Misuari not yet off the hook in Zambo siege case

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2016 01:37 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari may still face court trial over his criminal cases in connection with the 2013 Zamboanga siege, a state prosecutor said Monday.

This, if the court would not extend the suspension of the court proceeding and enforcement of the arrest warrant against Misuari.

Western Mindanao Regional Prosecutor Peter Medalle on Monday said the court can extend the suspension of the order if it deems necessary for the interest of national security. 

However, if the court decides not to extend the suspension of the arrest warrant, Medalle said law enforcement agencies should carry out the order to arrest Misuari.

Judge Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro of Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 158 cited in the order the important role Misuari will play in the peace negotiation with the government. 

Misuari led the bloody 2013 Zamboanga siege, which left more than 200 dead, including policemen, soldiers, MNLF members, and civilians. 

He was charged before the court for rebellion and violation of international humanitarian law. 

Medalle said the prosecution has strong evidence against Misuari.

He said the city government of Zamboanga can question the constitutionality of the suspension order since Misuari is also facing a criminal case. 
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said in a statement that she supports the road map to peace espoused by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

However, she reiterated the city’s position that it would continue to pursue the cases against Misuari and seek justice for the thousands of people affected by the almost one-month conflict.