Gov’t allowed Iqbal, others to use aliases for security
Definitely, the government knew that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal was using an alias, Malacañang said on Friday.
“At least on the side of the executive, allow me to say that the real names of the MILF negotiators are of course known to the Philippine government, and in fact, they possess Philippine passports as issued by the DFA,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing.
“There’s no deception on their part because they made their real names known to government,” she added.
Valte said that MILF negotiators “were allowed the courtesy to continue using their aliases that they used underground … when, you know, as part of their underground rebel organizations as a matter of personal security.”
She said the same was done with previous rebel group negotiators under the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front, the Moro National Liberation Front and the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army.
Valte said the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which seeks to establish a new autonomous political entity in Mindanao, should be discussed based on its content and “not other attendant issues that may be related but perhaps are not really at the core of the main points or the core points of the BBL draft itself.”
Iqbal’s use of aliases has been a cause of concern for some critics of the BBL and the peace process, especially with the growing distrust after the Mamasapano operation, which left 44 policemen, 17 MILF fighters and three civilians dead.
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