MILF to form political party-Chairman Murad

  • Saturday, May 25 2013
  • Written by  Arland Abubakkar


The midterm election in the country was over with reports of machine malfunctions, absence of signal, failure of transmission, etc. New faces, inexperienced and underdogs emerged as winners. Many old faces and political kingpins succumbed to the will of the people.

Political assassinations and ambuscades prior and during the election were also reported. Perhaps, this situation happens only in the country. It was a political exercise dominated by guns, gold and goons (3 G’s) unlike in other democracies.

The results of the exercise clearly indicate that politics in the country is not a monopoly of the incumbents. The cities of Davao, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay and General Santos, all in Mindanao are now in new hands. Zamboanga City newly-elected mayor is a daughter of former Senator and Mayor Cesar Climaco, a staunch critic of Marcos dictatorship who was assassinated by unknown assailants. While the Dutertes and Nograles continue to reign in Davao City. Davao del Sur patriarch Dodong Cagas was defeated by his rival for the gubernatorial post. The Jalosjos family was also routed in Zamboanga Sibugay. Maguindanao and Cotabato City are still in the hands of the incumbents. 

In an interview held at Camp Darapanan. Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last Friday afternoon, May 17, MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad told Carolyn Arguillas of MindaNews in mixed English and Pilipino that the MILF will start building a political party “within this year” in preparation for the 2016 elections when the first set of officials of the Bangsamoro is expected to be elected. “Within this year, we will start already (setting up the political party).”

Murad said they will form a political party because “we want to maintain the status of the MILF as an Islamic organization and the political party will be the arm of the MILF for the political process.”Murad also said they have yet to name the party but it will definitely contain the word “Bangsamoro.”

With President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s Liberal Party dominating the senatorial race (9-3), Chairman Al Haj Murad, said earlier in the same interview that, “The victory of the President’s party in last week’s elections is a victory for the peace process”.

The Philippine government (GPH) and MILF peace panels signed on October 15 last year the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). After the elections, they are supposed to complete the annexes on Wealth-sharing, Power-sharing and Normalization, to complete the comprehensive peace pact for the establishment of the Bangsamoro, the new autonomous political entity that would replace the 23-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Murad acknowledged that in last week’s election, “nag dominate pa rin ang 3Gs (Guns, gold and goons also dominated last week’s election). But he said he is confident that in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, “we can at least gradually change the system because unless you change the system, we do not see a future for the electoral process because we observed that the 3Gs still dominate.”

The MILF is going to face two electoral processes between now and 2016: the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the election of the first set of officials of the “Bangsamoro”

political entity in the May 2016 elections. This year’s polls served as a preview to the plebiscite and the May 2016 polls with many MILF members voting for the first time. While not citing figures, Murad acknowledged “marami” (many) registered in the general re-registration in the ARMM last year, MindaNews reported.

“In preparation for this year’s election?” MindaNews asked.

“Actually it’s not for this election. The preparation is actually for the plebiscite. We encouraged them to register in preparation for the plebiscite,” Murad said.

Murad is pleased that the peace process was carried as an election issue by candidates from both the administration and the opposition. He expressed confidence that the Bangsamoro Basic Law that would be crafted by the Transition Commission would pass smoothly in Congress.

“Well that is our expectation but you know the politics in the Philippines …But we are really banking on the statement of the elected officials expressing their support to the Framework Agreement and also the President’s”, Chairman Murad further said

In a latest development, President Aquino turned down a proposal by COMELEC to hold the Barangay Elections in October 2014 or January 2015.

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