The Philippine government said Wednesday that Nur Misuari, leader of the Muslim rebel group that attacked southern Philippine city of Zamboanga, fooled his supporters by telling them that they would join in a "peace rally" before they marched towards the city.
Some of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members under Misuari's faction who were captured or who surrendered claimed that they were told that they would go to Zamboanga City to attend a peace rally and were promised to be given with arms, said Edwin Lacierda, Philippines' presidential spokesperson.
However, Lacierda said, it was Misuari's spokesman who admitted in some media interviews that the presence of armed men in Zamboanga was for a "war for independence."
"So, it's clear, the grand deception of Nur Misuari was to fool the MNLF people into believing that this is for them, which is not totally true," Lacierda said.
He said that Misuari, the founding chairman of the MNLF, was only concerned about himself.
The spokesman also said that the Philippine government will use all its resources to make all those people involved in the Zamboanga siege accountable, including Misuari.
For the 17th day already, the Philippine government troops continued to conduct operations against the MNLF remnants in Zamboanga City on Wednesday.