Duterte: No basis to arrest Misuari over Sabah standoff-A A +A
Sunday, March 3, 2013
DAVAO City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said there is no basis in arresting Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) head Nur Misuari after he was accused of having a hand in the standoff in Sabah.
In an interview after their meeting at 11:30 p.m. of Saturday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Duterte said he believes that the accusations against Misuari are plain allegations.
"Wala akong nakikita eh. He may be a distant relative of the ruling family of the Sultanate but it does not mean to say that he is into it," Duterte said.
"I don't think he will be arrested. What's the basis? You can only arrest a person if he commits a crime. The essence of arresting a person is only if he has done a criminal act," he added.
The vice mayor said Misuari is a friend and that he believes he has not done any wrongdoing with regard the Sabah standoff.
The standoff led to the assault by Malaysian police that killed 12 followers of Sultan Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram.
"It's not his fault. I have to see the charge sheet. What's the crime? He has not committed rebellion. I do not see any sedition in his statement. I do not see any seditious words or movements," Duterte said.
Misuari is in Davao City to attend a conference of the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Conference for Peace and Development.
"They accuse me of instigating the Sabah. I have been with my wife for almost one month in Africa, malayo kami dito. Papaano ako magfinance, saan ako kukuha ng pera? I do not know who is surrounding the President," Misuari told Duterte and the media.
"Kawawa ang presidente na to, he does not know what he is talking about. We are becoming the laughing stock in the whole world with the way he presents himself before the eyes of the peoples of the world. Basta ano-ano na lang na accusation ang itatapon nila, baseless and unfounded accusations," he said.
Misuari said if he was really behind that, it would not be his "trademark to bring at least 200 weapons only."
"I hope yang mga threat (of arrest) na yan ay hindi totoo. I don't like trouble with the government. I don't like trouble with Malaysia. I want peace," MNLF leader added.
Duterte, on the other hand, said he would not volunteer to address Misuari's concern to the Malacanang.
"I hate to be interfering. I’m just a government employee in one corner of Mindanao. I do not propose to say something," Duterte said.
He said Misuari is his friend and he supports him "because he means well for his country. (ANC)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 04, 2013.