Duterte meets with MILF, reiterates support for new BBL

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 December) –  President Rodrigo Duterte met with  the chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and members of its Central Committee at the Matina Enclaves here Friday where he “reiterated his support for the passage of a new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL),” minus the “constitutionally sensitive” provisions, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said.

Dureza told MindaNews that “constitutionally sensitive provisions may await final shift to federalism which he said is more suited to (a) country where there is so much ethnic and cultural diversity.”

Murad told MindaNews in an e-mail that the President was “consistent pa rin .. sa kanyang assurance na he will push hard for the BBL and hope to pass it in the middle of 2017.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) delegation led by its chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim and Presidnetial Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on December 2, 2016. ROBINSON NIÑAL/Presidential Photo
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) delegation led by its chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim and Presidnetial Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on December 2, 2016. ROBINSON NIÑAL/Presidential Photo

The Bangsamoro peace and development roadmap of the Duterte administration targets July 2017 as the submission of the draft BBL to Congress.

The government and MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on March 27, 2014 but the 16th Congress under the Aquino administration adjourned without passing the BBL.

Dureza said Duterte also appealed to the MILF to “help counter inroads of extremism.”

He said the President cited the need to address the problems concerning the Maute Group and the MILF’s Abdurahman Macapaar, alias Kumander Bravo, chief of the Northwestern Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

“He does not want war as Mindanao has suffered so much already; but he will exercise necessary options for the country,” Dureza added.

“Get rid of Bravo”

In his speech before the San Beda Law alumni on November 26, President Duterte said he would give Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Abdullah Mamao 20 days “to get rid of Bravo” who, he said, “runs his own government in this part of Mindanao with the Moro as his constituents.”

FRIENDS. MILF commander Abdurahman Macapaar, aka Kumander Bravo (center), and Col. Glen Macasero, commanding officer of the 103rd Infantry Brigade (left) during a press conference inside the rebel Camp Watu in Barangay Barit, Balindong town in Lanao del Sur Monday, Sept. 9. The MILF has allowed the Philippine Army to search their camps in Lanao del Sur following allegations that they were harboring terror groups responsible for the series of bombings in Cagayan de Oro City and other parts of Mindanao. No terror suspects were found in the camps. Mindanews Photo
FRIENDS. MILF commander Abdurahman Macapaar, aka Kumander Bravo (center), and Col. Glen Macasero, commanding officer of the 103rd Infantry Brigade (left) during a press conference inside the rebel Camp Watu in Barangay Barit, Balindong town in Lanao del Sur on Sept. 9, 2013. The MILF allowed the military to search their camps in Lanao del Sur following allegations that they were harboring terror groups responsible for the series of bombings in Cagayan de Oro City and other parts of Mindanao. Mindanews file photo

“Merong pag nagkasala ka doon, kulong ka, hulihin ka niyan pag ano ka, drug pusher ka. Bayad ka lang sa kanya, siya ang mag sintensiya. May Shariah law eh, sintensiyahan ka. G*** talaga. Pagkatapos pag may pera ka, magpabili ng kita ng shabu ng pinsan mo, mag utang ka. Bayad ka sa kanya. 10,000. Sabihin niya doon sa libro niya, sa treasurer. Yung 5,000 kanya. Pag galit na galit na yang — we were talking about it last night in Davao, what to do,” he said.

He said he thought of giving Mamao, a classmate of his at the San Beda College of Law  around “20 days to get rid of Bravo. But one of these days, I said I’ll be forced to ask the security forces of the —- unahin mo na ‘yan.”

Duterte added that “in fairness to the Moro leaders, Murad and all, hate drugs.” He said when the police and the Army conduct operations against illegal drugs in their area, the MILF don’t mind. “So that is really something we should appreciate,” hea said.

Murad acknowledged that Bravo was mentioned during the meeting. “We promised to investigate and take appropriate action,”  he told MindaNews.

Peace process mechanisms

Dealing with Bravo, if, indeed the reports reaching Duterte are true, did not have to be  coursed through Mamao because there are peace process mechanisms agreed upon by the government and the MILF such as the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).

In a commentary, Robert Marohombsar Alonto, peace panel member of the MILF since 2003 and BTC Commissioner from 2014 to the end of the Aquino administration on June 30, 2016 said “if there are problems that involve people on both sides,” these problems have to be resolved through these mechanisms.

“We cannot afford a duplication of the Mamasapano Incident on a larger scale or the 2003 Buliok war,” he said.

Alonto also said the adversaries of the Duterte administration, “notably the yellow politicians, the drug lords and anarchist elements, will only be too happy to see another big war breaking out in the Bangsamoro and Mindanao which constitute the strong base of support of the present administration.”

“Any outbreak of war on a large scale will dismantle this base of support and therefore will be advantageous to the destabilizers of the administration,” he said.

Correct and accurate picture

The President, he said, has to be apprised and advised accordingly.”He has to be given the correct and accurate picture of the obtaining situation. This means separating the chaff from the grain, separating facts from exaggerations and misinformation or disinformation.”

Alonto said Moro officials in government “can perform this role of apprising and advising the President to avoid at all costs a strategic ‘misencounter’ between the President and the Moros who support him and will defend him from any threat, internal or external.”

Alonto said it would be a “great tragedy.. if our common aspiration to address and redress historical and current injustices in the Bangsamoro by way of system change will all come to naught because of an outbreak of unnecessary war that puts us all back to zero and, worse, restore the ancient regime and ultimately preserve the status quo!”

BTC seats

Dureza informed the President that the government nominees for 10 seats in the 21-member BTC have been submitted for appointment and that they are still awaiting the 11 nominees from the MILF.

Murad said they will submit this week the list of nominees to the BTC, the body that would draft the BBL to pave the way for the establishment of the Bangsamoro, a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Dureza said Murad thanked Duterte and “committed continuing adherence and support to a final settlement of the Bangsamoro issues.”

He said Murad also expressed optimism that the best opportunity for peace is now, under the leadership of President Duterte.

“He asked for a chance to handle the issues regarding Bravo who is a key MILF commander in Lanao,” Dureza said.

Murad, he added, also “explained the genesis of the Maute group which is creating security challenges in Butig, Lanao del Sur.”

Bangsamoro as template

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF peace implementing panel chair, told MindaNews in an e-mail that the nine-member MILF delegation met with the President and the Presidential Peace Adviser for nearly an hour. He said the meeting, which was not announced to the media, started at around  4 p.m.

This was the second meeting in Davao City between Duterte and the MILF. The first was on June 17 when Duterte was still President-elect. Duterte and Murad met had a one-on-one talk after the group meeting, as they did also last Friday.

Ghazali Jaafar, 1st Vice Chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (right) introduces the other members of the MILF Central Committee to presidential candidate and Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte during his visit in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao on February 27, 2016. MindaNews photo by TOTO LOZANO
Ghazali Jaafar, 1st Vice Chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (right) introduces the other members of the MILF Central Committee to presidential candidate and Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte during his visit in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao on February 27, 2016. MindaNews photo by TOTO LOZANO

As a Presidential candidate, Duterte visited the MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on February 27.

It was in Darapanan where Duterte said that if he wins the Presidency he would push for a Constitutional Commission to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow for a shift to a federal form of government “but if it takes time, and if only to defuse tension, in my government I will convince Congress to pass the BBL then make it as a template for federal states.”

Before Friday’s meeting, Duterte and Murad met on November 7 at the Rizal Hall in  Malacanang at the signing of  Executive Order 8 expanding the BTC membership from 15 to 21.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

  • Filimon Francisco

    DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS GROUP WANTS PEACE ???
    THEY ARE ALL LIES AND DECEPTION…

    • MrDabol

      Festi ka.

    • friend of mindanao

      like moslems every where else. they have the same agenda.n to take over your country.

      • raj

        Mindanao is already Muslim lands you plonker it was the Christians who stole it
        Stop dreaming

        • friend of Mindanao

          there are no moslem lands. just places where they invaded mass murdered mass raped enslaved and force converted.
          Christian nations drove islam out of Europe then drove from completely invading Philippines. Thank God.

        • friend of Mindanao

          I must be talking to a moslem murdering terrorist hey or a supporter of.

          • raj

            You are not “talking” dummy it’s typing
            I haven’t killed anyone you dummy your response shows how stupid you are.
            No response to me then I guess I must be talking to a racist Christian slime

        • friend of Mindanao

          moslems mass murdered and mass raped all the way from middle east thru Asia. fortunately they/civilised nations drove islam back out of Europe and Spanish stopped you mass murdering all the Hindus/Buddhists as moslems did from Afghanistan to Malaysia.
          Look at the state of moslem countries such as we see in middle east where it began. war torn human rights abuse hell and dust bowls. mass murdering mass raping torturing more fellow moslems as well as many 1000s non moslems.
          While screaming ala akba. imitating your revered false prophet.
          You blame professed Christians for killing you but moslems have killed more moslems estimated over 60million thru centuries as we see moslems doing now in Africa middle east philippines. If non moslems kill moslems it is in self defence to stop the ongoing murder of unbelievers.
          The death toll is estimated over 1billion slaughtered thru the centuries by those obeying commands of mohammed.
          Yet then lying deceiving moslems cowardly scream victim when civilised people defend themselves from your barbarity.

          • Carlo Magbanua

            A clear ignorance on history. Smh

          • raj

            That’s what you Christians do Muslims don’t do that in fact many historians have researched that Muslim armies did not rape and pillage their conquered targets nor forcibly revert them to Islam unlike you Christian monsters

          • raj

            Liar you Christians are the ones crying about victims when you lot killed billions of people all over the world

    • friend of Mindanao

      yes lies and deception. demanding an autonomous Islamic terror haven from which to commit more acts of terror.