MILF mulls political party option

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MORO REBEL STRENGTH The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which split from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), is bent on continuing its armed cause despite peace talks between the MILF and the government. Some of its members are encamped in Datu Saudi town in Maguindanao. JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

OZAMIZ CITY—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could convert itself into a political party or create a new one so it could join future electoral exercises and govern the Bangsamoro territory.

In a statement posted on its website, the MILF revealed its fate following an agreement on a peace framework with the government to end decadeslong Moro insurgency in Mindanao.

After the signing of the peace agreement, it would “either transform itself into a political party or organize a political party and engage in election,” the MILF said. “If it succeeds, then (the MILF) will form and run the government of the new entity,” it said.

Details of the MILF political party will still be discussed among members of its central committee, said Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF political affairs chief. What was definite, he said, was that it would be formed and might be able to field candidates in the 2016 regional polls.

In the draft framework agreement, which is slated to be signed on Oct. 15, the government and the MILF agreed to “entrench an electoral system” that “encourages formation of genuinely principled political parties.”

But while the rebel group signified its intention to field candidates in future elections in the expanded autonomous region, it said its leaders “do not want to talk employment in government even after signing the peace deal.”

“The issue here, therefore, is not what one or groups get from the deal. It is not about who succeeds to get this deal; it is not about authorship; it is not about turf. The real issue is what our people get in this deal; one that is beneficial to all, not for a selected few,” the MILF said.

“This is the real reason why the MILF is only asking for the driver’s seat up to the interim period,” it added.

Earlier, MILF chair Murad Ebrahim said that whatever the group’s collective decision would be regarding its mode of political participation in a future Moro self-governance entity, it wanted to ensure that democratic processes are institutionalized during the period of transition.

Asked about how the rebels will specifically organize themselves to take part in a new democratic setup, Murad said, “We will decide when we reach the bridge.”

He also said members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the MILF’s armed wing, “will disarm themselves voluntarily and return to normal civilian lives.”

“They are also very much longing to be reunited with their wives and families,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur, an audio recording of which was provided the Inquirer, the government’s chief negotiator, Marvic Leonen, said President Aquino would be creating a 15-member transition commission (Transcom) to draft a “basic law,” which will serve as charter of the Bangsamoro setup.

The document will be submitted to Congress for legislation, Leonen said.

Once legislated, the basic law will be subjected to a plebiscite throughout the areas comprising the Bangsamoro. When ratified, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority will set into motion and replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which shall by then be deemed abolished.

This is also the period when the ministerial form of government becomes effective in the Bangsamoro.

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  • CyberPinoy

    “The real issue is what our people get in this deal; one that is beneficial to all, not for a selected few,” the MILF said.”

    – I hope they will not be selfish enough and consider the millions of Non-Muslim residents of Mindanao. MILF should be reminded that in Mindanao the Christians are still the majority, this is to avoid favoritism and inflame their Christian brothers. I said brothers because religion aside we are all of the same root and blood. Its only religion that distinguished the bangsamoro people but in reality they are just remnants of an old mindanao tribes that was never subjugated into the realm of the general christian population.

  • joshua kings

    the picture shown here and which depict “moro rebel strenght” bothers me.
    in my youth, anyone other than the military or police brandishing such heavy and powerful firearms, is considered an enemy of the government and an outlaw.  in those days, these kind of groups are either the revolutionary groups or simply bandits. 
    now, it seems that the world has turned upside down; these groups even brandish and flaunt in public their contempt for the established government of the people, by the people and for the people.  they even have the temerity to blackmail the governmentinto sitting with them to discuss their demands.
    this is the time when i miss erap, in his aborted administration.
    WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY.

  • kmario

    Why do they have to cover their faces? Ugly ba?

  • joboni96

    kailangan din maleverage
    ang milf military expertise kontra sa
    sea and islands grab ng intsik switik at
    recolonization ng imperyalistang u.s.

    yung defense technology ng milf
    dapat magamit din ng afp
    tulad ng rpg ied etc

    maganda siguro pag mag incorporate ang mi
    ng milf defense technologies

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Isaganilla-Gella/100003610474613 Isaganilla Gella

    Para sa akin tama lang na ipatupad sa AUTONOMOUS REGION ANG ”SHARIAH LAW PARA PUGOT ULO AGAD ANG KAWATAN,DRUG PUSHER.KRIMINAL AT REBELLION” GO.GO SHARIAH LAW ONLY IN MINDANAO!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIWYLFLU4LPKS7B2ZLLRVFKS3Y vir_a

    If it’s a political party, then it is not assured of dominating the bangsa moro land since other political parties can also be formed to run for the same office. If their party is limited only in their area, then there is a virtual federal state that is going to exist which is unfortunately not provided for in the present constitution.

  • palakasantayo

     CORRUPTION… CORRUPTION…. CORRUPTION… The man disease/virus
    plaguing the Philippines for so many years now since Americans gave us
    the independence. We need new approach, new system, new rules/law to
    change. Maybe, MILF can achieve this kind governance in Mindanao so the
    rest of the political parties in Visaya and Luzon can follow. Give peace
    and MILF a chance…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPGVXQK6YYTD6CLA2T5L4T2RVQ Vito C

    Here we go again. MNLF had an agreement with the C. Aquino and Ramos Administration. The MILF was born. Now the New Aquino Administration will have an agreement with MILF (Mothers I Like To F…) .Then heres the BangsaMoro Freedom Fighters (Loaders). Hope they can see this trend of thought . I really agree for my whole nine yards of thinking to The most famous Jueteng Lord, President Corrupt Estrada. The only solution is All Out War, like what they did in Sri Lanka with the Tamil Tigers. And finish it all up. Then there will be peace.

  • GMMTC11

    Now that the accord has been set. It is time for the military to enlarge the capacbility in Tawi Tawi, Julu Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga Peninsula including its intelligence gathering, it is no time to lower down the guard. It would take some years before those accord would see its fruition and it also takes years before you could trust this peoples sincerety. I agreed with Vito C for an all out war, but, it seems there are accords that we do not see but the government agreed upon with various nations. Lets just wait and see, again!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPDAZIXLRDOGCON42ETFG4AG3A TonTon

    the Aquino government is making a time bomb – making peace with these terrorists. why not finish them off? di naman nila na solve yung problem eh. nan dyan pa rin ang problema.

    ang bawat faction ng mga yan may sariling agenda na gusto nila na sundin ng gobyerno! di naman kasi pwedeng ibigay or masunod ang mga gusto nila.

  • Datukalun

    OOH Missuari only need attention creating chaos its the same old story He needs Money and power too They got lot of numbers of wives and still looking for more understand that.So if the Phil.Govt.wont give what he wants they want so they will create trouble again.Its extorting the Government….Allah huakkbar.Bismillah……..

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