Sulu Sultanate consulted on peace process: MILF

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) clarified Tuesday that the heirs of Sultanate of Sulu were consulted on its peace process with the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

MILF Committee on Information deputy chairman Khaled Musa issued the clarification amid allegation coming from one of the spokesmen of the Sultan of Sulu that they were not consulted on issues surrounding the GPH-MILF peace negotiation.

"We have reached out to you as we did to other groups in Mindanao on the subject of resolving the conflict in Mindanao. We did this on several occasions particularly when the MILF peace panel had a sortie in Zamboanga City more than a year ago," he said.

He recalled that during the Zamboanga forum, one of the relatives of the Sulu sultan asked the policy of the MILF regarding the sultanate especially the Sulu sultanate.

The MILF's response was, "we want to preserve it but we will not revive it," Musa said.

"The sultanate is part of Moro history and heritage and it is one of the bases of the present Moro's assertion of its right to self-determination," he said.

However, he said the MILF will not stand on the way if the various sultanates would want to revive the issue themselves.

Over 200 Filipinos, some of them were reportedly armed, have been involved in a standoff with Malaysian authorities in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.

The Filipinos claimed that they were followers and guards of the Sultanate of Sulu and they wanted to reclaim Sabah after they were left out in the peace process between the GPH and the MILF, who inked in October last year the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Musa refused to make any comment on the standoff, saying it is a highly sensitive issue that the MILF Central Committee has not yet made the necessary guidelines.

"It is better to remain silent (on the standoff)," he said.

The Malaysian government has been brokering the peace negotiations between the GPH and the MILF. (SDR/Sunnex)

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