THERE are some moves taken by the authorities that can only leave the public wondering what kind of logic they use.
Take the case of the Philippine National Police, which sent a team to raid the house of Nur Misuari earlier this week. Did they actually believe that the founder of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) would be waiting for them with open arms, and allow them to arrest him, handcuff him, and place him behind bars without a fight?
Did they even believe that he would be in the very first place they would look?
Misuari may be many things to many people, but dumb is not one of them. Of course he would stay away from all of his known addresses, which is why the raid on his house has been an exercise in futility.
The raiding team claimed they were able to “capture” some documents, the true value of which has not yet been determined. Those papers may have been nothing more than old documents that Misuari never found the time to dispose of.
In taking that very long shot of finding Misuari where he used to live, the police wasted precious time. They could have worked on other, more credible, leads to arrest the wanted MNLF chief for his role in the Zamboanga crisis that resulted in scores of lives lost, substantial property damage, and more than a hundred thousand civilians being forced out of their homes.
If the police are unable to determine where Misuari is hiding out, perhaps the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines can give them a hand.
There is a simple formula to find out where the old rebel really is: offer a substantial reward.
Even within the MNLF, Misuari is no longer considered as the supreme leader. In fact, the Front has been split into two factions, the larger of which rejected the moves taken by the Misuari faction vis-à-vis Zamboanga City.
And yes, let it not be forgotten that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was also formerly nothing more than a splinter organization of the MNLF. Today, the MILF is considered the much bigger organization representing the aspirations of the Moro people.
All this means that Nur Misuari should not be too difficult a target to find. His recent actions including declaring an independent state in parts of Mindanao have made him a very unpopular figure even among Muslim Filipinos.
By offering a reward to anyone who gives information leading to Misuari’s arrest, it will only be a matter of time before the self-styled president of the Bangsa Moro Republik will fall into the hands of the police.
If and when that happens, let us just hope the government will not treat him with kid gloves, the way it did the first time he and his men laid siege on Zamboanga. Recall that Misuari had been arrested and incarcerated—in the place where a certain Janet Lim Napoles is now detained—but was released at the behest of former President Fidel Ramos.
Misuari does not want peace. What he craves for is attention. Hopefully, with a substantial reward for his capture in place, he will get that attention sooner rather than later, of course from bounty hunters. And from the rest of us, as he is being led to his prison cell once again.