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Bangsamoro News Agency
Mindanao, South Philippines
Press Release, 9 January 2002



"It's conspiracy forged at the highest level of governmental authority." This is how a top-ranking leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) characterized the deportation of Chairman Nur Misuari to the Philippines from Kuala Lumpur last Monday.

In an exclusive satellite phone interview with Ustaz Murshi Ibrahim, the secretary general of the MNLF Central Committee, he said that the Malaysian government had connived with its Manila counterpart in bringing back Misuari despite the latter's expressed intent to apply for political asylum with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

"To be refouled to enemy territory is clearly against international human rights," Ustaz Murshi said, emphasizing that the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional governor personifies the Moro nation among figures in the international community.

"Chairman Nur is the stalwart symbol of Moro statehood and he remains the rallying hope for our people's aspirations and liberation," he added.

According to Ustaz Murshi, the Saudi Arabian-schooled Islamic scholar and freedom fighter, the Bangsamoro people, especially the radicalized young generation today, can never forget this black episode in their march to total freedom and national independence. He even lay blame on Malaysian authority for being the willing partner of Malacanang in this conspiracy just for the sake of short-sighted motivation, the national and political interest side.

"The enemy of our fight for self-determination can hatch a hundred conspiracies to liquidate the MNLF and its leadership, as it had done in the past, but the schemes will only nurture the roots of our aspiration," assures Ustaz Murshi. He added that they can put their leader in jail, but the revolution transcends bars and geography.

"They can imprison Brother Nur, but the revolution can never be caged," he added. Despite Misuari's detention in Fort Sto. Domingo, in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, 900 kms. away from his homeland Mindanao, his people's general sentiments towards him and the ideals he fights for soar high.

Amid this unholy deal between Malaysian authority and the Arroyo regime, the Bangsamoro Armed Forces (BAF), the soldiers of the MNLF, remain optimistic, and even vocalized their sentiment that it is the Sabah issue that framed this deal.

"The territory you call Sabah belongs to the Taosug Bangsamoros--legally, rightfully and historically," Ustaz Murshi said, prophesizing that they will survive as a liberation movement, as a nation and as a people amidst the ballistic, diplomatic and political attacks mounted by the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government against them.

Taking a cue from the struggle of the South African people, he has been reminding his soldiers of the experience of Nelson Mandela, the supreme leader of the African National Council, who was imprisoned by the Pretoria regime for 27 years, up to the late 1980s. The ANC, with Mandela in jail, won their fight for freedom and democracy.

"The Bangsamoro people and the MNLF can learn from the experience of the South African people," he said.  




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Copyright 2001 b

Copyright 2001 by MNLF, Cotabato City