MILF, MNLF leaders move to reconcile, unify

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SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 15 Dec) – Upset by the decades-long peace process and alleged unfulfilled promises by the government, leaders from the two factions of the Moro struggle gathered here over the weekend to chart other moves, now that they see no chance for the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to be passed by Congress.

Pioneering leaders from both the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who once fought for independence together but eventually split up, came in an attempt at reconciliation and reunification.

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, who hosted the meeting in his residence situated inside an oil palm plantation compound in Barangay Ladia here, said the “unification and reconciliation meeting of all fronts aim to strengthen back the Bangsamoro people by unifying its leaders.”

“We have to sacrifice, everyone. This is part of the long struggle,” he reminded the participants, which include members of the MNLF’s “Top 90,” allegedly the first batch of cadres trained in Malaysia in 1969.

The leaders of the two factions of the MNLF – Nur Misuari and Muslimin Sema – did now show up and instead sent their emissaries and conveyed their messages of support.

Misuari allegedly could not come for security concerns because of a standing warrant for his arrest and the continuing military operations in Sulu hunting kidnappers. Sema, on the other hand, sent his brother Romy. Sema’s group relayed that they are one in the effort to unify the Bangsamoro leaders.

Jaafar recalled that engaging war against the government was too expensive, not to mention the loss of lives of combatants from both camps and among the civilians. He said that soldiers could have spent time with their families during Christmas instead of engaging war and the rebels could have enjoyed happy moments with their families, too, during the harvest season.

It was raised during the meeting that the government panel has difficulty in dealing with Bangsamoro issues because the leaders are divided into different factions.

“Why don’t we ask ourselves, what went wrong?” said Aziz Malaguiok, who was in the MNLF’s “Top 90.”

“In fairness to the government, we gained the ARMM. Maybe we should ask ourselves what made us fail,” he added.

Malaguiok noted that during the BBL hearings they attended at the Senate, the senators pointed out that the hardest part to push the Bangsamoro was “because the leaders are not united. This one is the main setback and we have to look back on this.”

Jaafar shared his recent conversation with House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, wherein the latter told him that the there was no more chance to pass the BBL into law due to lack of quorum.

“Even though we say that BBL is that precious and important to us, we will not mourn for its loss. But we will be more saddened if the Moro leaders remain disunited. All we want is now is the leaders to unite again,” Jaafar stressed.

He said that their last option is going to United Nations.

But MNLF leader Abul Khayr Alonto said they are open to other options like having a federal state, which he said has a better chance.

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Comments

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2 COMMENTS

  1. YES, please our muslim brothers ,lets all unite to push for FEDERALISM..this will is the solution which will be fair to all…POWER SHARING, RESOURCES SHARING , RESPECT FOR ALL AND DEVELOPMENT FOR ALL..FEDERALISM is better than BBL..

  2. islam has no place in a civilised developing democracy. No BBL no Islam. renounce the commands of mohammed as a disease.

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