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MILF, MNLF unite for passage of BBL

/ 01:30 AM October 14, 2015

COTABATO CITY—Two feuding Muslim rebel groups—the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)—on Tuesday declared their unity as they pushed for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“For the sake of a just and dignified peace and of the general welfare of the people, we, the MILF and MNLF, firmly and solemnly declare a diluted Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is inimical to the full and faithful implementation of both the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement, is unacceptable to us and the Bangsamoro people,” MILF chair Murad Ebrahim and Muslimin Sema, chair of the MNLF Council of 15, said in a joint statement following a meeting at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

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Murad said the unification was the product of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum in Kuwait, which was called by the Organization of the Islamic Conference in May.

“This unification simply means that both sides have the same goal—that is for the betterment of Bangsamoro people and other inhabitants of Mindanao,” Sema told reporters.

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The statement, signed by Murad and Sema, said the attitude of some lawmakers toward the BBL was an indication “of a systematic extermination of the signed peace agreements to the detriment of the Bangsamoro people and the entire people of the country.”

They said that “under this present situation of the peace process, we realize and feel duty bound to strengthen and consolidate our unity and our people under the blessings of universal brotherhood for the common good and interest of all.”

Both leaders said the passage of an undiluted BBL shall fully implement both the 2014 CAB and the 1996 GPH-MNLF Final Peace Agreement, in letter and spirit, and in accordance with the 1976 Tripoli Agreement.

Murad said Tuesday’s meeting solidified the cooperation of both sides to achieve the objective of the full implementation of the 2014 CAB and 1995 FPA.

“We are coming out with action plans for the achievement of this declaration,” Murad added.

The MNLF faction headed by Sema was considered the largest and most politically active group from the three factions that emerged from the erstwhile rebel group. Misuari still heads one faction, while Habib Hashim Mudjahab leads a coalition that includes Misuari’s group.

Misuari spearheaded a renewed Muslim separatist rebellion starting in 1972 that united many disgruntled Muslim sectors. Backed by several Muslim nations in Asia and the Middle East, the highlight of the MNLF-led struggle was the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, an agreement with the regime of Ferdinand Marcos which initially called for an autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao. Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, Nation, news
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