MILF man vows transparency, gun regulation if tapped as ARMM’s OIC | Inquirer News
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MILF man vows transparency, gun regulation if tapped as ARMM’s OIC

/ 04:03 PM July 03, 2011

COTABATO City, Philippines—A former spokesman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said on Saturday he would follow President Aquino’s “daang matuwid” (the straight path), strictly observing standards of transparency and regulating firearms, if he is appointed officer in charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Aquino, who signed into law Republic Act No. 10153, which reset the ARMM elections from August 8, 2011, to the second Monday of May 2013, and synchronized it with the next national and local elections, said the incoming officer must have a time-bound plan for implementing reforms in the region.

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“I will follow President Aquino’s straight path. All affairs of the ARMM must be in accordance with transparency. I will also look into power sharing,” former MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

“I will regulate loose firearms. That’s one of my priorities. I will respond to that and I am confident we can generate support from local officials,” Kabalu added.

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Kabalu said the public would have nothing to worry about the thousands of firearms his organization possessed as the disposition of the guns would be settled later on in the peace talks.

“It will be the last item that panels will talk about in the talks,” Kabalu said.

At the same time, Kabalu said he would regulate the firearms of politicians in the south, including their private armies.

“We only need intense dialogue with local officials. Hopefully, if we are already appointed, in six months we can generate and return firearms to the government,” Kabalu said.

“I have already the formula in doing these things,” he stressed.

Kabalu also promised to help neutralize Ameril Umbra Kato, a Muslim rebel commander blamed for the 2008 atrocities in the region.

Kato, who has formed another armed group, attacked civilian communities in 2008 after the peace talks between the government and the MILF collapsed in August of that year when the Supreme Court stopped the signing of a deal that would have paved the way for the setting up of a semi-independent Bangsamoro state.

“In my plan, of course I will engage the participation of local officials and the people themselves. I can’t do this alone,” he said.

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TAGS: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Autonomy, Eid Kabalu, Elections, Insurgency, Local Governments, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, peace negotiations, rebellion, Regions, War
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