Three months after the Zamboanga City crisis, the brains behind the attack of the Moro National Liberation Front, founding chairman Nur Misuari, is still believed to be in Sulu.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told reporters on Monday (Dec. 9) that based on their last information this month, Misuari is still in Sulu. This is contrary to reports that he had gone abroad.
“Last information we received [this month] is he is still in Sulu,” he said.
A warrant of arrest was served on Misuari in October for rebellion and violation of the international humanitarian law.
Zagala appealed that Misuari surrender to authorities.
“If he is really innocent wherever he may be he should show himself up and answer the allegations against him,” he said.
“There is already a warrant of arrest for him, to make him answerable, give him a chance first to defend himself if he is guilty or not,” he added.
Although the police is the lead agency in arresting Misuari, Zagala assured that the military will make available all personnel and assets to help them.
On Sept. 9, the MNLF- Misuari group attacked the Zamboanga city hall in a bid to create the “Bangsamoro Republik.” They said they were left out in the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. On Sunday (Dec. 8), the MILF and the government panel moved a step closer to creating a framework agreement after it both agreed on the annex of power-sharing. They will meet again in January.
Habier Malik, Misuari’s top lieutenant, led the attacks on the ground that lasted for 20 days. It could not be verified by the military whether he was still dead or alive after the fight. The siege left over 200 MNLF forces dead while dozens of civilian and government forces were killed and hundreds were wounded. About 300 MNLF members were either captured or surrendered. The siege also left a hundred thousand displaced. The city is now on early recovery phase.