MILF forms political party, says it’s ready for PHL polls PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 December 2014 13:53

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Wednesday said its political party is now ready to participate in any government electoral process, one thing that the organization did not recognize since its birth.

It officially announced the formation of United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), an MILF political organization that will campaign for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law next year when the enabling act, now pending in Congress, becomes a law and presented to the people in a referendum.

Sammy Al-Mansoor, UBJP secretary general, said UBJP filed documents with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for accreditation after it earned the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to legalize its existence.

“We are calling a gathering of our volunteers to prove that the UBJP is now in business,” Sammy Al-Mansoor, UBJP secretary general, told a news conference Tuesday.

Al-Mansoor said the UBJP will gather about 25,000 volunteers from across Mindanao “to educate them on the country’s electoral system.”

“If we want to sustain this political party, we need to prove that it is really existing that’s why we have this gathering,” Al-Mansoor said of the volunteers who will serve as watchdog of UBJP during the plebiscite in 2015 and the regional elections in the envisioned Bangsamoro government in 2016.

Majority of the volunteers are the younger generation of Bangsamoro because, according to Al-Mansoor, they are the future of the Bangsamoro.

Since its creation, the MILF has never directly participated in the country’s electoral process, describing it as highly divisive and full of electoral fraud.

But after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in March this year, the MILF announced it is forming its own political party as it now subscribed to the Philippine’s democratic process.

Mohaqher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator and chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said in a recent interview that the UBJP has its own vision-mission and will affiliate itself with any national political party.

He admitted that some incumbent politicians allied with other political organizations in the country have expressed desire to be part of UBJP, a party that is “principled.”

Iqbal said anybody within the envisioned territory can be part of the UBJP provided they will subscribe to the party’s vision and mission and all of its policies.

Officials of the Bangsamoro government will be elected by the people in the new political entity. The elected officials will elect from among them a prime minister who leads the Bangsamoro government.

The Bangsamoro government will replace the current ARMM regional government starting with the assumption of the transition commission early next year until officials of the new regional government shall have been elected in 2016.