AFP official warns of Nur’s clout

Published March 21, 2019, 9:50 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Francis Wakefield

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari may be physically weak but with the influence that he has, he is still a force to reckon with especially having a Middle East-educated son who is more radical than him.

Nur Misuari

A senior military official, who declined to be identified, issued this warning after Misuari threatened to wage a war if his aspiration for fed­eralism would not be pursued.

To avoid a potential conflict, Presi­dent Duterte had already proposed the creation of a panel to negotiate the federalism proposal with the Mi­suari’s group during their meeting at Malacañang Tuesday night.

Duterte said Misuari wanted feder­alism so the Moros can recover their lands seized during the foreign colonial times.

The military official said that as far as he knows, Misuari’s son, Abdul Karim, is more radical than his father. Karim is well-schooled and is himself very influential.

“Nagra-run ngayon ng governor ng Sulu, pero ano ito, laking Saudi Arabia, ‘Yung lahat ng education niya either Saudi, or Cairo, Egypt. He is more radi­cal, iyun ang isang dapat na babantayan [He’s running for governor of Sulu, but he, he grew up in Saudi Arabia. All of his education its either in Saudi or Cairo, Egypt. He is more radical, that’s one that we need to guard],” the military official said.

The military official said that Misu­ari still has followers in Jolo, Sulu.

“Meron pa rin siyang mga follow­ers lalo na sa Jolo, Sulu. He has the preponderance of force sa Sulu. Pero dito sa mainland, Sema naman ‘yung mas marami [He still has followers in Jolo, Sulu. He has the preponderance of force in Sulu. Pueo in the mainland, but there are more Sema],” the military official said.

“Combined, baka nasa four to five thousand. Pero ano pa rin, we cannot discount his ano pa rin, ‘yung influence sa area kasi he started the MNLF. Kumbaga ‘yung Datu system dito, gumagana pa rin. So parang nandun pa rin but he is still considered as a traditional leader [Combined, maybe they are four to five thousand. But we can’t discount his influence in the area as he founded the MNLF. The Datu system remains at work and he is considered the traditional leader],” he added