From the Daily Tribune (Apr 11): MNLF brands Misuari’s death rumors as black propaganda
Words spread yesterday regarding the death of Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari, but MNLF spokesmen quickly branded it as black propaganda.
Lawyer Emmanuel Fontanilla, MNLF spokesman, said that the “rumors” emanated from the intelligence community to cover up their failure to locate Misuari, who is wanted for rebellion and genocide in connection with the September 2013 siege of Zamboanga City.
“That (rumor) came from the intelligence community to ease the pressure of pursuing Chairman Misuari. That’s not true,” Fontanilla said.
“That is black propaganda to demoralize the front and also to serve the intelligence community in order to ease the pressure of pursuing Misuari because they cannot locate him,” he added.
Fontanilla stressed that such occurrence could not be hidden, especially in Sulu, the home province of Misuari.
“If that is true, the whole of Sulu will be mourning and we cannot hide that,” Fontanilla said.
A Tribune source, who was previously involved in tracking down Misuari, said that he was aware that Misuari has been “sickly” lately but could not say if the MNLF founding chairman is dead.
“Last week he was very sick. I have no feedback about that (death of Misuari),” the source said.
Rev. Absalom Cerveza, also a spokesman of MNLF, downplayed the possibility that Misuari died of sickness.
“I was with him last Sunday, the whole day and he was strong and I did not see any sign of illness in him,” Cerveza said.
According to Cerveza, Misuari even walked down from his place to meet him (Cerveza) after he (Cerveza) found himself unable to go up further due to rheumatism.
Misuari has been in hiding since September last year after he was tagged as the brains behind the siege of Zamboanga City laid by more than 300 MNLF fighters.
Government authorities have failed to locate Misuari, who was last monitored in Indanan, Sulu, a known bailiwick of the MNLF-Misuari faction.