The rebellion by Nur Misuari and his supporters has not damaged Philippine peace initiatives with Muslims, former president Fidel Ramos said yesterday. Mr Ramos called Misuari a 'lost commander' and said his splinter group posed little threat. In September 1996, Mr Ramos signed the Philippines' only peace deal with a Muslim rebel group - Misuari's Moro National Liberation Front (MILF). Misuari subsequently entered mainstream politics as governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, but did not seek re-election this week and instead resumed his armed struggle. Mr Ramos, in Hong Kong as a delegate to the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council's general meeting, said Misuari's actions were not surprising. Peace was not unraveling in Mindanao as a result, he said. 'Misuari was given the authority, the resources and the political support needed for his success,' Mr Ramos said. 'His dilemma was being unable to transform quickly, in his mind as well as in his personality, towards others to convert from a mujahedeen warrior into an administrator and a bureaucrat that had to respond to central government responsibly.' Mr Ramos said part of the blame should rest with his successor, deposed president Joseph Estrada. By embarking on a war policy against Muslim rebels of the MILF in April 2000, the Estrada government had damaged official credibility among Muslims in the southern Philippines. 'That enlarged and exacerbated the problem of law and order and the development of the poorest communities in Mindanao,' he said. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Government has now resumed the Ramos administration's policy of talking with the MILF. Like Mr Ramos' government, though, she considers the other Muslim insurgents, the Abu Sayyaf, criminals and refuses to negotiate peace with them.