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Breakaway factions polluting crisis – MNLF

This file photo, taken Sept. 1, 2013 shows MNLF-Misuari group members in military uniforms saluting to their flag while singing the group's anthem during a peace rally held in Davao City. (Alexander D. Lopez)

This file photo, taken Sept. 1, 2013 shows MNLF-Misuari group members in military uniforms saluting to their flag while singing the group’s anthem during a peace rally held in Davao City. (Alexander D. Lopez)

DAVAO CITY – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Misuari group spokesperson Atty. Emmanuel Fontanilla said breakaway groups of the MNLF are polluting the situation in Zamboanga City.

Fontanilla raised the accusation in reaction to the earlier declaration of other MNLF groups disowning responsibilities to the current crisis in Zamboanga City.

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin on Tuesday morning, Fontanilla said Misuari’s group is the legitimate one, as proven when it signed the Tripoli Agreement and the final peace agreement with the government in 1996.

“It was Chairman Misuari who signed the final peace agreement with the government of the Philippines, he signed the Tripoli agreement and is recognized by the organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and other international bodies”, Fontanilla said

Recently, two more factions of the MNLF disowned the attack in Zamboanga City that killed 6 people and wounded a dozen of civilians and displacing thousand of families.

The group had also reiterated their continued allegiance to the 1996 peace accord.

“Don’t pollute the situation”, Fontanilla called on the other MNLF groups, reiterating that it is only Chairman Nur Misuari who is recognized in all agreements and international organizations.

He also urged the government to treat the current Zamboanga crisis as a political one, not military.

“The military cannot solve the present crisis”, he added, citing the Tripoli agreement and the final peace accord as concrete political solutions that the MNLF had entered into for peace in Mindanao.

When asked if Chairman Misuari would come out and issue a statement on the current situation, Fontanilla said the chairman preferred not to talk.

“The situation is highly complicated legal matter”, he said, the reason why Misuari would not say anything for the meantime.

Fontanilla added that even President Aquino is not talking about the Zamboanga situation, the more reason that Misuari would also not issue a statement, he said.

“It’s the military who is talking right now”, he said, adding that it is highly questionable why the government allows the military to talk and find solution into the crisis.

The impasse in Zamboanga City continues to affect the local residents due to the closure of major facilities including the transport, banks and schools.

Early in the morning of Tuesday, September 9, reports said that gunfire were heard in villages recently occupied by the MNLF forces.