Nur spokesman to Deles: Stop the insults
MANILA – A spokesperson for Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari on Thursday said the latest comments from Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita "Ging" Deles are making matters worse.
Spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla said the latest comments from Deles are considered insults to Misuari, whose followers are currently engaged in a standoff with government forces in Zamboanga City.
"Kami ay medyo nababagabag sa ginagawa ni Deles. Insult ng insult kay Chairman Misuari - iyung sinasabi na power hungry si chairman. Paano iyan na ikaw ay pangkapayapaan tapos apoy naman at gasolina ang dinadala mo? So sana po bawas-bawasan na po itong insultuhan," he told dzMM.
At a press conference yesterday, Deles said Misuari has been uncooperative with the peace talks with the government, most of the time disagreeing whenever a significant consensus was reached on the amendments to Republic Act 9054, or "An Act Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)."
Deles added that Misuari has demands that are not under the purview of the 1996 final peace agreement between the government and the MNLF.
"I do not want to openly speculate about what is in his mind... but this pattern on his behavior on the table should be looked at. What would make Misuari happy? It seems that all our work does not seem to make him happy... Therefore what does he want?" she said.
Deles also belied the group's claim that the government has already abandoned the tripartite review of the 1996 final peace agreement with the MNLF. She said another meeting was actually scheduled in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
"There have been many meetings and up to last week, a memorandum of agreement was signed by [ARMM Governor Mujiv] Hataman and a group of senior MNLF leaders which includes leaders associated with Misuari," she said.
Deles' statements came amid a standoff between the government forces and Misuari followers in Zamboanga City about a month after the MNLF leader declared independence for Mindanao, Palawan and parts of Malaysia.
The declaration of independence was triggered by what the group believes is the government's abandonment of tripartite review of the 1996 final peace agreement in favor of holding peace talks with an MNLF breakaway group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
At least 13,000 people have already fled their homes as the fighting continues.
Misuari open to talks
Fontanilla also took offense with Deles' statement that Misuari was not able to uplift the plight of the Bangsamoro people during his term as ARMM governor.
The spokesperson appealed to the government not to pursue the "military option" but to engage in talks instead. He said Misuari remains open for negotiation, even as the MNLF faction insists that Indonesia and the United Nations mediate in the ongoing standoff.
Indonesia chairs the peace committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which brokered the 1996 peace agreement.
"Hanggang ngayon eh wala namang nakikipag-usap satin… Ang aming petisyon ay tigilan muna ang putukan at ang pamahalaan naman ang may kontrol, alisin muna ang military, bigyan ng pagkakataon ang political mechanism," he said.