MNLF leaders ask Obama for help

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 April) – While anti-US protesters are marching on the streets of Mendiola in Manila, regional leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are welcoming United States President Barack Obama with open arms.

They even adopted him as the “son of the Bangsamoro nation.”

In a statement printed on a 4×4 feet tarpaulin, the MNLF leaders invoked their right to self-determination as they gathered at the Muslim Village in Bangkal in this city for a meeting Monday to discuss the loyalty of some of its members.

Rolando Olamit, chair of the MNLF’s Davao City State Revolutionary Committee, appealed to Obama to intervene on the Bangsamoro problem.

Olamit, however, clarified that they do not want military intervention.

“The Bangsamoro’s problem isn’t military, so we ask that they don’t provide a military solution. The issue here is poverty, so we’re appealing that they help us in this regard,” he said.

“We are appealing to President Obama to listen to Chairman Misuari, that he be given a safe conduct pass because he’s the only one who can unite the Bangsamoro,” Olamit added.

MNLF chairman Nur Misuari is currently facing rebellion charges for allegedly masterminding the siege in Zamboanga City September last year that displaced thousands of residents and the killing of more than a hundred.

Asked why they are asking the same government who massacred Moro women and children in Bud Daju, Sulu more than a century ago, Olamit claims that the US president is a Muslim and that he is willing to forgive if Obama can unite the Bangsamoro. The massacre, he said, happened a long time ago anyway.

His statement, however, drew mixed reactions from the other members.

Forty-year old Farida believes that Obama and his government cannot resolve the Bangsamoro problem.

“America’s human rights violations have worsened, and we want them to come here? Only us Filipinos can solve our own problems,” she stressed.