Despite MNLF snubbing in BBL draft, Moro leaders express optimism

SOME Mindanao leaders were in defense and even expressed their optimism despite the recent snubbing by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of its rival Moro group, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

On Monday, July 17, MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim did not mention  MNLF as he acknowledged the different  groups that helped in revising the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a law which seeks to end conflict and poverty in Mindanao.

According to the Manila Times, Datu Yusoph Boyog Mama of Masirikampo sa Marawi (traditional royal ruler of Marawi) said that the MILF and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) are “on the right footing” with the revised BBL draft that reflects the “collective aspirations of the Bangsamoro people” towards achieving their dreams.

The traditional ruler of Marawi believes the MILF is fully aware of the essential role the MNLF played in the revised draft.

“And although there was no personal acknowledgment of the MNLF chairman, I believe he [Murad] is highly cognizant of the important role the MNLF leadership can play through their shared cooperation,” Mama told The Manila Times.

Tawi-Tawi Rep. Ruby Maquiso Sahali said however that there was a short mention of “MNLF brothers and sisters” at the beginning of Murad’s speech but no additional comments followed.

Last week, MILF vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar was quoted to have said they are open to unification deals with the MNLF after the latter revealed its plan to submit their own proposal to the President Rodrigo Duterte.

Meanwhile, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza also announced last week that he does not object  to MNLF’s own BBL draft proposal that could complement with that of the MILF.

However, Dureza, reiterated that no two Bangsamoro government could exist “since both MNLF and MILF belong to one Bangsamoro people in one territory.”

Citing a report by ABS-CBN, the MILF, which is the country’s largest Moro group, has agreed to revisions on the proposed law which seeks to create a new Bangsamoro territory in Mindanao “in an effort to gain support from another rebel faction.” 

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