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MILF on Mamasapano: Let’s move on

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 05:36 AM September 19, 2015

Mohagher Iqbal, peace negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said on Friday the group stands by the results of its own investigation into the Mamasapano debacle but respects the government’s final and official version of the incident that took the lives of 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and 18 MILF fighters.

It was time to move on, said Iqbal at the sidelines of a foreign correspondents forum in Mandaluyong City where he, together with presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles and government negotiator Miriam Coronel Ferrer, pushed for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would give secessionist Muslim rebels an autonomous homeland in Mindanao.

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“The findings of the MILF is official and we hold that as the real version of what happened. But, you know, we have buried this issue already because both the dead on the side of the government and MILF are already resting in their graves,” Iqbal told reporters.

He said reviving the Mamasapano tragedy would only open the wounds of the grieving families who were still on the road to healing.

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Iqbal said there were at least five or six versions of how Marwan, whose real name was Zulkifli bin Hir, was killed.

Among these, he said, were the versions of the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department and the International Monitoring Team, in addition to the version of the MILF.

“Let the people decide which of the versions is the truth or nearest to the truth,” Iqbal said.

He also said that the filing of criminal charges against 26 MILF fighters for the deaths of the SAF commandos was an “internal process of government.”

Iqbal said the MILF would not stop the respondents from getting their own lawyers, but the Moro rebel group would also adhere to the provisions of the existing mechanisms of the peace process as this was the “binding agreement as far as the government and MILF are concerned.”

The Mamasapano clash not only claimed the lives of government and Moro combatants but also severely set back the passage of the proposed BBL.

At the forum, both Iqbal, Deles and Ferrer acknowledged that the BBL faced a tough road ahead but they were not giving up on the possibility that it would be signed before President Aquino steps down in June next year.

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There is an anxious wait for the passage of the BBL especially among the people who “need and want peace the most,” Deles said.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, Mamasapano, Mamasapano clash, MILF, Mohagher Iqbal, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, SAF, Special Action Force, Teresita Deles
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