Rebellion charges filed vs Misuari, 60 others PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:32

Nur Misuari and 60 others have been formally charged with rebellion/insurrection and violations of the international humanitarian law in connection with the three-week long standoff in the city which started on September 9.

The Department of Justice, through Assistant City Prosecutors Gladdy S. Bernabe, Norma U. Usman, Alfredo E. Jimenez Jr., Associate Prosecution Attorney Nicolas L. Apolinario Jr. and City Procesutor Ricardo G. Cabaron, filed the charges before the Zamboanga Regional Trial Court last Monday, October 7.

In the three separate information filed in court, Misuari and his men are accused of rebellion for “conspiring and confederating together, mutually aiding and assisting with one another and also with others whose whereabouts and identities are still unknown, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, help, support, promote, maintain, cause, direct, and/or command the said group to rise publicly and take arms against the Republic of the Philippines, or otherwise participate in such armed public uprising, by then and there attempting to hoist the MNLF flag in front of the Zamboanga City Hall to signify their declaration of independence from and for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the Philippine government or its laws, part of its national territory the City of Zamboanga, specifically the barangays of Mariki, Rio Hondo, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan, Talon-Talon and Mampang”.

“The MNLF Misuari faction, consisting of more or less 500 members under the leadership and command of its Chairman NURULAJI P. MISUARI a.k.a. “NUR MISUARI” and under the ground command leadership of accused USTADZ HABIER MALIK, BAS ARKI, ASSAMIN HUSSIN, and several other commanders coming from their respective strongholds in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Sibugay, the City of Zamboanga and other parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula…have in fact risen publicly and taken arms to attain the said purpose by then and there making attacks against the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as innocent civilians, as a necessary means to commit the crime of rebellion; and in connection therewith and in furtherance thereof, have then and there committed acts of murder, pillage, disorder, looting, arson and destruction of private and public properties.”

The accused were “all armed with high caliber weapons including but not limited to: 90-RR (recoilless rifle), 57-RR (recoilless rifle), .50 Barrette MG, M-16 rifles, M-47 rifles, M-4 rifles Ghalil (G-1) rifles, Carbine rifles, Garand rifles, .45 caliber pistols, 60 MM mortar, hand grenades (fragmentary and incendiary), rocket propelled grenade, M-79 explosives, M203 grenade launchers explosives”, the MNLF Misuari faction “committed serious violations of the Common Article 3 to the Four (4) Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, (1) by committing acts of violence against the lives and persons of the residents, mainly of the afore-stated barangays, and in some instances of other barangays, and who did not take active part in the armed hostilities, and (2) by taking non-combatant civilians as hostages, in particular, by rounding up more or less 300 persons, who were then held together as hostages and detained randomly in buildings and houses which are also located in barangays”.

The information continues: “while the above-named accused were engaged in armed combat with the government forces, and during the captivity of the non-combatant civilians as hostages covering the period beginning from September 9 to 30, 2013, the same resulted in more or less twelve (12) total number of deaths and more or less seventy five (75) total number of serious injuries to innocent civilians”.

The MNLF founding chairman and his co-accused have “committed serious violations of the laws and customes applicable in armed conflict, within the established framework of international law namely: Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in the hostilities, that is, by forcibly opening houses and other dwellings and attacking the occupants thereof; and, at the same time, by taking about three hundred (300) occupants as hostages”. The same group also “further utilized their presence to render certain points and areas immune from military operations, that is, and more particularly by employing the same as human shields at the forefronts of Lustre Drive, Sta. Barbara and Martha Drive, Sta. Catalina, this City, thereby effectively thwarting any offensive and counter-offensive actions from the AFP-PNP Forces” and “in attacking dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives deliberately burned said structures which resulted in a conflagration of more or less Nine Thousand Seven Hundred Thirty Two (9,732) houses and buildings, public and private, causing damage in an estimated costs of Two Hundred One Million Twenty Three Thousand Pesos (P201,023,000.00)”.

Chairman Misuari, commanders Malik, Hussin and Arki as well as several John and Jane Does continue to be at-large.

The justice department did not recommend bail for offenses under RA 9851 as well as for the leaders in the rebellion/insurrection while a bail amounting to P200,000.00 was recommended for each member/follower of the rebellion/insurrection. — Claudine Uniana/City Hall PIO