MILF warned on giving up arms

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04:46 PM October 29th, 2012

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By: Germelina Lacorte, October 29th, 2012 04:46 PM

JORGE MADLOS, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao. AFP

DAVAO CITY – The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) warned the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) against easily giving up arms, even after the Moro group waging an armed rebellion in Mindanao for decades, signed the framework agreement with the government early this month.

Jorge Madlos, spokesperson of the NDFP in Mindanao, in a statement emailed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the weekend warned the MILF against the “devious scheming” of the government, telling the armed Moro group to agree on the decommissioning of its Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) only if the terms will not render it useless to protect the rights of the Moro people, nor merely reduce it to police functions under the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Learning lessons from the past, the MILF should not easily relinquish its effective military strength at the whim of the reactionary government so that it can continue to defend the interests of the entire Moro people,” said Madlos, also known as Ka Oris, whose group the NDFP had entered into a tactical alliance with MILF in February 1999 on the issue of the Moro people’s right to self- determination.

“(The MILF) must hold in high regard, above all else, the very aspirations of the long-suffering Moro people.”

He warned the MILF to be cautious in its dealing with the government.

“While the MILF trusts the workability of such a Framework, it must take caution in proceeding to deal with the Aquino government because, clearly, there are risks to consider,” he said.

“Before any form of ‘decommissioning’ takes place, it must be crystal clear that the terms must never render the MILF’s BIAF incapacitated, without initiative, or simply reduced to take on police function under the control of the PNP,” Madlos.

“Without the BIAF, the MILF will be inadequate and incapacitated to protect the Moro people it represents.”

Madlos asked the MILF never to lose sight of its aim to protect and carry out the Moro people’s right to self-determination even if it signs the peace deal with the government.

He also warned that even before the signing, the government is already “slyly emasculating” the Moro armed group through its long-drawn ceasefire agreement.

He asked the MILF to be cautious, especially on the provisions of wealth-sharing and the decommissioning of the MILF forces in the framework agreement.

“Alarmingly, even without the particular ‘annexes’ with regard to the ‘decommissioning’ of MILF armed forces, the Aquino government has already begun the emasculation, and eventual dissolution, of the MILF’s ‘most important bargaining chip’ by slyly manipulating to place the BIAF in a passive position through long-drawn ceasefire agreements,” Madlos said.

“One must not also be blind to the fact that the AFP, the PNP and US troops continue to be on the offensive and have no intention to back down until MILF and other Moro armed forces completely fold,” he said.

“The framework agreement opens new avenues to the talks, it poses greater challenges to the Moro people it general and it carries with it some risks,” he said.
“The MILF must avoid being inveigled and, in the process, out-maneuvered to fall into the precipice of defeat not only for them, but for the entire Moro people.”

He appealed to the MILF leaders and its forces to be “more vigilant” and to never lose sight of the Moro people’s struggle for the right to self-determination.

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