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MILF congratulates ‘true son of Mindanao’ Duterte

By: - Correspondent / @kmanlupigINQ
/ 04:54 PM May 12, 2016
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Presidential front-runner and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte attends a press conference after he cast his vote in Davao City on May 9. AFP

DAVAO CITY—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has sent its “heartfelt congratulations” to presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte.

“On behalf of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro people, it is with great pleasure and gladness on my part to extend our heartfelt congratulations to you on your historic victory,” MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in a letter sent a day after the elections.

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“It is indeed a historic victory because for the first time in the history of this country, a true son of Mindanao in whose veins Moro blood runs is now the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines,” Murad said in his letter that was also posted in the MILF’s Facebook page.

Despite the loss of the administration candidate, who had been expected to continue the peace process, Murad said the MILF was confident that Duterte would pursue the peace efforts in Mindanao.

“The MILF as a revolutionary organization that represents our people’s struggle for self-determination, remains highly optimistic and confident that your victory would carry with it our hopes and aspirations for peace and justice in Mindanao. Your defense of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before and during the election campaign has in fact infused these optimism and confidence among our people, which should explain why they overwhelmingly supported your candidacy,” Murad said.

“Furthermore, your message of justice, freedom, equality and social justice resonates with our aspiration for genuine change. This was emphasized when we signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), and subsequently the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), wherein it is stipulated as a matter of fundamental principle that the ‘status quo is unacceptable’ to both the MILF and the GPH. Your platform for system change precisely captures this principle,” Murad said.

“It is thus in our best interest that your advocacy for federalism entrenches our aspiration for genuine self-rule in our homeland through the implementation of the CAB to put an end to the debilitating conflict that breeds anarchy and stimulates the rise of extremism,” Murad added.

The tough-talking mayor visited the main camp of the MILF in February where he had a dialogue with some of the top leaders of the organization. RC/rga

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TAGS: al haj murad ebrahim, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Rodrigo Duterte
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