This was the question Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles posed to the Moro National Liberation Front’s (MNLF) founding leader.
Deles said that during the many years that the peace process was being discussed, the government had exhausted all efforts to accommodate Misuari’s demands.
“Throughout the three years, when we come out with a formula and an acceptable language, he would go out and say ‘No, we could not sign it,’” she said.
“I hope this pattern on the table would be looked at…What will make Misuari happy? What does he want?” she added.
Deles denied the government ignored left Misuari out of the talks. She noted that they invited Misuari and his fellow MNLF leader Muslimin Sema to submit a nomination for the transition commission in relation to the Framework Agreement signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) but both declined.
“I deny that we’ve not given full recognition of Nur Misuari and the MNLF,” she said.
“What’s being put forward that we’ve ignored MNLF is a willful misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what’s the reality. A lot of work had been done even before this administration came in and we continue to work with this process,” Deles said, as she cited several instances when Misuari rejected proposals that his own representatives have laid on the table.
Deles reiterated that the government has not turned its back on the 1996 MNLF peace accord.
“We’re proposing the completion of the review process… that the government is
committed to engage with the MNLF to settle the problems… We were saying it’s time to complete the six-year review process. We want this to be done by the parties
together that’s why there’s a meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia next week,” she said.
Tripartite talks brokered by the Organization of Islamic Conference between the government, MNLF and third party facilitator Indonesia are scheduled next week to review the provisions of the accord.
Misuari’s armed followers are in a standoff with the military in Zamboanga City.
But Deles said such incidents should be expected as the government and the MILF near the signing of the Framework Agreement.
Deles insisted that the peace process will push through and not even the attack in Zamboanga City could derail it.
“What’s important is how we stand up to it. We stand by the peace process and we will complete the peace process for the Philippines,” she said.