MNLF gripes on MILF’s mysterious assertions on MNLF-BIFM links PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:26

The Moro National Liberation cautioned on Tuesday the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on the far-reaching implications of its persistent insinuation that the MNLF aided the group of bandit gang leader Ameril Umra Kato in its violent incursions in five Maguindanao towns early this month.
The MNLF signed on Sept. 2, 1996 a final peace pact with the national government, which paved the way for the integration of some 10,000 former guerrillas into the Armed Forces and the police.
The truce also ushered in the assimilation into the political mainstream of several MNLF leaders, some of them now actively involved in local governance and in helping manage the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as members of the ARMM cabinet and the 27-seat Regional Assembly,

“Those imputations, obviously not supported by evidence, are not good for the Bangsamoro people, to where these two fronts belong,” the general secretariat of the largest of three factions in the MNLF said in a statement.

The largest of the three MNLF groups also pointed out that it cannot comprehend why the MILF has dragged the MNLF into the “dirty foray” instigated by Kato’s Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM).

The MNLF said the issue of its alleged “cooperation” with the BIFM cropped after an unnamed MILF source revealed to reporters that certain politicians, among them Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, were aiding the bandit group.

Mangudadatu has denied having any link with the BIFM and even branded as “unfounded and an absolute fiction” an August 11 published report (not by the Daily Zamboanga Timesr) purporting he is coddling the criminal gang for political objectives.

Mangudadatu said he is even ready to shell out a reward in exchange for information that would led to the arrest of all members of the BIFM’s top leadership core, including Kato and his spokesman, Abu Misry Mama, for them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of law.

The MNLF said such assertions also came at a time while it was trying to reaffirm, through regular press communiqués, its religious compliance with its final peace pact with the national government, even assuring it will not be a stumbling block to a successful conclusion of the now 14-year GPH-MILF talks.

The issue surfaced after peace activists, some of them involved in foreign-funded peace-building projects complementing President Aquino’s Mindanao peace process expressed apprehensions on possible serious ramifications of President Aquino’s signing of a final peace accord with the MILF, while the tripartite review of the GPH-MNLF peace accord is still underway.

“It is not a wise move on the part of the MNLF to cooperate with the BIFM/BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters),” the MILF said in an article posted on its website

The three-way effort, which involves representatives of the Aquino administration, the MNLF, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is to enhance the weak provisions of the peace agreement and to resolve misunderstandings on the implementation of some of its sensitive provisions.

The MNLF earlier said a total of “42 consensus points” have already been reached by the three parties, mostly all parallel, or “synonymous” with what the GPH and MILF panels have agreed on wealth-and-power sharing, management of natural resources in Moro-dominated areas, education, regional security, and the setting up of a more politically and administratively empowered self-governing Southern autonomous government.

“What logic is there in helping the BIFM perpetrate violent attacks in Maguindanao when we in the MNLF are busy strengthening our peace agreement with the national government through a peaceful tripartite initiative? That would be too counter-productive,” the MNLF said.

The MNLF said it is “not at war with the MILF” and that most of its members in Maguindanao are now peacefully thriving as farmers in their government-acknowledged camps and in 3,000-hectare enclave in Bago Inged in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, where they are operating a newly-established rubber tree seedling facility and orchard plantations.