BIFF-MNLF links ‘pure intrigues’ — police, military intelligence PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 September 2012 14:47

The police and Army’s intelligence communities have brushed aside as “intrigues” the allegations that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) joined in last month’s violent forays in Maguindanao by the bandit Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Not a single MNLF member or leader was listed in the complaint sheet the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed in a local court to prosecute more than a hundred BIFF commanders and their followers that staged the bloody incursions.

“Until now there is no solid evidence showing that the MNLF helped the BIFF perpetrate those attacks. All were just rumors,” said a senior military intelligence officer, who asked not to be identified.

Highly-placed police and intelligence sources said there were indications that it was  “dirty politics” that dragged the MNLF into the controversy.

It is a known fact, according to the sources, that the MNLF has thousands of followers in Maguindanao and can conveniently deliver no fewer than 30,000 votes, in the province alone, for a favored candidate for any provincial, regional or senatorial posts.

There are MNLF leaders that have already been vocal about their plans to run elective positions in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, whose August 8, 2011 regional polls have been deferred and synchronized with next year’s local and senatorial elections through Republic Act 10153.

Sources from the police said investigators and intelligence agents that documented the BIFF-initiated atrocities as basis for a legal action against the group found out that there were political camps that want to malign the MNLF owing to the group’s wielding of considerable influence over thousands of registered voters in the province.

“Maagang naging biktima ng mudslinging ang MNLF. The elections are still even too far away. We cannot discuss any further details because we’re not politicians, we are policemen,” said one the sources, who is a senior police officer in the province.

The chairman of the largest and most politically active faction in the MNLF, Cotabato City Vice-Mayor Muslimin Sema, is to run for mayor here in next year’s local elections.

Army and police sources are convinced, however, that the MNLF’s having been alluded to has having links with the BIFF has nothing to do with Sema’s bid for Cotabato City’s mayoral post in the 2013 elections

“It’s more on the provincial political landscape,” a military officer pointed out.

The source said Sema is known to them for his being diplomatic in dealing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and for his support to Malacañang’s peace overtures with Southern Moro communities.

Members of Sema’s clan are scattered in Maguindanao, some of them incumbent elected officials who are to seek re-election next year.

The MILF’s central committee even promptly removed from its website, www.luwaran.com, an editorial last month about the MNLF’s alleged connivance with the BIFF, after learning was wrongly uploaded, published without any prior verification.