• Military mum on arrest of Nur Misuari

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    THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it was too early to discuss the whereabouts of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari, after the Sandiganbayan anti-graft ordered his arrest for graft charges.

    “That is too early to discuss. We have not received even an informal report,” AFP public affairs chief Edgard
    Arevalo told a news conference.

    The Sandiganbayan Third Division, in a resolution dated August 31, ordered the arrest of Misuari and seven others for graft and malversation through falsification, in connection with the irregular purchase of P115.2 million worth of textbooks in 2000 and 2001, when Misuari was governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

    Malacañang on Tuesday said it would neither block Misuari’s arrest nor ask the anti-graft court to junk the cases, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s close ties with the rebel leader. Duterte has met Misuari in Malacañang at least four times.

    Arevalo said the military had yet to be notified by the court or furnished copies of the arrest warrant, which will be served by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

    In November last year, the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 158 ordered the temporary suspension of Misuari’s arrest order over his involvement in the Zamboanga siege in 2013.

    It was Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza who personally handed over the suspension order of Misuari last year in Jolo, Sulu.

    with  REINA TOLENTINO

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