(PHILSTAR) By Roel Pareño - Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari has "established" a federated state and named him as the president following the declaration of independence early this week in Sulu province, an MNLF official said.

In a statement, Murshi Ibrahim, Misuari's chief of staff, said Misuari declared the independence of the Bangsamoro Republik in Daira, Barangay Lampaya, Autonomous Federated State of Lupah Sug, according to Habib Mujahab Hashim, chairman of the MNLF Islamic Command Council (ICC).

He said Ibrahim stated that Misuari has also declared himself as the commander-in-chief of the Bangsamoro Armed Forces (BAF) of what the erstwhile leader called as the 193rd member nation of the UN.

“For all peace and freedom loving people of the world and oppressed Bangsamoro, salam. For the sake of peace and egalitarian democracy, H.E Prof. Nur Misuari of the Bangsamoro Republik and commander-in-chief of the BAF, has declared the independence of the Bangsamoro Republik in Daira Lampaya, Talipao Autonomous Federated State of Lupah Sug,” Hashim quoted the statement of Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said the declaration of Misuari was made under the authority of the United Nation General Assembly 1514 resolution of 1960 granting independence to all colonized countries.

Ibrahim added that MNLF group under Misuari will pursue its independence through peaceful and legal means.

Misuari's faction has expressed opposition to the proposed Bangsamoro entity under the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Misuari has also complained about the reported plan of the Philippine government to put a closure to the tripartite review that will implement in full the 1996 final peace agreement signed during the Ramos administration.

Misuari faction believes that the government talks with the MILF would sideline the MNLF, despite being the sole recognized representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Now, we are a sovereign nation under a colonial occupation of President Pnoy’s (Benigno Aquino III) regime,” Ibrahim stated, according to Hashim.

Hashim said it was unclear whether the declaration also meant a call for hostilities.

However, he said they have received unconfirmed reports of movements in several key areas in Mindanao in support of Misuari. He declined to identify the areas to prevent panic among civilians.

Hashim said for that for his group’s part, they remain neutral between the government and Misuari.

“However, if the MNLF-GPH final peace agreement is already abrogated, the MNLF is left with no option but independence,” Hashim said.

According to Hashim he was also unaware about the move of former Cotabato mayor Muslimin Sema, who chairs the MNLF Executive Council (EC), to oust Misuari as their leader a few years ago.

Palace on Bangsamoro Republic: There is only one govt in PHL August 16, 2013 3:23pm 677 73 2 1000

MNLF on alert as Misuari reportedly declares independence MNLF on alert as Misuari reportedly declares independence .

MNLF rebels loyal to Nur Misuari man a checkpoint in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Thursday, August 15, as they go on alert following Misuari's reported declaration of independence for Mindanao. Chino Gaston

This was the strong statement of Malacañang after the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) declared the independence of a Bangsamoro Republic.

On Thursday, MNLF spokesman Habib Mujahab Hashim confirmed its founder and chairman, Nur Misuari, declared independence in Talipao, Sulu on August 12.

"We believe that [the] signing of the framework agreement na magkakaroon sila ng comprehensive agreement within the year—notwithstanding the fact that the final peace agreement of 1996 still exists and is valid—this for us is, technically, tantamount to an abrogation of the 1996 peace agreement," Hashim said.

But during a press briefing on Friday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the 1996 agreement with the MNLF is still being enforced.

"We’ve already said that the ’96 final peace accord with the MNLF, we are not abrogating that, that’s very clear," she said.

At the same time, Valte said the final peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is expected to result in a Bangsamoro Political Entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), seeks to benefit everyone in Mindanao.

The MILF is a splinter group of the MNLF, which entered into a peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996.

"I understand that [the government peace panel has] continuously coordinated with the members also of the MNLF. That’s why meron nga hong mga MNLF commanders that have expressed their support for the Framework Agreement," she said, adding that ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman has also spoken to Misuari.

Valte said they will also ask elected representatives if they support Misuari in declaring an independent state from the government.

"There are elected representatives --- duly-elected representatives of the people in those areas. You have your mayors, you have your governors, you have your representatives in the House. Let’s ask them," she said.

In the meantime, Valte said they have not yet monitored any movements on the part of the MNLF.

But if the situation worsens, Valte said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is ready to take action.

"The AFP continues to hope for peace in Mindanao and… they continue to hope that the MNLF will continue to be supportive of the on-going negotiations for the Bangsamoro. But, they also did say that in case there is violence, they will be ready to protect the citizens," she said. — Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ, GMA News

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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