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Nur Misuari denies involvement in Sabah crisis

Former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari on Tuesday denied sending in troops to help the embattled followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in Sabah. "I saw newspaper reports saying MNLF elements are actively involved in the fighting," he said at a press briefing in Taguig City. "I don't know anything about that. Nobody has asked permission from me to get involved in the fighting.” Kiram's followers, led by his brother Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram (also referred to as Raja Muda Agbimmuddin Kiram in some reports), are being hunted by Malaysian forces in Sabah after several weeks of standoff resulted in violence last Friday, killing more or less 27 people. Misuari, however, said there may be some MNLF members who joined Kiram's group in Sabah on their own volition. "I will not be surprised if people will extend some kind of support because that is their duty," he said. "They went there without my knowledge." Willing to help Though he denied sending troops to augment Kiram's forces, Misuari said he is willing to help resolve the crisis, noting that his grand nephew is related to Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. "I am ready to send my grand nephew to see him. My grand nephew happens to be his cousin, he is related to the prime minister. They can talk this over," he said. "If there is a need for me to visit Kuala Lumpur to possibly iron out the differences between two brotherly nations, the Bangsamoro nation and Malaysian nation, I am willing to go at my own expense," he added. 'Siding with the enemy' Misuari, meanwhile, said he feels that President Benigno Aquino III had turned against the Filipinos when he "sided with the enemy." "What he has done is very bad... Siding with the enemy of his own people," he said. "I don't know who is advising him." He also expressed concern over threats to arrest Kiram and his followers. "Let them to that, the country will be in total chaos if they do, I promise you." "The President should calm and quiet and if he has nothing to say, he should not open his mouth anymore," Misuari added. — KBK, GMA News