MILF won’t campaign for, endorse any politician PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 April 2013 11:55

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Wednesday said there are candidates trying to woe support to their candidacy for local and national elective positions.

But the MILF’s chief negotiator, Muhaquer Iqbal, said their group is apolitical and will not participate in the May 2013 electoral exercise.

Instead, Iqbal advised candidates for local and national positions must show to voters a good platform on the Mindanao peace process when they campaign around.

Iqbal said the forthcoming synchronized local and senatorial elections, which are to be held simultaneous with the regional polls in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, have a “big bearing” on the Mindanao peace process.

He said politicians aspiring for various local and national positions should make clear to voters in Mindanao how they are to help push the peace process forward if they make it to the positions they are aspiring for.

“Please make it a priority issue during this campaign period,” Iqbal said in an interview Wednesday with Catholic station dxND in Kidapawan City.

Iqbal said a lot of politicians have been wooing the MILF’s support in next month’s synchronized local, ARMM and senatorial elections. He declined to reveal the names of the politicians, however.

It is against the revolutionary policy of the MILF to endorse a candidate for any elective position, according to Iqbal.

Iqbal earlier announced over Catholic station dxMS in Cotabato City that they will not prevent MILF members to freely exercise their right of suffrage during the May polls.

“But it’s really up to them to choose the candidates they want to vote for. We will not dictate on them whom to vote for,” Iqbal said.
Iqbal said candidates can freely roam in areas covered by the 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities between the government and the MILF.

“No one will collect from them `campaign fees’ or any amount as `protection money.’ They can talk to people even in the remotest areas where we have forces,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal said the MILF, through its Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, is ready to help ensure peaceful elections in far-flung areas in towns and provinces covered by the ceasefire accord.

The government and the MILF, under preliminary security agreements, are to mutually coordinate and cooperate in maintaining law and order in flashpoint areas in Mindanao through the joint ceasefire committee.