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DOJ readying charges vs Misuari for rebellion, violation of int’l humanitarian law

Police present to the media 15 Muslim rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who had surrendered to the government soldiers, at a police station in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines September 19, 2013. Police said the death toll in the fighting between the soldiers and the rebels has reached 104, and around 110,000 have been displaced. (MNS photo)

Police present to the media 15 Muslim rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who had surrendered to the government soldiers, at a police station in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines September 19, 2013. Police said the death toll in the fighting between the soldiers and the rebels has reached 104, and around 110,000 have been displaced. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Department of Justice is preparing to charge Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari with rebellion and violating international humanitarian law over the bloody standoff between his followers and government troops in Zamboanga City.

Although Misuari has not personally been involved in the fighting in Zamboanga, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said he remains accountable because of “command responsibility.”

The MNLF fighters involved in the standoff are led by one of Misuari’s most trusted lieutenants, Habier Malik, who security forces say remains holed out in Zamboanga.

De Lima said part of the basis for including Misuari in the charges the government will be filing over the standoff are the testimonies of captured or surrendered MNLF fighters, many of whom have been subjected to inquest proceedings.

The standoff entered its 19th day on Friday and has, so far, claimed the lives of around 160 combatants and civilians, left more than 350 wounded, and displaced up to 120,000 persons. (MNS)

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