MILF names Von Al Haq as new military spokesperson

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/24 May) — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has named Von Al Haq, former head of the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities and presently a senior member of the General Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, as military spokesperson vice Eid Kabalu.

Kabalu was suspended for six months starting April 12 for serious breach of the  MILF’s. “hands-off” policy on Philippine elections.

Al Haq will take on his functions effective May 26, a press statement from the MILF Central Committee’s Information chair said.

The MILF had earlier described the electoral system in the Philippines as “divisive, intrigue-laden, source of corruption, and is not the correct way to choose the best leaders of the community. Only people with money, goons, and guns win in these elections.”

The press statement noted that Al Haq is “a veteran fighter since 1972” and widely travelled, too, having gone to Nepal, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia.

“Aside from military training, he had undergone other trainings that made him one of the most experienced military officers of the BIAF/MILF,” the press statement read.

As military spokesperson, Al Haq is “only authorized to speak on military matters particularly operational or tactical, but is largely restricted to deal on policies of the MILF including substantive issues related to the GRP-MILF peace process.”

For the MILF Central Committee, the chair of the information committee remains to be its spokesperson “but the Central Committee can designate anyone from its ranks or even from without in case there is a need for it at a given time.”

The MILF’s Central Committee suspended civil-military affairs chief Kabalu after he met with and signed as witness to a covenant entered into by Bangon Pilipinas Party headed by standard-bearer Brother Eddie Villanueva and running mate Perfecto Yasay.

Kabalu’s act, the MILF said, “seriously violated the policy of the MILF on its leaders not to take part in the electoral processes of the Philippine government.”

“More seriously, you have also breached the official position of the MILF not to subscribe to the Philippine Constitution to solve in its negotiations with the age-old Moro Question and armed conflict in Mindanao,” Kabalu was told in a memorandum signed by Sammy Al-Mansoor, BIAF chief.

The MILF noted that Bangon Pilipinas covenant outlines, among others, that “the autonomy of Mindanao will be pursued giving Mindanao its right to self-determination within the framework of the constitution” with the party committing to revise the system of government to federal form.

The MILF also said that apart from meeting Villanueva and Yasay, Kabalu also met with local and senatorial candidates.

Al Haq chaired the MILF CCCH when then Brig. Gen. Edgardo Gurrea was chief of the government’s CCCH. (MindaNews)

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