Misuari declared independence, claims MNLF official

Report by RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2013 06:32 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2013 04:08 AM

MANILA - Despite an earlier denial, reports that Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari declared independence last month still persist.

Habib Hashim, chairman of the Islamic Command Council of the MNLF, said he received unofficial information that Misuari declared independence in Indanan, Sulu last July 29, 2013.

He said the declaration occurred during the group's gathering in one of the barangays in Indanan.

Hashim said he believes Misuari is dismayed over the ineptitude of the present administration in the full implementation of the 1996 peace accord between the MNLF and the government of the Philippines.

Misuari has reiterated in the past years that some of the provisions of the 1996 MNLF peace accord have not been fully implemented.

He is questioning the pending peace agreement that the government has been finalizing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Hashim said Misuari should learn to accept reality that they cannot stop anymore the pending finalization of the peace accord of the MILF and the Philippine government.

He said Misuari should consider a compromise agreement with the government, without neccesarily sacrificing the unimplemented provisions of the 1996 peace accord.

He said some of the provisions of the MNLF 1996 peace accord should be integrated in the MILF-GPH peace agreement, and MNLF should be given a fair share in the issue of power, wealth and political positions in the new Bangsamoro homeland.

Hashim is also worried about the possible repercussions of the alleged declaration of independence. He said this could lead to armed conflict.

The MNLF official urged Malacañang to talk to Misuari and consider a compromise agreement in the pending peace accord.

Hashim's group and the MNLF executive council are not in favor of Misuari's alleged declaration of independence.

Hashim said the declaration of independence should be their last option if dialogue with government fails.