Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MNLF spokesman: Nur Misuari, Habier Malik won't surrender

From GMA News (Oct 10): MNLF spokesman: Nur Misuari, Habier Malik won't surrender

Just like Moro National Liberation Front commander Habier Malik, MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari will not surrender even after warrants for their arrest have been issued.

“I don't think he (Misuari) is going to surrender because ang mga rebolusyonaryo po ay hindi nila ugali 'yung mag-aklas pagkatapos [ay] mag-surrender. Malimit po tatapusin nila 'yung kanilang balak,” Reverend Absalom Cerveza, MNLF Misuari faction spokesman, said in an interview on GMA News' Unang Hirit Thursday morning.

Cerveza also said he last spoke with Misuari “the other day.”

Arrest warrants were issued against Misuari, Malik and two others by a local court in Zamboanga City for placing the city under siege for almost a month, causing the death of over 200 people – civilians, soldiers and rebels.

Cerveza said the effects of the crisis were “unfortunate” but said the MNLF had a valid cause aligned with valid reasons.

He also confirmed that Misuari whom he last talked with on Tuesday was still in an undisclosed place in the Philippines.

Cerveza said Misuari told him over the phone, “Wala akong magawa kung ano ang gustong gawin ng gobyerno. Gagawin ko rin kung ano 'yung kaya kong gawin.”

When asked if Misuari is willing to have his case heard in Manila for security reasons, Cerveza said there wasn't much they could do and that ultimately it's the court that will decide their fate.

“'Pag nahuli ka, wala kang magagawa kung saan ka man lilitisin...  Bahala na 'yung mga abogado,” he said adding, “Wherever... kung mahuli.”

Cerverza also confirmed that Malik, the elusive MNLF ground commander believed to have led the attack in Zamboanga City on September 9, was still alive.

“Yes, he's much alive,” he said, adding that he last talked to Malik four days ago.

According to Cerveza, Malik already escaped government forces in Zamboanga City.

“Wala na... He's in some place na hindi natin puwede sabihin,” he said.

The encounters between government forces and the MNLF lasted for three weeks and claimed over 200 lives.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin announced the crisis officially over on Sept. 28, but clearing operations have continued to root out MNLF rebels still holed up in the city.

Misuari in Sulu?

In an interview on "News To Go" on Thursday morning Zamboanga City mayor Beng Climaco said, "I think [Misuari] is in Sulu, so it is the military authorities that are taking over."

"But definitely, the city of Zamboanga extends whatever we can in terms of personnel to really bring about justice to the people... to those who have died, those who have lost homes, those who are still suffering double in the tragedy.

Asked if she favors the idea that the case against Misuari and his group be tried in Metro Manila, Climaco said, "Definitely, we welcome it because we have the detainees [captured MNLF rebels] here right now in San Ramon and as well as jails in Zamboanga. The residents do not feel comfortable with them being here. And I have written a petition to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima so that the [trials] will be held outside the city of Zamboanga.

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