Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari denies his group's attempted rescue of hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf is meant to boost his image for the upcoming elections.
Misuari is running for governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Misuari, who just returned from Africa, said the encounter between the MNLF and the Abu Sayyaf started when the latter ambushed a patrol group of the MNLF in Patikul, Sulu.
Misuari added MNLF forces decided to engage the Abu Sayyaf because government has not been able to solve the problem of kidnapping.
He claimed there is a conspiracy between the military and the Abu Sayyaf, that's why the bandit group has become "untouchable" in Mindanao.
He noted the ASG has supposedly acquired better weapons than the MNLF.
Misuari alleged the war in Mindanao is the handiwork of the Malaysian and Philippine governments.
He also believed that the Aman Futures scam which targeted investors in Visayas and Mindanao is part of the conspiracy to disrupt Mindanao's economy.
- ANC Headstart, 11 February 2013