- Posted September 26, 2013 by
A letter sent :Seige in Zamboanga
(a letter sent by Christine Herrera - Manila Standard Today)
Questions on the MNLF-AFP War in Zamboanga City raised by Ms. Christine F. Herrera, columnist of the newspaper Manila Standard Today and answered by Reynaldo Rayhan Reyes, Guest Editor of mnlfnet.com.
I am Christine F. Herrera of the Manila Standard Today. I was referred to you by Professor @ifhraim because I have lots of questions that he said only you could authoritatively answer. I am working on the "inconsistent" pronouncements and claims of Mar Roxas, the President and the military. I hope you would allow me to quote you. Just few questions.
1) Is it true that the MNLF set the houses on fire and that they barred the firemen from putting out the fire because of MNLF snipers? I heard claims on the contrary.
2) Is it true that the MNLF has high-powered firearms that include 90 RR? Mar says these, aside from mortars, were among those recovered by military troops during clearing ops. May financial backers daw ang MNLF that provided the logistics to wage the uprising?
3) How true is the gov't's claim that MNLF used civilians as human shields? Was there ever rescue ops done?
4) What happened to the talks that the gov't claims they did since day1 of Zambo siege?
5) Would you say the motive of government in inventing these stories is to paint the MNLF as monsters or terrorists?
6) Where is Nur Misuari?
Thanks, Rey. Please text me your number so I could call you. I am hoping to write the story today to come out tomorrow. Sunday for Monday. Thank you very much!!!
Manila Standard Today
Dear Madam Christine F Herrera,
Thanks for communicating with the Bangsamoro Freedom Solidarity (BFS) to solicit the side of the MNLF freedom fighters!
Firstly, the media will always expect "inconsistencies" coming from SecMar Roxas, P-Noy and AFP because they're not on the side of the truth, but only to deceive people and humanity, including dividing the Bangsamoro people and the MNLF and MILF freedom fighters.
Q-1) It is never the strategy of the MNLF freedom fighters to set sacred homes (houses) on fire and even cut trees from the beginning because this is forbidden by Islam religion. On the practical side, any edifice or houses, especially cemented or concrete, can be used for cover shield. It is only the colonial AFP
occupation soldiers, who will benefit burning houses for clearing ops. In the 1974 Jolo war/burning, the AFP burned almost the entire town of Jolo to drive away the MNLF freedom fighters from the town area, resulting in the mass murder of more than 20,000 Muslim, Christian and Chinese civilians. This was reported then by DISPATCH. Just like today's Aquino regime, the Marcos Dictatorship propagandized that the burning was done by the MNLF, but this backfired on its ugly face when international media, including Dispatch, reported that the heinous burning crime was perpetrated by the AFP forces.
Q-2) The MNLF freedom fighters from the beginning of the freedom struggle launched in the late 1960s were just equipped with the same weapons used by the AFP soldiers, who have the habit of selling them or being divested from them after getting killed in a war. The MNLF freedom struggle has always been supported by the Bangsamoro masses, who voluntarily provide the necessary logistics, and also from outside Muslim countries because it is ordained by Islam religion to help the oppressed people, particularly the Mujahidin (freedom fighters). On 90 RR and mortars recovered, although SecMarRoxas is a good liar, it's only a cheap propaganda of the AFP to show that they have the upper hand in the Zambonga City war as anywhere else in the Mindanao war theater. Ask this from SecMarRoxas or any AFP spokesman, if it is true (info revealed to the MNLF by friendly mole insider), as of the 10th day war, AFP Camp Aguinaldo has listed, "503 dead, 741 wounded and 63 'war shock' (awl/deserter) AFP soldiers," minus 1st Lt Rama and two others killed by MNLF sniper on the 11th day. They will always deny this for propaganda effect. On the other hand, they will always highlight MNLF minor casualties, MNLF surrendering, including the 23 Basilan paid followers, disguised as MNLF freedom fighters, of ARMM Governor Mujib Hataman. The 23 Hataman followers led by a 'tsinelas'-wearing 'commander' were just picked up by OIC Chief Police Chiquito Malayo from Mampang. He was only on AFP mission, and was never seized, abducted or kidnapped as media reported. But the kidnap and surrender incident was only concocted by AFP in connivance with the ARMM governor to deceive media and people. Nonetheless, it provided relief laughter to the people, particularly the Facebook and Twitter networkers, after finding out the truth of the AFP propaganda.
Q-3) The MNLF Mujahidin never use human civilians as human shields. Unlike AFP officers/soldiers, who are only after salary, promotion and rank, the most precious thing to a MNLF freedom fighter, like Ustaj Khabir Malik, now known to Bangsamoro Muslims worldwide as 'Puddang Sin Kamaaldikaan' (Sword of Freedom), is martyrdom. Thus, MNLF freedom fighters do not use any shield but only their faith in the Jihad Fi-Sabilillah (Struggle in the way of Allah) and are willing to face martyrdom (death) anytime during any war with oppressors and invaders, like the Spanish, American, Japanese and Filipino colonsers. Unlike the AFP soldiers during the 1974 Jolo war/burning, when the reinforcement soldiers arrived in Maubu beach , they conducted house-to-houses searches in Bus-Bus area and rounded up all civilians -aged men, women, children- to use them as hostage shields marching to the AFP 5th Brigade Camp near the town airport that was over run by the MNLF forces after decimating the PA and PAF soldiers in Jolo town. They conducted mass withdrawal together with the mass civilians, including Catholic priests and nuns as well as Chinese monks, when the town was set ablaze by aerial and sea AFP bombardments.
Q-4) The Aquino government (P-Noy and SecRoxas) never did initiate any peace talks with the MNLF to end the Zambonga City war since day 1 up to this writing. When the AFP-MNLF war, with human casualties and business losses mounting, reached the 5th day, it was good for Vice-President Jejomar Binay to contact MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari (they being once classmates in UP) and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and all together agreed to a ceasefire of AFP-MNLF hostilities. But, apparently, the peace initiative was torpedoed by either P-Noy or SecRoxas or both. Maybe for political reason since both the President and the Vice-President are not one in the same political camp. However, had the Aquino government supported the ceasefire talks initiative, the Zamboanga City could not have lasted this long now.
Just as basically had the Aquino government respected the September 2, 1996 MNLF-OIC-GRP Jakarta Peace Agreement forged during the time of President Fidel V Ramos there could be no cause for the MNLF to revert back to the original objective of struggling for total freedom and independence of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA). This is because the MNLF, committed to the same peace process, respect so much the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and will agree to any comprehensive peaceful settlement to the Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Mindanao. But by totally ignoring the 1996 peace agreement and the deceptive move to abrogate the GRP-OIC-MNLF peace process subterfuge by just terminating the MNLF-OIC-GRP Ministerial Review Committee without any tangible commitment to completely and correctly the 1996 peace agreement, this has only given the MNLF the opportunity to draft a revolutionary government constitution and the proclamation of independent United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik (UFSBR), which the Bangsamoro youth and Davao City immediately supported.