By Janice Cave
MANILA, (PNA) — “What will make Nur Misuari happy?”
This was the question posed by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Teresita “Ging” Deles on the Moro National Liberation Front’s founding leader who criticized the ongoing peace talks .
For several years that the peace process is being discussed, she said the government has 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 also denied that the government has ignored the Moro leader in the peace talks process.
Deles said they have invited Misuari and his fellow MNLF leader Muslimin Sema to submit a nomination for the transition commission in relation to the Framework Agreement but both of them 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 turned down proposals that his own representatives have laid down on the table.
He had threatened that the MNLF would seek independence should the 1996 MNLF peace accord with the Philippines is abrogated but Malacañang had repeatedly denied this.
Deles also clarified that the government has not abrogated 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, the MNLF and third party facilitator Indonesia would be held next week aimed at reviewing the provisions of the accord.
When asked if Misuari would attend the meet, Deles said she had received reports that the Moro leader’s camp requested for facilitation of his travel papers to Indonesia.
Last Monday, a Misuari-led faction group of the MNLF stormed five coastal barangays in Zamboanga City Monday morning and took hostage at least 200 persons.
The attack, prompted by Misuari’s allegations that the government ignored him, led to the death of four persons and wounded 24 others.
Deles said these incidences should be expected as the government and the MILF reach the homestretch of finally signing the Framework Agreement.
“We should not be surprised of incidences like these at the end of the peace process. These are agreements that introduce changes and some people would not like that,” she said.
Deles stood firm that the peace process would push through and nothing could hinder its completion even with the recent attack in Zamboanga City.
“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.