No record Misuari left PH, could have left ‘by other means’—BI exec
MANILA, Philippines—If the records of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) are to be believed, founding chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Nur Misuari who is being hunted down by government troops in connection with the attack on Zamboanga City has not left the country.
“As per our records, there is no recorded departure recently. His last departure from the country was on January 9, 2013. He arrived a month after,” Maan Pedro, spokesperson for the BI said in a phone interview. But Pedro also acknowledged the possibility that Misuari left “by other means.”
She said if indeed Misuari had fled the country, she was certain that he did not use the country’s legitimate ports of entry and exits.
Earlier, Misuari’s spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla in radio reports said the MNLF leader has fled the country to attend the Organization of Islamic Conference in Guinea, West Africa.
Fontanilla said Misuari left the country despite his passport being cancelled by the Philippine government and the warrant for his arrest in connection with his alleged role in the Zamboanga siege last September, where 200 people, most of them MNLF members, were killed.
“There is a standing warrant of arrest which is addressed to any officer of the law,” Pedro said.
Pedro said there has been no sighting of Misuari ever since the arrest warrant was issued by the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court in October.
Pedro, however, noted that the bureau could not discount the possibility that Misuari could have left the country “by other means.”
“But I am sure authorities in the southern Philippines have been guarding our backdoor exits to watch out for Misuari,” the bureau official said.
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