Dimaporo, Commander Bravo meet in MILF camp

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LINAMON, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews / 14 January) – “As part of our mandate to bring peace by building relationships, I am happy to announce the successful meeting between Lanao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Abdullah ‘Bobby’ Dimakuta Dimaporo and Hadji Abdullah G. Makapaar alias Commander Bravo, commander of the North Western Mindanao Front of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at Camp Bilal in  Tamparan  of Munai in Lanao del Norte on Sunday January 13, 2019,” Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Presidential Adviser on Peace Process announced  in a press statement Sunday night.

Galvez, who was present at the historic meeting of erstwhile enemies, said both agreed to “work collectively for peace and bring development in the area” and to “set aside their political differences” in the run-up to the plebiscite on RA 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on January 21 and February 6, 2019.

“I was teary eyed that finally Congressman Dimaporo and Comander Bravo met and ended their three decades-long hatred with each other. I am looking forward for a peaceful Mindanao” he said.

Lanao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Abdullah ‘Bobby’ Dimakuta Dimaporo (R) and Abdullah G. Makapaar alias Commander Bravo (L), commander of the Northwestern MIndanao Front of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces meet at the MILF’s Camp Bilal in Munai, Lanao del Norte on Sunday January 13, 2019. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez, Jr., who was present during the meeting, said both agreed to set aside their political differences and work for peace and development. Photo courtesy of Brig. Gen. Thomas Sedano, Jr. of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army

The plebiscite in Lanao del Norte, where six towns that voted for inclusion in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2001 — Balo-i, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal — are proposed for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be held on February 6.

The Dimaporos have been saying they support the Bangsamoro law but would not want to divide Lanao del Norte. The law provides that even if the six towns proposed to be part of the BARMM vote yes, the consent of the voters in the 16 other towns of Lanao del Norte is needed for the six to be part of the BARMM.

The BARMM will replace the 28-year old ARMM upon its ratification in the plebiscite.

Galvez noted that it was the first time the two, whom he described as “blood-related” and “share the same passion to bring peace and development in the area,” met after four decades.

During the meeting, he said, Dimaporo and Bravo talked about the history of their family as their fathers “joined forces and fought the invading Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.”

Brig. Gen. Thomas Sedano Jr., commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Mechanized Brigade, and Butch Malang, chair of the MILF’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, also witnessed the meeting. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)

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