BIFF only wants Islamic state
MANILA, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) reiterated on Friday that it wants only the establishment of an Islamic state and nothing less.
“Kung hindi Islamic state ay hindi kami sasali doon (If it’s not Islamic state, we won’t join),” BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama told Radyo Inquirer 990AM when asked what it thought of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Mama clarified that while they are not enemies to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is pursuing a peace agreement with the Philippine government, they are also not allies.
The BIFF is the armed group of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, which broke away from the MILF at the height of the peace talks. However, the two groups were accused of working together during the bloody clash in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, which left 44 policemen, 18 MILF fighters and at least five civilians dead.
Reports from last year said the BIFF, like the bandit group Abu Sayyaf, has pledged allegiance to the notorious Islamic State (IS), which has become known for beheading its captives.
READ: BIFF, Abus pledge allegiance to Isis
IS operates mainly in the Middle East and claims to be a worldwide caliphate or Islamic government.
During the interview, Mama said they will not return the firearms taken from the policemen killed in Mamasapano.
He said it was the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police’s Special Action Force (SAF) who were sowing terror in Mindanao.
He denied knowing Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, who was the target of the SAF operation. While government forces succeeded in killing Marwan, the encounter that ensued resulted in the death of 44 policemen.
Because of the incident, the peace process and the BBL remain in peril while President Benigno Aquino III continues to receive flak for how he handled the operation.