Sep 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/12/06MANILA5018.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA5018 2006-12-15 10:56 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6197
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #5018/01 3491056
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151056Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4296
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 005018

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/16/2016
TAGS: PREL PINS KISL RP
SUBJECT: NUR MISUARI SIGNALS INTENT TO RUN FOR SULU GOVERNOR

REF: A. MANILA 4974
¶B. MANILA 4836
¶C. MANILA 4721
¶D. MANILA 4656
¶E. MANILA 3817

Classified By: Pol/C Scott Bellard for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary. Detained Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari registered as a voter in Jolo on
December 14, and signaled his intent to run for Governor of
Sulu during the May 2007 elections. Misuari, who enjoys
widespread grassroots support and recognition by the
Organization of Islamic Conference, remains a key part of the
GRP’s effort to unify the MNLF, promote dialogue between the
MNLF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and overcome
opposition to the creation of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity
in the Sulu Archipelago. The Arroyo Administration will face
some tough choice about possibly dismissing charges against
him and about whom to support for the next Sulu governor, but
the likelihood is growing that Misuari will go free and could
win the election. End Summary.

———————
Misuari For Governor?
———————

¶2. (SBU) MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, still in detention and
facing charges for rebellion, traveled with court permission
— for the first time since November 2001 — from Manila to
Jolo on December 14 to register as a voter and signal his
intent to run for Governor of Sulu during the expected May
2007 elections. This was the sixth time this past year that
the court granted him permission to leave his detention
facility; he also attended the 10 year anniversary
celebrations of the MNLF/GRP peace accord in Davao in
September. Accompanying Misuari were his wife, a
representative of the Office of the Presidential Advisor on
the Peace Process, escorts from the Special Action Force, and
other security personnel.

¶3. (SBU) GRP Peace Negotiations Panel Secretariat Director
Ryan Sullivan confirmed to poloff on December 15 that Misuari
planned to enter the May 2007 gubernatorial election in Sulu
Province with the support of GRP officials, including House
Speaker Jose de Venecia. One of Misuari’s opponents in the
upcoming election will likely be incumbent Governor Benjamin
Loong, a staunch supporter of U.S. – GRP Balikatan exercises
and civil-military projects as well as an important ally of
President Arroyo.

———————-
Wanted: A Unified MNLF
———————-

¶4. (SBU) Sullivan said that a “buy-in” to the GRP-MILF peace
process by a unified MNLF was “ssential” for peace and
security in conflict-affcted areas of Mindanao and for
success in integrating the ethnic Tausug-dominated Sulu
Archipelagoin an eventual Bangsamoro Juridical Entity
(BJE)ref a).

¶5. (C) According to Tawi-Tawi Congressan Nur Jafaar,
opposition to a BJE was still “wiespread” among the general
populace of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Basilan, as well as within
factions ofthe MNLF under Misuari, Alvarez Isnaji, Habib
Muahab Hashim, Matanog Mapandi, and the MNLF’s Councl of
Fifteen. Since Misuari enjoyed widespreadsupportat the
grassroots level, and formal recogition as the MNLF’s leader
by the OIC, Jafaar noed. adding that Misuari represents the
GRP’s bes chance for bringing about unity within the MNLF.
Jafaar admitted, however, that recent disagreements among
some members of Misuari’s group, as well as within the
Council of Fifteen, threatened to factionalize the MNLF even
further.

——-
Comment
——-

¶6. (C) Misuari has yet to stand trial on charges of
rebellion. While there is popular support in parts of
Mindanao for Misuari’s release from detention, the rampant
corruption, fraud, and abuse that characterized his previous
stint as ARMM Governor from 1996 to 2000 remain vivid in the
minds of many. The Arroyo Administration will face some
tough choices about possibly dismissing charges against him
and about whom to support for the next Sulu governor, but the
likelihood is growing that Misuari will go free and could win
the election (with some help).

MANILA 00005018 002 OF 002

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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/

KENNEY

   

 

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