MNLF group eyes SC TRO vs peace deal
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2014 - 4:58pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines -  The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are all set to sign the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) with MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim leading a large delegation in Malacañang.

Meanwhile, several leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are hoping the Supreme Court will  act on their bid to halt the peace deal.

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar said Wednesday the government allotted 400 slots for their members to witness the signing ceremony which will be also attended by representatives of the international community and local stakeholders.

“We’re given a quota of 400 people. We know that the Palace grounds could only accommodate a limited number of people,” he said.

According more would want to personally witness the event but could no longer be included owing to the limited slots.

He said their delegation will be composed of senior members of the central and provincial committees and ground commanders.

It was not, however, clear whether the government has given safe conduct passes to the leaders and members that have pending cases, but want to witness the signing.

Government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said on Tuesday that all is set for the CAB signing ceremony on Thursday.

“There is no turning back. Only moving decisively forward. The peace train is on track. Its design is complete. Most of its elements are in place,” she said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said they are expecting at least 1,000 people to grace the  CAB signing, including foreign dignitaries.

“The eyes of the world are looking at us,” Deles said earlier about the successful conclusion of the peace negotiations as she noted the many challenges and difficult work ahead especially in the implementation of the provisions of the agreements.

Jaafar said during the signing of CAB Thursday, the MILF’s main Camp Darapanan will hold activities with thousands of members and supporters in attendance.

Similar celebratory activities related to the CAB signing will also be held in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the core areas of the proposed Bangsamoro region, he added.

Meanwhile, some MNLF leaders and members hope the Supreme court will act on their petition filed last year seeking to nullify the comprehensive agreement that will be forged between the government and the MILF.

Habib Mujahab Hashim, chair of the MNLF’s Islamic Command Council (ICC), said they have also forwarded their manifestation in support of the petition that was filed before the High Court since December last year which has yet to be acted upon.

“The petition has been there but no action. However, it has not been turned down also. It’s part of our last ditch effort and hopefully the Supreme Court will act in our favor,” Hashim said.

However, Hashim said if they could not get favorable action from the high court they will pursue the case before the United Nations (UN).

“This is just a legal option. Aside from this we have another avenue which is the UN,” Hashim added. 

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