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PRESS STATEMENT
OF


MDM. ROIDA T. MISUARI
BEFORE THE MALAYSIAN AND INTERNATIONAL TRI-MEDIA
HELD IN PAN PACIFIC HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR,
3 JANUARY 2002 (1:30p.m.)


          
   At the outset, let me greet the people and Government of Malaysia a happy and prosperous New Year!

          In the spirit of solidarity and Islamic brotherhood, let me quote a verse from the Holy Quran:
          Inna mal muhminuna ikhwa.
         
“ All Muslims are brothers.”
And another verse which says “ Hold on to the rope of Allah and do not disperse”.

I.       Alhamdulillah, Allah in His Infinite Wisdom and Mercy had explicitly shown the veracity of this verse when H.E. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Muhamad gave the family of MNLF Chairman Datu Seri Panglima Prof. Nur Misuari the opportunity to see and visit him. Tarhata and her children had seen our husband. And I hope my daughter and I will be given the same opportunity to see and greet him belated Hari raya Eid’l Fitr Al Mubarak.

Hence, we would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to the Malaysian State Rulers and Government, particularly H.E. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Muhamad for their kindness and concern for another Muslim brother. To the oppressed Bangsamoro people, this is not surprising at all for H. E. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Muhamad is not a stranger to such situation. He knows very well how it feels to fight for one’s identity, one’s people and a sacred Cause that one deeply and religiously believed in.

II.      Evidently, the international press, both local and foreign had projected the MNLF Chairman Datu Seri Panglima Prof. Nur Misuari of being a terrorist, mouthing the black propaganda of the Philippine colonial government. We would like to say that he is not and can never be a terrorist. He is a freedom fighther, fighting for the noble Cause of the Bangsamoro people, Homeland and Islam. Records will testify to the fact that in the 33 years struggle of the Moro National Liberation Front led by Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari, for self-determination and freedom, the MNLF had never engaged in any terroristic activities, specifically kidnapping. In fact, the MNLF was instrumental in paving the way for the release of some kidnapped victims.

For instance, in the case of the two nuns, who were abducted in Sulu in the early 80’s, wherein Dr. Abdurahman Amin who is with us here, has a part in their safe release from the hands of Robot and his gang, and also in the case of an  abducted Catholic  Oblate priest in Jolo, wherein lives of  MNLF forces were sacrificed just to foil the abduction. In the early 90”s as well, the MNLF also figured in the release of 2 National Power Corporation (NPC) men in Cotabato, wherein the MNLF Chairman himself played a major part in their safe release.

III.     On the issue of rebellion, we would like to state that it was purely in self-defense. According to our sources, the start of the November 19, 2001 fighting between the Philippine occupation forces and the MNLF freedom fighters was triggered when the AFP troops mysteriously disarmed some of the regular integrees in their barracks. (These are MNLF forces who were integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines). The integrees resisted and fought because to them being disarmed for no valid reason at all is tantamount to giving up their lives in that hostile environment they were subjected to.

At the same time, the case of rebellion will not stick because we have been waging a liberation war against the Philippine colonial Government, but in our desire for peace and in deference to the OIC Resolution we opted for a genuine and meaningful autonomy. But unfortunately, the Philippine Government under Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo can’t deliver this.

Likewise, let me assure you that it was never the intention of the MNLF Chairman to create an upheaval in his own beloved hometown of Jolo, Sulu where the people were observing  Ramadan and needed peace and quiet in the pursuit of their religious duties.

IV.     It was also reported that the MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari fought because he wanted to retain his position as Regional Governor of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). This is not true. If ever Chairman Misuari reacted it was mainly on account of the fact that the Philippine Government has flagrantly violated the provisions of the Peace Agreement signed between the GRP and MNLF with the active participation of the OIC in September 2, 1996.

V.      Lastly, we would like to appeal to the international press to be fair, just and objective in their reportage of the events surrounding the resumption of hostilities between the Philippine colonial government and the MNLF  freedom fighters. There were instances wherein the press kept on pounding and calling the MNLF Chairman a fugitive, a renegade and a former MNLF Chairman. We would like to correct this misconception deliberately reported by most of the government-paid tri-media.   Prof. Nur Misuari is still the Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front and the MNLF under his leadership is still  recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Bangsamoro people by the OIC.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to tell the truth.

                               (SGD) ROIDA  T. MISUARI
                             
  Chairperson
                             
  MNLF Women’s National Committee

 rtm/2.1.02

 

Homepage O History of the Bangsamoro People O The MNLF O Organization O Support from the OIC O The Tripoli Agreement
The Jeddah Accord 
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 The UN Initiative 
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 The November 26, 2001 ARMM Election
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Copyright 2001 by MNLF, Cotabato City