Gov’t open to receiving help from MNLF, MILF

By: Inquirer.net May 29,2017 - 09:26 PM

Muslim children gather to call for lasting peace in Mindanao before highnoon prayers at the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila.
/Inquirer photo

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday said there is nothing wrong with President Rodrigo Duterte’s willingness to accept help from members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in fighting terrorists like the Maute group.

Duterte on Saturday told soldiers that MNLF founder Nur Misuari sent him a letter offering help in going after the Maute group, which attacked and burned down parts of Marawi City.

AFP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla told Palace reporters that the President’s latest statement reflects his earlier calls for unity.

“So we have been successfully a partner of the peace process in regard to the MNLF and the CPLA (Cordillera People’s Liberation Army) and in the peace process was an integration mechanism of former fighters of the MNLF and the CPLA into the Armed Forces,” Padilla said.

“If such a mechanism is employed for the benefit of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) once we are done with our talks, then so be it, because these are all welcome developments that we have been doing with the two previous talks that we have had with the MNLF and the CPLA,” he explained.

The MILF is currently pursuing peace negotiations with the Philippine government. Included in the earlier approved agreement of the two parties is a provision for the laying down of arms of MILF members and their possible integration into the military.

Padilla said it is not a new concept and that he encourages former enemies to join forces with the government and the Filipino people.

He said many of the former MILF fighters who eventually joined the military sacrificed their lives to protect their towns and military units.

He said one such hero was a Muslim soldier killed by a sniper of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a breakaway group of the MILF.

Padilla said Misuari’s offer is “an example of rising above self-interest to close ranks against a brutal foreign enemy – the ISIS – which is both anti-Islam and anti-Filipino and, thirdly, anti-humanity.”

“So we appreciate that. It all depends now between the AFP and the MN how to best operationalize the offer,” he said.

The MNLF first struck a peace agreement with the government in 1996. However, Misuari later questioned the negotiations between the government and the MILF, among other things. The faction of the group led by Misuari attacked Zamboanga City in 2013. Misuari has a pending arrest warrant because of the siege but it has been suspended to allow him to hold talks for the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement. /Inquirer.net

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: (MNLF), help, MILF, open, receiving

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.