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Cayetano against BBL, says MILF to boost army that can threaten Republic

... Senator doubts Moro rebels’ commitment to democracy, good governance
By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 09:28 PM February 05, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Given their history of breaking their word, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front could not be trusted to pursue democracy, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said Thursday.

Cayetano recalled that MILF broke away from the Moro National Liberation Front after the latter forged a peace agreement with the government in 1996, and built its military out of foreign aid.

“When they take over and with the BBL (Bangsamoro basic law), will they have good governance? Will they be committed to democracy? Will they help our poor countrymen? My answer is no because they are a terrorist group,’’ he said in an interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel.

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The MILF has come under fire over its role in the Jan. 25 killing of 44 Special Action Force troopers in Maguindanao.

Cayetano was among the first to declare withdrawal of his co-authorship of the draft BBL carving a new, autonomous Bangsamoro region in southern Philippines amid mounting outrage over the killings of the 44 commanders.

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator, had said the truth would vindicate the rebel group in the investigation of the bloody encounter.

Iqbal had maintained that the MILF hierarchy had no intelligence information on the presence of Jemaah Islamiyah bomber Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in Mamasapano town.

The SAF troopers clashed with members of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after reportedly killing Marwan in his hideout. Zulkifli’s Filipino cohort Basit Usman escaped.

Cayetano warned that the Bangsamoro’s future police force could become the country’s “biggest private army’’ if it would not coordinate with the national government.

“What if they have an 8,000-member police force, and then we don’t coordinate because there is a terrorist or drug lords there? We will be creating the biggest private army this country has ever seen,’’ he said.

Cayetano also made no distinction between the MILF and BIFF, saying they were closely linked.

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“In their culture, you’re either an enemy or an ally. So if you’re a family, you’ll be protected,’’ he said.

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, atrocity, Bangsamoro autonomy, Bangsamoro Basic Law, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Forces, Bangsamoro police force, Basit Usman, biff, bloodshed, carnage, Ceasefire, clash, Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Encounter, gun battle, internal defense, law enforcement, Legislation, Maguindanao, Mamasapano, manhunt for terrorists, Marwan, massacre of policemen, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, News, Peace agreement, peace process, Philippine Congress, Philippine National Police, pursuit operations, Security, Senate, serving of an arrest warrant, Special Action Force, suspected terrorists, terror suspects, warrant of arrest, Zulkifli bin Hir
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