July 4, 2012 News: A member of the Steering Committee of the MILF-sponsored “Moro leaders Assembly” in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao is very hopeful that MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari would respond positively to its invitation.
The three-day gathering, July 6-9, expects to draw at least 500,000 people from all over Mindanao. The latest bulleting provided by the media committee of the assembly said that at least three big passenger boats will ferry participants from Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. Those coming from Basilan and Zamboanga Peninsula will travel by land in various sizes and types of vehicles.
The chairman of the invitation committee of the Steering Committee, who begged off anonymity, disclosed to Luwaran that the invitation letter was personally received by Misuari in Zamboanga City last June 30.
According to the official, the invitation was extended to the MNLF leader as a show of respect that it is only proper that he should be at the forefront when the issue of unity of the entire Moro nation is concerned.
Secondly, he added, this is the way how the MILF reciprocates a brotherly gesture when MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim was invited to the MNLF Summit Conference in Davao City about three years ago. Instead, Murad begged off but sent Ghazali Jaafar, the MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs, and Sheikh Mohammad Muntassir, head of the MILF Da’wah Committee.
“If he is really a statesman, then he will attend gathering,” he stressed, adding that there is everything the MNLF gains if he graces the occasion with his presence and nothing the MILF loses if it does not happen.”
As this developed, a number of MNLF leaders have expressed interest in attending the assembly especially on July 8 where a dialogue among Moro leaders of various affiliations would take place in the presence of the OIC official or his representative and the Malaysian Facilitator of the GPH-MILF peace negotiation.
In this dialogue, Chairman Murad will give an opening statement, to be followed by the messages of the OIC representative and the Malaysian facilitator.
Acting as moderator of the proceeding would be Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the MILF peace panel and of the MILF Committee on Information.
After the messages, any of participants can respond and share their respective views and thereafter a recapitulation follows, which will be handled by the Secretariat.