MNLF freezes Moro state petition | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Reference:
Echeminada, P. (2019, February 12). MNLF freezes Moro state petition. Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor. Retrieved February 12, 2019 from http://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2019/02/12/mnlf-freezes-moro-state-petition/

MNLF freezes Moro state petition
By Perseus Echeminada – February 12, 2019 12:05 AM

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) had suspended efforts before the United Nations (UN) to acquire recognition for the Bangsa Moro Republik (BMR), which comprises Mindanao, Sulu, Palawan and Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak, due to the earnest effort of President Rodrigo Duterte to seek a dialogue with MNLF chairman Nur Misuari.

The decision of Duterte’s predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino, to abandon peace talks with the MNLF prompted the secessionist group to declare independence and sought recognition from the UN.

The petition has been submitted to the UN Special Committee on Decolonization.

A Daily Tribune source said the MNLF central committee has declared Davao City as the capital of BMR in its petition submitted to the UN General Assembly based on Resolution 1514 issued in 1960 that recognized the pursuit of independence among colonized countries.

President Benigno Aquino, to abandon peace talks with the MNLF, prompted the secessionist group to declare independence and sought recognition from the UN.

The forming of BMR was an offshoot of the peace accord forged by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF), which was considered Aquino’s “betrayal” of the 1996 peace agreement forged by the government and the MNLF.

Emmanuel Fontanilla, MNLF spokesman, declined to comment on the UN petition as MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari had ordered all political moves related to the declaration of independence suspended to pay respect to the President’s effort to reach out to the MNLF.

Expanded Bangsamoro version
Misuari proclaimed the BMR independent in July 2013. The BMR flag was raised in Davao City prior to the Zamboanga siege that started in September 2013.

Fontanilla said Misuari ordered the shelving of MNLF’s petition to allow President Duterte’s efforts, including the shift from unitary to a federal government to gain ground.

“No more political activities related to independence in the petition to the UN should be taken,” Misuari was quoted as saying.

Misuari made the pronouncement hours after the bicameral conference committee passed the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in July 2017, which replaced the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with a new entity called the Bangsamoro autonomous region.

The BBL was approved as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in a plebiscite last 21 January.

Misuari included Sabah and Sarawak in the BMR because these territories were part of the Sultanate of Sulu long before Malaysia became a sovereign country.

OIC watch ongoing
The MNLF declaration of independence had gained the attention of the international community, particularly the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is observing the political developments in Mindanao.

The OIC granted the MNLF a permanent observer status and recognized Misuari as the sole Bangsamoro representative of the Philippines.

The MNLF opted to adopt the so called “Kosovo model” as a peaceful means to attain independence for BMR.

The source said the MNLF had renounced war and is now pursuing a peaceful strategy similar to Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said the Kosovo declaration of independence did not violate international law.

“The MNLF is just reasserting the rights of the people of Sulu over their ancestral and historic rights,” he said.

Published in Headlines | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

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