Nur and men violated pact with GPH — MNLF integrees PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:47

The now renegade Nur Misuari and his men might just end up labeled “enemies of state“ as consequence of their deadly forays in Zamboanga City, in total disregard of the Moro National Liberation Front’s September 2, 1996 final peace agreement with government.

This was the consensus reached by former rebels who are now commissioned officers in different units of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, and the chairman of the MNLF’s largest and most politically-active faction, former Cotabato Vice-Mayor Muslimin Sema.

Sema and the Moro soldiers met Saturday night, through the facilitation of 6th ID’s commander, Major Gen. Romeo Gapuz, to discuss how they can cooperate in maintaining the fragile peace in Central Mindanao, amid the hostilities in Zamboanga City and Basilan.

The meeting was held at Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.

About 7,000 MNLF members have been integrated into the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police from 1998 to 2005 under the now 17-year peace agreement, an integration scheme aimed at assimilating former Moro rebels  into the mainstream.

Sema, whose group has 20 “revolutionary states” scattered in mainland Mindanao and surrounding island provinces, including Palawan, said the former MNLF members integrated into the AFP and the police doubtlessly remain loyal to their organizations they now serve, bound together by a common oath to protect the Constitution at all cost.

Moro officers and enlisted personnel of the 6th ID and its component brigades and battalions admitted having been embarrassed by the actions of Misuari’s followers who laid siege on several barangays in Zamboanga City.

“Their violent actions constituted a serious violation of the GPH-MNLF peace agreement. It was tantamount to abrogating the peace agreement,” said an Army major, whose father was an ethnic Maguindanaon guerilla who fought government forces in the 1970s.

“What they are doing now is an absolute disrespect to the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), which is involved in the tripartite review of the peace agreement about five years ago,” seconded a Moro Army captain, who is of Tausog ancestry.

The OIC, a block of more than 50 Muslim states, including petroleum exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa, helped broker the GPH-MNLF peace agreement and is currently involved in the evaluation of the accord through its Southern Philippines Peace Committee.

The committee is comprised of representatives from the governments of  Bangadesh, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Senegal, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt and Somalia.

Sema had told the Moro soldiers that he and his followers are for the peaceful continuation of the tripartite review of the peace agreement to address its weaknesses in a more comprehensive format, one that will also involve the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“It should be called `quadripartite process,’ one that has to involve us in the MNLF, representatives of the national government, the OIC, and the MILF,” Sema said.

“Our group is not at war with MILF,” Sema said.

Sema said he was, in fact, surprised on why the OIC has reportedly asked for the deferment of today’s (August 16) tripartite meeting in Indonesia.

He said the tripartite review of the GPH-MNLF peace agreement can proceed without Musuari.

“I don’t know if that was because of the Zamboanga situation, or if the `MNLF Misuari group’ had asked for it. We already have plane tickets for Indonesia when we learned it has been postponed. We don’t have any information either on when will the meeting be held,” he said.

Sema explained to the Moro soldiers that he and his followers have proposed to the OIC the creation of mechanism that would continue the implementation of the sensitive provisions of the peace agreement that have caused misunderstandings between the MNLF and Malacañang.

“It must be a peaceful `quadripartite interaction,’ in the spirit of amity and cooperation. No mutinies or bloody revolts just to dramatize ill-feelings,” Sema said.