Iqbal: Don’t blame MILF

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FRIENDLY HUG Mohagher Iqbal, the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (center), hugs acting Philippine National Police chief Leonardo Espina at the Senate as Interior Secretary Mar Roxas looks on. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

FRIENDLY HUG
Mohagher Iqbal, the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (center), hugs acting Philippine National Police chief Leonardo Espina at the Senate as Interior Secretary Mar Roxas looks on. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should not get all the blame for the deaths of the 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, because there were other groups present in the area when the policemen came under attack, Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), said.

Iqbal, who finally attended on Thursday the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano tragedy, said the MILF is conducting its own investigation to determine if any of its members violated the rules of conduct.

He pointed out that the SAF members also clashed with other armed men belonging to different groups, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), local militias and private armed groups.

“The delicate task of finding out who did what, especially the reported atrocities, cannot be immediately blamed on the MILF. That would be unfair. We need to investigate,” Iqbal said.


The MILF, he added, also supports the call for the creation of a truly independent group that will conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the incident.

At the same time, the MILF official denied claims that the organization is conniving with the BIFF.

“We are committed to peace. We have been in negotiations with the Philippine government for 17 years. Each of the agreements we signed with the Philippine government is testament to our commitment to pursue our objectives though peaceful means,” he said.

The MILF leader expressed hopes that the Mamasapano incident will not derail the peace process.

“While we cannot change the past, we can do something about the future. We can work together to make sure that something like this will not happen again,” he said.

Iqbal added that his group is against all forms of terrorism.

He denied harboring terrorists or conniving with the BIFF.

“To tag the MILF as a terrorist group is unfair,” Iqbal said.

He added that they rescued 28 SAF commandos who took part in the mission to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.

According to Iqbal, the SAF commandos were holed up in an area one kilometer northeast of Tukanalipao village in Mamasapano while being fired upon by unidentified armed men.
“The 28 SAF [men]are alive today because of the efforts of the MILF and finally, it is the will of God,” he said.

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4 Comments

  1. I congratulate Mr. Iqhbal for being a statesman during the senate hearing last Feb. 12. He answered the senator’s question point by point.Tama naman po si. MR. IQBAL ng sinabi nya huwag naman ninyo e blamed ang nangyari sa fallen 44. We do sympathized with their untimely death. We condole with their love ones who were left behind. Unang una sino ba ang pumasok sa lugar ng MILF alam nila thousand of fire arms scattered in the area. Wala naman magawa ang mga SAP commandos because they are good soldiers who follow orders. Ang sabi ni Sen. Santiago Kay P/Gen. Purisima, kung hindi nakialam buhay pa sana ang mga 44 SAP police. Blame in on the one who planned Oplan. Kung sumunod lang sila sa protocol, respected the peace agreement on cessation of hostilities, sana nangyari ang fallen 44. Mr. Bill, mang Karpio, kung may papasok tao hindi mo kilala sa bahay mo ng hating Gabi fully armed to the teeth. ANO ANG GAGAWIN MO?

  2. Hug of the devil.MILF doesnt reperesent the people of Mindanao only their uncivilize criminal organization.

  3. How convenient Mr. Iqbal to call out unfair to MILF. MILF, MNLF, BIFF and SHIT are all the same body of terrorist & murderers. Cut the crap and take it like a man until you give up those killers then let the people decide if your faction has no hand or guilt in it. Your group already said that they were not aware of any terrorist Marwan who has been teaching bomb making 101 to your members. Don’t be scared at least you are alive and those 44 SAF are all dead who cannot come back to collect the debt you owe them. Para kang si Hudas me yakap ka pa! Humalik ka rin ba Mr. Iqbal? What a shame? Puro yabang wala naman palang balls of steel. Mr. Iqbal should go down with the rest of those moro(n)s.