• Sulu sultanate troops reject Nur Misuari

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    THE Sultanate’s Royal Security Forces (RSF) still keeping position at Lahad Datu in Sabah, will never coddle Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari in case he escapes to the disputed territory.

    This was assured on Thursday by Sultanate of Sulu spokesman Abraham Idjirani amid reports that Misuari could possibly seek refuge to Malaysia to evade arrest by the authorities.

    Misuari, along with his officials, has been the subject of the manhunt operations by government security forces after the bloody 20-day Zamboanga siege staged by his men.

    Reports indicated that Misuari could escape to Sabah since this is the nearest territory from Sulu, where he was staying during the siege.

    Some Misuari’s men had gone to Sabah to voluntarily join the RSF, headed by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd, in the fight to regain the territory from Malaysia.

    Idjirani, however, said they will not shelter Misuari if he escapes to Sabah because they don’t want their fight to be tinged with political color.

    “We will not coddle him [Mi-suari] because we don’t want our struggle for the repos-session of Sabah to be asso-ciated with political ideolo-gies,” he said.

    Besides, Idjirani added, the MNLF members who reinforced RSF as ‘volunteers’ already de-tached themselves from Mi-suari’s leadership.

    He also said it will be hard for Misuari to seek refuge to Sabah since he is also claiming the territory and included it in the areas covered by his own-declared Bangsa Moro Republik.

    Idjirani likewise expressed fear that Misuari’s experience in 2001 might just be repeated if he escapes to Malayia.

    In November 2001, on the eve of the elections in the auto-nomous region, Misuari accused the government of reneging on the peace agree-ment, and his followers launched a new rebellion in Sulu and Zamboanga City, where more than 100 people were killed.

    He then escaped by boat to Malaysia, but was arrested there and deported back to the Philippines.

    Misuari’s group is facing rebellion and a string of criminal charges, including violation of the Republic Act 9851 or the Philippines Act on Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other crimes against humanity in connection with the Zamboanga siege.

    The Philippine Navy has already deployed several gun-boats to prevent Misuari’s escape, possibly to Malaysia, if he is still in the province of Sulu.

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