MILF running circles around government | Inquirer Opinion

MILF running circles around government

12:01 AM February 26, 2015

Sen. Chiz Escudero made sense when he urged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to “clear (its) territory of terrorists” even before the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed (“MILF told: Clear your territory of terrorists,” News, 2/15/15). The MILF must first prove its worth, sincerity and capability to keep peace and order in its sphere of influence. If it is powerless and incapable of wiping out the lawless elements under its nose, what the heck is the Philippine government feverishly pushing the BBL passage for?

The fact of the matter is, no one believes anything that comes out of the mouth of any MILF spokesperson. Only the government negotiators are being incredibly naïve to think those Moro rebels can be trusted. Justifying the presence of Islamic terrorists in their midst as just “flirtations” to be expected from rebels, our peacemakers were falling over themselves in trying to skirt the issue of whether or not the MILF is determined to work for genuine peace. It was, to say the least, the height of callousness and irresponsibility! Such stupid comment only added salt to the very deep wounds right in the hearts of the Fallen 44’s “orphans”! Are they that desperate to have that BBL signed—at any cost and for a credit-grab?

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The MILF leaders have always been running circles around the demand by the government to surrender murderers in their midst. Many times, they have put it bluntly: How can we do that? They are relatives and friends of our own “freedom fighters”! So there you have it. What part of that in-your-face retort did our peace panel not understand? In truth, there is no such dichotomy. It is impossible to tell one from the other. Banditry has always been part of their rebellion: How else could they have raised funds to sustain their “cause” for decades without the ransoms from their kidnapping business? Foreign funds from states sponsoring Islamic extremism are being cornered by terrorist groups gone global. Local groups have to rely on their own resources and resourcefulness.

If approved, the BBL will be allotting tens of billions of our tax monies yearly to the MILF to run its “business” autonomously. Are you sh–ting me? How lucky could they be, parang ginigisa na tayo sa sariling mantika (it’s like frying us in our very own oil).

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The choices are hard but the government has simply got to make one! The MILF must, as a conditio sine qua non, demonstrate its good faith; otherwise, let’s flush the BBL draft down the toilet where it belongs!

—ROMANO MORANO MONTENEGRO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, Chiz Escudero, Moro Islamic Liberation Front
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