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PNoy not letting Misuari off the hook yet


Nur Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), has disowned the actions of his men in Zamboanga City, but President Benigno Aquino III is not buying it.

“May narinig ba tayong nagsabing nakiusap siya kay Malik na tumigil na?” Aquino told reporters in Zamboanga City on Friday. “Ako rin wala ako narinig. Baka dapat pag-isipan natin ‘yon.”

Malik is Habier Malik, the alleged leader of the MNLF forces that have been occupying six Zamboanga City villages since Monday, holding several civilians hostages, and engaging government forces in sporadic clashes that have killed 18 people, 11 of them from the MNLF.

Aquino said he has asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to look into the actuations of Misuari regarding the Zamboanga incident.

“Iniimbestigahan lahat ng mga actuations ni Misuari and others. Medyo matagal-tagal na, I think, from the start of the crisis, inatasan natin si Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima na tingnan kung ano ang actual na may pruweba tayo ng pinaggagawa nila,” he said.

Aquino said if possible, he wants a strong case against Misuari, noting Misuari's legal victories in the past.

“Kahapon ni-report rin niya (De Lima) sa akin ‘yung mga kaso dati ni Chairman Misuari o ni Misuari ay naibasura dahil raw sa insufficiency of evidence. So, obviously, ayaw nating ulitin ‘yung sitwasyon na magkakaso ka, kulang ‘yung ebidensya, nadi-dismiss lang,” he said.

In an interview on GMA News TV's “News To Go,” Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman said they cannot locate Misuari now althoug he believes he is still in the Philippines.

“Nowhere to be found (si Misuari). Pero I’m sure as per intelligence natin, nasa Pinas lang. Walang report na nandito sya sa Zamboanga,” Hataman said.

Peace talks

Aquino denied Misuari's claim that the government has neglected the MNLF when it focuses on the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

He even said that there was supposed to be a meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, next week but it was postponed due to Misuari's inability to attend.

“Ang pagkakaintindi ko po, na-postponed na yata ang meeting dapat sa Jakarta next week because of his inability to attend. Hindi tumigil ang gobyernong makipag-usap sa kanya at sa MNLF,” the President said.

He said the government was able to fulfill the terms of the 1996 peace agreement with MNLF, and that it was the rebel group which failed to comply.

“May hinihintay tayo mula sa kabilang panig, for instance...mi-nention sa batas sa --na amendment to the Organic Act of the Autonomous Region. Ang nagpahinto noon sa pagkaintindi ko si Misuari mismo. Kailangan ng pag-ameyenda nung batas, may hinihintay na input sa kanya, ayaw niya ituloy,” Aquino said.

“So para ba makuntento kayo kailangan ikaw ang maging (head) ng magiging autonomous region at para bang... ibig sabihin nun walang eleksyon. Demokrasya tayo, kailangan mo ng mandato ng iyong nasasakupan or pangungunahan. Hindi puwedeng ibigay lang sa iyo iyon. Bawal sa Saligang Batas iyon, bawal sa mga batas natin,” he added.

Asked on the possible effect of the clash in the ongoing peace negotiation with the MILF, Aquino believed it will speed up the talks on the annexes of the agreement.

“This has no effect in the sense na iyong nahinto. If there is an effect, baka lalong mapapabilis ‘yung proseso na ma-conclude ‘yung annexes para magkaroon na tayo ng mas maliwanag na direksyon tungo doon sa lahat ng mekanismo para magkaroon tayo ng ganap na kapayapaan dito sa Mindanao,” he said. — Amita Legaspi/KBK, GMA News
 
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