In his 68-minute “State of the Bangsamoro Republik address” Misuari told thousands of supporters at the parade grounds of the Rizal Memorial Colleges (RMC) that he was informed word had gone around in Malaysia that with his release, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) would invade Sabah.
“Did I ask you to make war or peace?” Misuari asked. The crowd said no.
“Your shouts give lie to all these accusations,” he said.
MNLF organizers placed the crowd at 30,000 although the city government on Friday had placed the number of unarmed MNLF members who arrived here from various parts of Mindanao, at 5,000.
Misuari, however, challenged the Malaysia to show proof that Sabah is theirs.
He said the Sabah issue should be brought to the International Court of Justice for resolution.
“We have plenty of brave lawyers who are ready to face them because Sabah belongs to us,” Misuari said.
One of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu, had also spoken earlier onstage.
Misuari cited what he called “the pittance,” in reference to the lease Sabah pays the Sultan’s heirs, at 5,000 ringgit or about 27,000 Philippine pesos.
“What are we going to do? Anong gagawin natin kung ayaw nila magbayad more than 5,000 ringgits” he asked.
“Five thousand ringgits. That’s a pittance,” he repeated.
Misuari was arrested in an island off Sabah on November 24, 2001 for alleged illegal entry. Hew was turned over to the Philippine government on January 7, 2002, and was detained on charges of rebellion until he was allowed to post bail on April 25 this year, after payment of P50,000 bond. (MindaNews)