Nur Misuari Losing Control On Own Leaders

January 22, 2008 at 9:30 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 22, 2008) – The ongoing tripartite review of the Philippine government’s Sept 2, 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is feared to worsen factionalism in the group, the once solid rebel force now crisscrossed by gaping factional divides.

Eleven ranking leaders of the front, some of them members of the defunct “Council of 15,” which took over the MNLF’s leadership from Nur Misuari in April 2000, have sent a letter to the Organization of Islamic Conference questioning the propriety of Misuari’s designation of non-MNLF members to the five “joint working groups,” or JWGs, that are involved in the on-going review of the peace agreement.

The five JWGs, comprised of government representatives, officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and those chosen by Misuari to represent the MNLF, are now studying the possible enhancement of the 11-year-old truce, based on five areas: education; Sharia; political representation of Moros; regional security force; and natural resources.

Last week’s letter of the complaining MNLF leaders on the composition of the front’s JWGs was addressed to the OIC’s Southern Philippines Peace Committee, which is composed of representatives from Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Somalia, Turkey, Senegal, Malaysia, and Brunei.

The OIC, which helped broker the GRP-MNLF peace agreement, is a pan-Islamic block of more than 50 Muslim countries, including the oil-rich Arab nations.

The 11 signatories to the letter assailing Misuari’s choice of representatives to the JWG — Hatimil Hassan, Abou Amri Taddik, Habib Mujahab Hashim, Alvarez Isnaji, Ustadhz Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, Uttoh Salem Cutan, Estino Jairi Ayyobie, Abdulkarim Langkuno, Bai Sandra Sema, Romeo Sema, and Aishah Fatima Prudencio — also questioned the propriety of Misuari’s designation of lawyer Randolph Parcasio as chairman of the MNLF’s panel to the tripartite review of the peace agreement.

Parcasio, according to the complaining MNLF leaders, is not an organic member of the front. Parcasio, who is a human rights lawyer, is a known protégé of Misuari and was his executive secretary when he was governor of the ARMM from 1996 to 2001.

Parcasio represented Misuari in the November 10-12 first tripartite meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The tripartite assessment by the Philippine government, the MNLF and the OIC of the peace agreement was part of the effort to peacefully resolve misunderstandings on the implementation of the accord and address some of its perceived to be “flawed” provisions.
Parcasio, in a statement circulated to selected media outfits, said Misuari, as founding chairman of the MNLF, has the sole prerogative to select his choice of representatives to the JWG and the panel representing the front in the tripartite activity.
“The members (of the JWGs) that the MNLF chairman chose are experts on their field because this is really based on expertise,” Parcasio told reporters.
Loyal followers of Misuari, among them foreign-trained clerics, said it is Misuari who is recognized by the OIC as “legitimate leader” of the MNLF.
Parcasio has been Misuari’s legal adviser for almost 20 years now, the sources pointed out.
“Attorney Parcasio stood by Chairman Misuari when some of our companions tried to unseat him as founding chairman of the MNLF. Attorney Parcasio has also been helping Chairman Misuari in his defense against the rebellion charges he is presently facing,” said a follower of Misuari, who is presently occupying a key position in the ARMM government. (Jerick Wee)


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