ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The city’s crisis
management committee announced on
Saturday that the armed conflict between
government forces and members of the
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
under Nur Misuari has been elevated to
"Causes of the Sudden Eruption of Filipino-Moro War in
Zamboanga City," the MNLF blamed the hostilities in Zamboanga
City to President Benigno Aquino III, whom they claimed to have
"total disrespect" of the 1996 Peace Agreement between the
group and the government. "Consciously or unconsciously,
President Aquino might have forgotten the fact that the original
ARMM was the creation of his mother's government and that it
was rejected by both the MNLF and the (58-nation Organization
of Islamic Cooperation)," the MNLF said in the statement.
It also claims that Aquino did not heed former President Fidel
Ramos' advise to engage Missouri in a peace dialogue on the
complete implementation of the deal.
"The Aquino administration wanted people to believe that the
existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is a 'failed
experiment' that has to be replaced by a new concept autonomy
embodying the future 'Bangsamoro'," the MNLF said.
It was referring to the pending creation of Bangsamoro
Autonomous Region through a framework agreement with the
MNLF-breakaway group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The Battle of Zamboanga City is an ongoing conflict that began on September 9, 2013, when a faction
of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under the leadership of Nur Misuari seized hostages
in Zamboanga City and attempted to raise the flag of the self-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik, a
state which declared its independence earlier in August, at City Hall. This armed incursion has been
met by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which seeks to free the hostages and expel the MNLF
from the city. The standoff has degenerated into urban warfare, and has brought parts of the city
under standstill for days.
WOUNDED SOLDIER A government trooper tends to a
comrade who was wounded by mortar fire on the fifth
day of the standoff between government forces and
Moro rebels in Zamboanga City on Friday. EDWIN