Sep 162014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/05/07MANILA1543.html
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA1543
2007-05-11 09:23
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2181
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1543/01 1310923
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 110923Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6469
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 0731
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 001543

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/12/2017
TAGS: PREL PINS KISL MY RP
SUBJECT: PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN
MINDANAO

REF: A. MANILA 1206
¶B. MANILA 1187
¶C. MANILA 1285
¶D. MANILA 1337

Classified By: Classified by Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process
Dureza told the Ambassador and DCM May 9 that he expected
security on Jolo island, the scene of recent fighting and
location of terrorists and U.S. Special Forces, to remain
manageable through the May 14 elections, but political
violence remained possible. On the peace process with the
MILF insurgents of Central Mindanao, Dureza said President
Arroyo had postponed decisions on territorial concessions
until after elections, since her cabinet was divided. Dureza
said the government was working with Malaysia and Saudi
Arabia to bring together the leaders of the two main Muslim
insurgencies to begin to define how Muslims want to govern an
expanded autonomous region. A clear way forward is needed in
2007, Dureza said, to transition to new governing
arrangements during President Arroyo’s term. End Summary

¶2. (C) Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process Jesus
“Jess” Dureza told Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission on
May 9 that rogue Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
Commander Habier Malik — whose attacks on Philippine Armed
Forces on Jolo Island beginning April 13 (refs a and b)
triggered battles that left at least two soldiers and dozens
of MNLF troops dead and displaced tens of thousands of
near-by residents — lacked the capacity to create further
major problems on Jolo. Malik remains on the run with little
support from other MNLF commanders, and his followers are
dispersed, said Dureza. Dureza expressed more concern over
the possibility that armed followers of candidates for
governor might clash in the election period, but opined that
this was manageable. Dureza predicted that Sakur Tan would
defeat incumbent Governor Benjamin Loong, who had lost the
confidence of local leaders with the beheading of seven
kidnapped road workers by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ref
d). MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari remained upbeat about his own
candidacy for governor, but Dureza predicted Misuari would
lose. Nevertheless, Dureza commented that the government had
done the right thing by allowing Misuari to run.

¶3. (C) Asked about the long-expected next round of peace
talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
insurgents in Kuala Lumpur, Dureza said the talks would take
place sometime after Philippine elections on May 14. The
cabinet security cluster was divided over government
negotiator Afable’s proposed territorial concessions, and
President Arroyo had decided to wait until after elections to
define the government’s position. Particularly contentious
was the MILF’s demand for inclusion all of Sultan Kudurat
province, which is predominantly Christian yet historically
Muslim and rich in resources. Cabinet deliberations were
complicated by an unfortunate leak, which imperiled the
electoral campaign of the pro-Administration incumbent
Governor, who is a Muslim (ref d). Dureza said the
Philippine side would request Malaysia to persuade the MILF
to reduce its demands in Sultan Kudurat province.

¶4. (C) Dureza said the year 2007 was critical for the MILF
peace talks. The outlines of the new Muslim political entity
must be defined soon enough to preempt scheduled 2008
elections in the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao. A transitional council, including MILF, MNLF and
all Muslim leaders, could then be appointed in 2008 to define
Muslim self-determination, in place of elections. Dureza
also expressed concern that, without progress this year, some
impatient MILF commanders could shift their support to MNLF
commanders willing to fight, undermining the authority of
MILF Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim.

¶5. (C) Dureza reiterated the importance of MNLF Chairman
Misuari’s and MILF Chairman Murad meeting together and
agreeing to participate in a transitional council for the new
Muslim political entity. The Philippine government had
traditionally sought to divide the Muslims, Dureza observed,
but now a more confident government saw the merit in uniting
them to achieve comprehensive peace. However, governmental
efforts to facilitate a meeting between Misuari and Murad had
not succeeded. Dureza said the Philippines was encouraging
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to press for such a meeting in the
coming months.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:

MANILA 00001543 002 OF 002

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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