Govt backs MILF plan to participate in 2016 polls

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The Philippine government on Monday welcomed the plan of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to put up its own political party so that it can participate in the 2016 presidential election.

Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the group needs to set up a new party in preparation for the Bangsamoro establishment in 2016.

“The government welcomes the political plans of the MILF for 2016,” Valte said. “As you all know the road map towards the establishment of the Bangsamoro ends in 2016 and, understandably, the MILF needs to prepare for that.”

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles agreed with Valte, saying the MILF plan “is consistent with the goals of any negotiated political and socio-economic force for continuing change and reform.”


“ It demonstrates the commitment of democratic and inclusive governance in the Bangsamoro,” she added

Government chief negotiator Miriam Ferrer however said the MILF will have “to do it independently.”

“The government will support the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, a mechanism that will enable the MILF to prove its brand of leadership,” she said

“The MILF knows it needs the trust and support of the broader public and a strong political party with a reform agenda can earn them that wider support,” she said.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said a political party is crucial to the establishment of the new Bangsamoro political entity.

“The MILF is a movement and it will stay as a movement,” said Iqbal. “If we want to participate in the running of the Bangsamoro political entity, definitely we will have to organize a political party.”

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