Misuari denies funding Kiram’s group-A A +A
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
FORMER Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) governor Nur Misuari on Tuesday denied rumors that he infused money to carry out the operation to reclaim Sabah by the followers of the Sultanate of Sulu.
"To finance is out of the question. If indeed, I am that well off, why should I finance the adventure of the sultan's men? That's not my way of doing things," he said in a briefing.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier promised to hold people behind the plan accountable as the three-week standoff resulted in armed clashes that killed over 20 people.
Misuari said he had not "implored anyone," specifically Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, to push through with the operation.
He said since the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF), which he heads, inked a final peace agreement with the government in 1996, his men helped in hunting members of the notorious Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group.
Following fresh attacks on Kiram's group, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported that the Filipinos have been "totally routed" but this was immediately rejected by the sultanate's spokesperson Abraham Idjirani.
Idjirani said he received an assurance from the group's leader Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram that they are safe and accounted for.
"There's no truth to the report that they have been decimated," he said.
He also slammed Malaysia for not heeding the appeal of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with Kiram's followers, who expressed no intention to leave Sabah.
"Someone who is not practicing maximum tolerance must be feared," he said.
Misuari advised Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak not to hurt or kill their Muslim brothers, saying this will be "tantamount to declaring war against our people and the MNLF."
"It is our sacred duty to protect our people," he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)