Misuari criticizes peace deal between gov't, MILF

By Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 09 2013 06:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2013 08:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari is back in Manila after attending a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo, Egypt.

Many waited for Misuari's return so he can finally provide details of the MNLF's attack on the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

But in a press conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday, Misuari instead criticized the peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"The framework agreement is an offshoot of the conspiracy between the Philippine and Malaysian governments to derail our peace treaty agreements,” said Misuari.

"We do believe also that the Philippine government doesn't want peace in Mindanao at all because they would rather deal with traitorous groups like the MILF, etc...They have agreed with Malaysia to allow Malaysia to tap our gas and oil there, in Liguasan Marsh. In connivance with the MILF. But this is wrong. Liguasan Marsh is not controlled by the MILF. It's controlled by the MNLF."

Misuari did not directly say if he sanctioned the MNLF's offensive against the Abu Sayyaf.

But he stressed that the MNLF will no longer tolerate kidnappers and criminal groups in Mindanao.

"We don't like to harbor these criminal activities in our homeland. This is against the law of God, against the law of Islam, against the Quran. Kidnapping people and selling them like cows to the government or to their families. This is intolerable, this cannot be accepted…We are going to wipe out all traces of kidnapping in our areas. We have been waiting and waiting for the government to take action but what did they do? They did nothing to solve this problem."

Pressed for answers if he ordered the attack on the Abu Sayyaf, Misuari lashed at reporters covering his press briefing.

"You in the media you should be performing a quasi-intelligence work. I am afraid you are ignorant of your work," he said.

In Malacañang, officials describe Misuari's statements as completely false.

The Palace adds that the situation on the ground shows that government is nearing a final agreement that will bring lasting peace in Mindanao.