Rebellion cases filed vs Misuari, others over Zamboanga siege-A A +A
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
MANILA -- Cases of rebellion and violation of international humanitarian law were filed in court on Monday against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari and 60 others in connection with the three-week standoff in Zamboanga City.
The cases are now pending before the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court branch 13, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Wednesday.
"The charge of rebellion arises from their acts, while being heavily armed with high caliber weapons, of attempting to hoist the MNLF flag in front of the Zamboanga City Hall to signify their declaration of independence from, and for the purpose of removing the allegiance to the Philippine government or its laws," she said.
MNLF rebels were also accused of taking up arms and committing "acts of murder, pillage, disorder, looting, arson and destruction of private and public properties." The standoff left more than 200 people dead and sent over 100,000 individuals to evacuation centers.
No bail was recommended for the leaders including MNLF commander Habier Malik while P200,000 was recommended for the followers. Arrest warrants were already issued, the Department of Justice said.
The DOJ has since asked the Supreme Court to transfer the venue of cases in Metro Manila to ensure security of witnesses.
De Lima, who flew to Zamboanga over the weekend to supervise the filing of cases, is confident that the information filed in court will stand scrutiny.
"It's a strong case. Marami kaming witnesses...May personal knowledge sila kung anu-ano mga sinabi rin ni Nur Misuari and meron din, I understand, nakakuha ng extrajudicial confessions from certain detainees-participants in the siege," she told reporters.
A Makati court acquitted Misuari of rebellion in 2009 in relation to the bloody attack on a military camp in Sulu in 2001. (Sunnex)