MALACAÑANG on Monday refused to comment on a statement made by former Gov. Nur Misuari of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) urging the Aquino administration to hold peace talks with his Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), instead of the rival group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Misuari told The Manila Times during a recent exclusive roundtable that President Benigno Aquino 3rd should stop negotiating with the MILF, saying that the group is already disintegrated and most of its leaders have defected to the MNLF, of which he was the founder.
Teresita Deles, the government’s top adviser on the peace process, however, declined to comment on Misuari’s statement.
“I prefer not to comment. There are assumptions and assertions implied that are arguable and may not be fruitful to engage,” Deles said in a text message.
When also sought for comment, deputy spokesman Abigail Valte referred the matter to Deles.
“I think it would be better addressed by Secretary Deles. Again, if it’s on the peace process, we defer to Secretary Deles on that,” Valte said.
Misuari said that the MILF does not exist anymore and what is left of it is a ragtag group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters led by Ameril Umbra Kato and Commander Bravo.
“The MILF is already disintegrated. A great portion of their military has rejoined us. Thousands and thousands of them defected to us. Practically all of them are now with us. I don’t know how many remained with the group of Kato and Bravo,” he added.