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MILF must first prove sincerity by eradicating ASG

12:01 AM April 12, 2016

THE APRIL 2 editorial (“More banditry”) brought to the fore once more the menace the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has been foisting upon this country. Why this ragtag group of only about 300 kidnap-for-ransom bandits cannot be obliterated by an Army of about 90,000 soldiers is a really frustrating wonder.

One reason given was that most ASG members were relatives of their counterparts in the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) which in the past had signed a “peace agreement” with the government, which paved the way for the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, with MNLF founder and head Nur Misuari its governor at one time. Reportedly, some MNLF members protected those bandits and the government was totally helpless in bringing them to justice.

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Then enter the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which took over the “rebellious role” the MNLF used to play, as the former played a new role in the peace charade. Like the MNLF, the MILF also admitted that many of its members have relatives in the ASG. There is hardly any doubt that the MILF is also protecting those bandits who live in territories the MILF controls. Is it ever any wonder why the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law is going nowhere in Congress?

Through the proposed law, the MILF seeks to exercise exclusive authority to control and govern most of Mindanao in lieu of the disgraced and corrupt MNLF. It is another joke foisted upon all of us! Outside of the government “peace panel” that steadfastly entertains the delusion that only the MILF can bring about peace in the south, everyone else wants that rebel group to first prove its sincerity by putting the kibosh on the banditry of the ASG once and for all. Alas, this is asking for the moon!

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—MARIA MARGARITA AYTONA, [email protected]

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TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, ARMM, ASG, BBL, letter, MILF, MNLF, opinion, terrorist
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