2 MNLF Leaders Accused Of Illegal RecruitmentFebruary 1, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 01, 2008) – A senior leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), urged the group’s chieftain Nur Misuari to censure two of his field commanders for large-scale recruitment and promising new members with high-paying jobs.
Datu Dima Ambil, chairman of the MNLF’s Sebangan Kutawato State, said the two commanders, Johnny Sugagel and Kautin Usman of North Cotabato and Daval del Sus who are known “Misuari loyalists” were allegedly recruiting in Mindanao.
The two were also using Misuari’s name to lure new members to join the former rebel group.
Ambil accused the two leaders of duping Muslim men into joining the MNLF by promising them integration into the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces after the tripartite review of the front’s 1996 peace pact with Manila.
The 11-year-old peace agreement is now subject of an extensive review by the government, the MNLF and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) as part of a three-way effort to address all misunderstandings on its implementation.
Ambil said both commanders have allegedly collected P5,000 from each of their recruits as “entrance fee” for them to be accepted in the MNLF.
“Its good to expand the ranks of the MNLF, but not through promises that would never materialize. Recruits are also not supposed to pay entrance fees just to become MNLF members,” Ambil told reporters.
More than 7,000 MNLF members had been integrated into the military and police from 1996 to 2000 as part of the peace deal. “The government should help check these illegal activities of these two commanders,” Ambil said.
Misuari signed a peace deal with Manila in September 1996 ending decades of bloody war. After the peace agreement was signed, he became the governor of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.
The Muslim autonomous region was meant to implement the 1976 Tripoli Agreement between Manila and the MNLF. But despite the peace accord, there was a widespread disillusionment with the weak autonomy they were granted.
Misuari is currently under house arrest and facing rebellion charges after MNLF forces attacked a major military base in Sulu province and took more than 100 people in Zamboanga City in 2001. (Jerick Wee)