the development of MNLF communities, which we have already started,” Lorena said in a statement. 

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