MILF leader orders members to vote for party’s bets | Inquirer News

MILF leader orders members to vote for party’s bets

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim arrives in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018,  the first visit of an MILF leader to the Philippine military’s main headquarters. (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines — The head of the 40,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has ordered his members to vote for all candidates fielded by its party in the first-ever elections that the former rebel group has ever participated in.

Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, chair of MILF and interim chief of the Bangsamoro, described the coming polls on May 9 this year as “very historic for the Bangsamoro people,” as it would be the first elections when the former rebel group would be voting and fielding candidates through its political party, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP).

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“As chair of the MILF, I order all MILF members to vote for all the candidates of the UBJP,” Murad said.

On Saturday, the UBJP endorsed the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo, whom Ebrahim described as a “friend of the Bangsamoro.”

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In Cebu, all was set for yet another rally for Robredo on April 26 that would have announced her endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Joseph “Ace” Durano. But the sortie was canceled after Durano announced he would support Robredo’s chief rival, former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Robredo, however, gained the support of 27 lay organizations in Negros Occidental and 17 Catholic schools in Iloilo.

—WITH REPORTS FROM KARLOWE BRIER, NESTLE SEMILLA, CARLA GOMEZ, AND NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

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