MANILA, Philippines – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari likened the Bangsamoro deal to a "death sentence" for members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Nur Misuari issued this statement ahead of the signing of the framework agreement between the government peace panel and the MILF today in Malacañang.
Misuari said members of the MILF, a breakaway group of MNLF, are now returning to their fold due to their disagreement with the firearms decommissioning condition under the "normalization" clause in the agreement.
"Sa aming pananaw, ito ay tulad ng signing ng kanilang death sentence. This will result in the dissolution of MILF," Misuari told radio dzMM.
"Doon sa disarmament, ayaw naman ng mga Bangsamoro na mawalan sila ng armas. Imposible 'yun," he added.
Misuari said the framework agreement has resulted in the defection of some 17,000 disgruntled MILF members to the MNLF.
However, in a separate interview, University of the Philippines (UP) professor Miriam Colonel Ferrer, a member of the government's negotiating panel, expressed skepticism over Misuari's statement.
She noted that the MILF only has 10,000 to 15,000 members.
Misuari also said the agreement is a violation of the Tripoli Agreement, which the government signed with the MNLF in 1976 under the Marcos administration.
Misuari said Malaysia, which brokered the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF, is trying to prevent the implementation of the Tripoli agreement which would include Malaysia's Sabah and Serawak.
"Alam ko iyan because they are expecting their colonization of our homeland Sabah and Serawak.. Iyan ay lupain ng aking great, great grandfather. [They brokered the peace deal] para we cannot have the luxury of time to look into our problem in Sabah and Serawak. Iyan ang tactics ng Malaysia. They are very smart," he said.
Misuari also lamented the disruption of the tripartite review of the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF in Bandung, Indonesia.
"Kasi tatlong puntos na lang ang naiwan sa Bandung last March. Pagkatapos, binubulabog nila ang aming peace process dahil sa gawa ni [government chief negotiator] Marvic Leonen," he said.
Asked whether he would like to meet with Leonen to thresh out the disagreements, Misuari said: "There is no time for people like him. I don't like to meet people like him."
Misuari also blamed some alleged leftists in the government for pushing the deal, which he claims would heighten the crisis in conflict-torn Mindanao.
"Ayaw naman ng mga leftist. Ayaw nila na mahinto ang crisis sa Mindanao, dahil kung mahinto, the Armed Forces could pull out its elements and implement the long delayed policy of concentration on the remaining forces of the NPA (New People's Army)," he said.
"I'm not surprised na nagkasundo sila."
While he has expressed his disagreement with the Bangsamoro deal, Misuari clarified that the MNLF is not gearing up for a new war.
"Iyun ay kuru-kuro lamang, haka-haka lamang ng aming mga detractors, kami ay soldiers of peace., champions of peace… Papaano naming magagawa iyan? That will be a betrayal of our people's trust. Kaya ayaw naming i-surrender ang aming armas," he said.