MNLF confirms 'declaration of independence', girds itself for possible fighting
"We believe that [the] signing of the framework agreement na magkakaroon sila ng comprehensive agreement within the year—notwithstanding the fact that the final peace agreement of 1996 still exists and is valid—this for us is, technically, tantamount to an abrogation of the 1996 peace agreement," said Habib Mujahab Hashim in Chino Gaston's report on GMA News TV's "24 Oras".
Gaston noted that in the MNLF camps they visited, brand-new flags were flying. MNLF fighters in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and M-16 rifles, awaiting instructions and getting themselves ready should Misuari's declaration result in fighting.
"Alam ko ang MNLF ay may pwersa," said MNLF commander Jainuddin Salik in the report. "Lahat from the very beginning to the present, the MNLF is still prepared and laging handa."
A Commander "Menzi" told Gaston that they hoped that the government would receive the news of Misuari's declaration peacefully, but that they were ready for anything that might happen. — BM/DVM, GMA News