Oct 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/09/06MANILA3817.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA3817 2006-09-11 09:11 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0045
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #3817/01 2540911
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 110911Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2908
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003817

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/EAP AND EAP/MTS
STATE FOR ASEAN MEMBER
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2016
TAGS: MOPS PINS KISL RP
SUBJECT: NUR MISUARI ATTENDS TENTH ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY OF 1996 GRP-MNLF PEACE AGREEMENT

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Paul W. Jones
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Moro National Liberation Front Chairman
Nur Misuari criticized the GRP for failing to implement fully
the provisions of the 1996 peace agreement during a September
2 commemoration ceremony in Davao to mark the signing of the
accord. To “resuscitate” the ten year old agreement, Misuari
called for a tripartite meeting between the GRP, MNLF, and
Organization of the Islamic Conference in Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia. Though former President Ramos endorsed the need for
a tripartite meeting with Misuari as one of the participants,
the GRP has yet to decide how to deal with the charismatic
Misuari who awaits trial on rebellion charges. END SUMMARY.

———————————–
Misuari Furloughed to Commemoration
———————————–

¶2. (SBU) A commemoration ceremony in Davao City, Mindanao,
on September 2 marking the 10th anniversary of the signing of
the 1996 peace agreement between the GRP and the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF) featured speeches by the
accord’s two principal signatories: former President Fidel
Ramos and MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari. Also in attendance were
Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza,
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, and National Security
Advisor Noberto Gonzales. To facilitate Misuari’s
attendance, the Manila Makati Court granted him an 18-hour
furlough from house arrest. Though Misuari has been
incarcerated since late 2001 on rebellion charges, he remains
the true leader of the MNLF in the eyes of large segments of
the Philippines’ Muslim community.

—————————
“Ill-Fated” Peace Agreement
—————————

¶4. (SBU) In his remarks to a standing room only crowd of an
estimated 500 supporters, Misuari said the 1996 agreement was
“ill-fated,” and criticized the GRP for failing to implement
fully its provisions. As he banged his fist on the rostrum,
Misuari said, “We will not allow you to impose peace on
Mindanao. If you want peace in Mindanao, respect our rights
to play our role. You don’t impose peace on us. We will
reject that.” As his supporters waved yellow posters bearing
the words “Free Nur Misuari Now,” Misuari commented that “If
you want peace, let the people of Mindanao – Christians,
highlanders, and Muslims – come together and spearhead the
making of peace here. No law can solve this problem. Only
the people of Mindanao with the cooperation of the government
in Manila can bring genuine, permanent, lasting peace to this
war-torn homeland of ours.” To “resuscitate” the agreement,
Misuari called for a tripartite meeting between the GRP,
MNLF, and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia with himself representing the MNLF at these
talks.

—————————————–
Ramos Underscores Successes of Agreement,
but Admits Need for Review
—————————————–

¶5. (SBU) In thoughtful and conciliatory remarks, former
President Ramos underscored the successful integration of
former MNLF members into the Armed Forces of the Philippines
and the Philippine National Police while acknowledging
shortfalls in the full implementation of the 1996 peace
agreement. He also noted the substantial role played by the
U.S. Government in supporting peace and development in
Mindanao through USAID programs and joint military
cooperation.

¶6. (SBU) In a crowd pleasing gesture, Ramos compared Misuari
to the Filipino hero, Jose Rizal, and reminded the audience
— which was clearly agitated and electrified by Misuari’s
speech — of Rizal’s urging that Filipinos eschew violence
as a means of redressing grievances. At the end of his
remarks, Ramos endorsed the need for a tripartite meeting
between the GRP, MNLF, and OIC in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and
the participation of Misuari in these talks.

——————-
GRP At A Crossroads
——————-

¶7. (C) National Security Advisor Gonzales, who attended the
September 2 ceremony in Davao, later told Charge that the GRP
knew it was taking a risk in allowing Misuari to attend.
“We’re at a crossroads in how to deal with him,” Gonzales
said.

¶8. (C) Gonzales noted that Misuari was looking forward to
the possibility of traveling to Jeddah in November, but said
much would depend on Misuari’s actions beforehand. He stated
that the GRP would not engage in any renegotiation of the
1996 peace accord, but was open to a review of its
provisions, many of which had not been implemented. One key
issue for the GRP would be demobilization and disarmament of
MNLF forces. Gonzales stressed, however, that a review could
only occur once the MNLF’s internal leadership problems were
settled, yet Misuari had refused to meet with the MNLF
Council of 15. With leadership of the MNLF still divided,
Gonzales said it was still not possible to reconcile
differences between the MNLF and the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front — a prerequisite for lasting peace in Mindanao.

——-
Comment
——-

¶9. (SBU) Misuari’s visit to Davao appears to have been a
test by the GRP to see how this Muslim leader would frame his
public comments and be received by his supporters. Our sense
is that the results are inconclusive, and more negotiating
will be required before the GRP finally decides how to handle
Misuari.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

Jones

   

 

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