Maoist rebels blame Nur, gov’t for Zambo standoff-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
ILIGAN CITY -- Maoist rebels have blamed both government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), particularly those loyal to its founding chair Nur Misuari, for the siege of Zamboanga City that has displaced over 60,000 people as it entered its eighth day on Monday.
A September 15 statement of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) branded the actions of Misuari’s armed followers as “adventurism.”
The CPP statement read: “The CPP censures the MNLF for engaging in politico-military adventurism with the narrow aim of protecting Misuari’s fiefdom threatened by a new re-arrangement of resources and political power being forged between the Manila reactionary government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”
“Misuari and his clique of elite Moro leaders are making use of the cause of the Moro people’s struggle for national liberation to lend credibility to his armed adventures,” the CPP added.
“The CPP calls on the Moro people to reject both Misuari’s military adventurism and the tendency of the MILF to capitulate to the reactionary Manila government,” the group further said.
The CPP, which led a Maoist-style revolution in the country since 1968, has been criticizing the direction at which the peace process between government and the MILF is going. The negotiations, which are already on its 16th year, are expected to wind up this year.
The major consensus, so far, has been to create a Moro sub-state by 2016 that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and will have far greater political and economic governance powers.
But the Maoist rebels said they are not convinced.
“Like its predecessors, the Aquino regime adamantly sticks to the chauvinist notion that the Moro people should submit themselves to the authority of the reactionary government and that any sort of ‘autonomous’ Moro political authority will only be allowed if it first bows to the power of the oppressive Manila government,” the CPP said.
The communist rebels, engaged in on-and-off peace talks with government through the National Democractic Front (NDF), said incidents like that in Zamboanga now reflects the latter’s “failure to provide a genuine solution to the long-running struggle of the Moro people for their right to self-determination.”
In a separate statement, Cesar Renerio, spokesperson of the NDF-North Central Mindanao, characterized the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) as “devious” and blamed it for “further dividing the ranks of the Moro people.”
The FAB, which represents a preliminary pact between government and the MILF, was inked by the parties October 15 last year and was highly lauded by the international community.
“The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement under Ameril Umbra Kato rose to continue armed resistance, while Nur Misuari’s MNLF is taking up arms once more to pressure the reactionary government to heed their demands,” Renerio noted.
In previous criticisms hurled at it by Maoist rebels, the MILF had asked that its revolution against the Philippine state should not be judged through the lens of the ideology of a different struggle.
A recent statement of the MILF considers the Zamboanga attacks as “a blunder” by Misuari.
“The approach was reminiscent of (the) 1970s model whereby no civilized rules of engagement were recognized by both government and insurgent forces. Anything that moved was a legitimate target,” the MILF statement said.
“Obviously, he (Misuari) effectively forgot the doctrine of people’s war whereby the people’s interests and safety are central to every planning and activities pursued by a revolutionary organization,” the group added.
“Similarly, even the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which supported Misuari through thick and thin for decades is surely taken aback by the debacle in Zamboanga City. They too have to do due diligence and soul-searching,” the MILF further said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 17, 2013.