President Aquino: DOJ readying charges vs. Misuari, MNLF rebels involved in Zambo standoff

By Teofilo P. Garcia, Jr.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, (PNA) -– President Beningno Simeon Aquino, III on Sunday disclosed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is readying charges against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding-chairman Nur Misuari and his men, in connection with the standoff that entered its 14th day Sunday.

This, even if Misuari denied and disowned the acts of his trusted aide, Habier Malik, who led hundreds of MNLF rebels in infiltrating this city through the shores of Barangay Rio Hondo and other nearby barangays.

President Aquino disclosed Sunday that the government has witnesses who could testify that Misuari has a hand in the standoff that started last September 9.

The DOJ, on orders of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, has sent a special team of prosecutors to Zamboanga City to file appropriate criminal cases against the rebels involved in the attack, including Misuari.

President Aquino also revealed that the prosecutors are gathering additional testimonies and evidences to file cases against Misuari and his followers.

Earlier, Local Government Secreary Manuel Roxas II, said that cases to be filed against the rebels will include violation of Republic Act 9851, otherwise known as the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Roxas said that R.A. 9851 penalizes people who intentionally direct attacks against civilians, properties and people involved in humanitarian and peace keeping missions.