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De Lima: MILF remains a revolutionary org

AJ Bolando (The Philippine Star) - March 11, 2015 - 1:12pm

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is still a revolutionary organization despite an ongoing peace agreement with the government.

“Up to this point, even if we have a peace process o draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), they remain to be a revolutionary organization,” the secretary explained in her interview with GMA News TV.

De Lima, who is in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, added that the "conflict” between the government and MILF remains because there is only a “cessation of hostility.”

The secretary is leading an ocular inspection that will be used in the DOJ report. She said they are in the encounter site to personally assess the area and to validate the credibility of the witnesses.

“Until mabuo na ang Bangsamoro, hindi pa sila puwedeng ma-consider na subdued na sila sa buong sistema. They are stil al revolutionary group involved in peace talks.”

The DOJ secretary labeled the MILF as “non-state actors within our state” but insisted that they are still liable to any offense and the state should enforce the full force of law.

“Hindi sila exempt sa working ng batas. They are non-state actors within our state. Karapatan ng estado na i-enforce ang batas even against them,” she said.

Echoing Iqbal

The secretary seemed to echo the earlier statement of MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal when he sent a letter to the Senate for his absence in the investigation of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on the death of 44 members of Philippine National Police-Special Action Force.

"While we may have signed the peace agreement with the Philippine government after 18 years of intermittent war and negotiations that peace agreement is yet to be implemented," Iqbal said in the letter dated February 10, 2015.

"Until the peace agreement is fully implemented, we will remain to be a revolutionary organization,” he added.

The statement of Iqbal earned the ire of some legislators including Sen. Bongbong Marcos who said that the state is in war again against the MILF.

"This is alarming, an alarming development that we have returned to war with the MILF. That is worrisome and I hope that the chairman [Iqbal] will find time to come and explain precisely what this language means," Marcos said.

The peace process between the government and MILF was jeopardized after the death of SAF commandos in Mamasapano.

Some legislators withdrew their support for the passage of BBL that aims to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a new Bangsamoro Region.

AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BANGSAMORO REGION BONGBONG MARCOS DE LIMA ECHOING IQBAL IQBAL JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA MILF
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