• MILF must categorically condemn ISIS now

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    The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) must immediately condemn in the strongest terms the horrific atrocities of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

    If it doesn’t, Congress is morally required to immediately stop considering the bill for the Bangsamoro Basic Law that would create a sub-state under the MILF’s complete control.

    How can we, as a nation, negotiate terms with an armed, militant Islamic organization that doesn’t see anything wrong with the ISIS, and doesn’t publicly condemn their crimes against humanity?

    Is the MILF thinking that it cannot afford to antagonize the ISIS – which has huge resources, financially and militarily – in case it may have to ask the international Islamic armed group for help if the Philippine Republic doesn’t give in to its demand for a Bangsamoro (Malay for “Moro nation-state”) statehood?

    The civilized world has been one in condemning the ISIS atrocities – beheadings of civilians including children and women, mass executions of captives, rape and mutilation of women. ISIS in its perverted thinking has been even boasting of these horrific deeds, disseminating videos and photos of their acts of depravations on the internet.

    Jihadists in Mindanao, jihadists in Iraq

    Jihadists in Mindanao, jihadists in Iraq

    Even Muslim countries in the Middle East – among them Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates – have joined the US-led coalition in waging war against the ISIS. The UAE has even humiliated the misogynist ISIS by telling the world that it was a female pilot who led the first air strike mission against the jihadists’ positions.

    Unthinking media reports claimed that the MILF vowed “to block the spread of the Islamic State ‘virus’” in the country. That is total hogwash. The MILF’s only reference to the ISIS was in the editorial on its website luwaran.com dated August 23-31, which tried to debunk reports – including a claim by former President Fidel V. Ramos – that the guerillas of the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement have gone to Syria and Iraq to join the ISIS.

    MILF never condemned ISIS
    What was the MILF comment on this? The following, which is hardly critical of the ISIS:

    • The number of Abu Sayaff and BIFM “is too tiny to be felt and make a difference. The ISIS is overflowing with volunteers from all over the world, including those from the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia.”

    • The MILF likens the ISIS to the medieval Christian crusades: “The ISIS, we suppose, is not short of people who are like those Europeans who joined the Crusades in the 13th century to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, who were described as ‘infidels’ by Christendom.”

    The portrayal by some media reports of the MILF condemning the ISIS is merely what you could call a generic condemnation, and even this was buried in a de facto apologia for ISIS, and we quote that luwaran.com editorial:

    “The MILF condemns barbarism and savagery whether done by other groups including the ISIS or even by its own members. Nor are we justifying the advent of the ISIS. That is not for the MILF to dip our fingers into.

    But it is a fact that the Arab countries suffered humiliatingly from the evil machinations of Western Countries. Iraq was invaded to get rid of a dictator, Saddam Hussein, and to seize his nuclear weapons, which were not there. Nobody cried for the ouster and death of Saddam. But the real reasons for the invasion were concealed, i.e., to seize control of the Iraqi oil and as a protection for Israel, which is the spoiled brat of the Western world.

    What did the Iraqis get in return? Nothing but bloodshed, destruction, anarchism. Who are at fault? The one that created the troubles now or those who planted the seeds of enmity and violence? The answer is, both, but who is the main culprit?”

    Sadly, our negotiators with the MILF are acting as the rebel group’s spokesmen, assuming that it is against the ISIS. Chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said: “It is very unlikely that there are actually people from Mindanao (joining the ISIS). There is a bigger risk that some overseas Filipino workers in Syria or Iraq got entangled with the ISIS, dahil nandun na sila (because they were already there). But coming from Mindanao pupunta sa Syria or Iraq para sumali (to go to Syria or Iraq to join? We don’t have any clear evidence to show that.”

    Coronel is so ignorant: There is a de facto expressway from Muslim Mindanao to the Middle East, because of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which is required of followers of Islam.

    Coronel is blind to the history of the MILF. Compared to other Islamic groups, even its main rival the Moro National Liberation Front, the MILF has had the closest links to the global jihadist movement since its formation in 1976 when it broke off from the MNLF. It wasn’t the MNLF or the Abu Sayaff who sent their guerillas to Afghanistan to join the Taliban mujahideens to fight the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It was the MILF, whose officer corps today is made up of veterans who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    MILF’s international links
    In contrast to MNLF head Misuari, whose international network had been limited to Gadafi’s Libya, those of the MILF’s former head Hashim Salamat and now chairman Ibrahim Murad, as well as the vice chairman Ghazali Jaafara, have been broader, from Malaysian government authorities to Asean-wide jihadist groups to Salamat’s classmates in his Islamic studies in Egypt.

    The Aquino government, his negotiators and Congress are burying their heads in the sand, and endangering our national security if they aren’t taking seriously the implications of recent developments that indicate ISIS has been gathering adherents in our part of the world:

    The “Islamic State ‘brand’ gains ground among Asian militants,” the respected British news service Reuters reported last week. “In Asia, thousands have sworn oaths of loyalty to the Islamic State as local militant groups capitalize on a brand that has been fueled by violent online videos and calls to jihad through social media, security analysts say. Security officials say this has disturbing implications for the region, especially when battle-hardened fighters return home from the Middle East.”

    The Chinese TV network CCTV.com reported: “A video is doing the rounds which shows members of the Abu Sayyaf pledging allegiance to the ISIS. Another armed group in the Southern Philippines, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, has offered its support to ISIS. A few other clips of Filipino Muslims vowing loyalty to ISIS – including one supposedly shot inside a high security prison – have been making the rounds on the Internet. There are reports that about a hundred young Filipino Muslims have joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, two of whom were allegedly killed in battle.”

    With all the categorical support for the ISIS announced by militant Muslims here, and with reports that they have even sent their volunteers to Syria to fight, why isn’t the MILF condemning the ISIS?

    Are we going to give this armed organization, which most probably secretly supports the ISIS, even only in theory, 10 percent of Philippine territory for them to rule?

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    FB: Rigoberto Tiglao

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    16 Comments

    1. Fact is, in the intricacies of the web of espionage, our country is always mentioned or written down as one of the hiding places of muslim extremists, and in fact is being on the watch by the m16 and the cia. Our country has a region that supports this group and it is known that bin laden was there at some point in the past. he built schools and I am in no doubt that these schools are used not only for educating muslim kids but to train muslims who are converted for higher training and secret missions. The training could also be a major brain washing. The fact that the government was in denial about the 100 pinoys who joined ISIS instead of closely investigating, is a comedy! They will wake up one day too late to realize. Intelligence work is very important and should not be taken for granted. When I saw the pinoy holding a machete proud to state that he will behead the german captive, does he think we should be proud of him as a countryman? Or he is just thinking of the 72 (is it 74? virgins). Our government has to do something to stop the brainwashing.

    2. Butch is right..
      ..in the eyes of all Muslim we are all INFIDELS.Giving Mindanao to have their own state .This nation will expedite the Armagedon.

    3. Well, my fellow brothers you ones again right! This moro biz has been around even before the birth of Christ or Mindanao being part of the Philipines or the archipelago. The moros or we call them muklo will not or refuse to change for the benefit of the christians but vice versa we are willing to work with them. They have been trying to culminate the entire world into converting them to muklo nation. Let’s not forget my brothers they are the enemy no matter what part of the world you live in unless they’re willing to share it with all the other religions. We are want peace but not a piece of everyones birth right. Such a word they coined as infidels while we call them brothers. If we give in to their so called wish which I find it rather a demand in exchange for the fish in the ocean. We might as well arm all our citizen for we are about to enter chaos. While our government continue to ransack the Central Bank, they will continue to arm themselves with nukes. Then, we will all live happily ever after meeting our creater and saviour. God save us and blessed are the meek for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

    4. We are fighting among ourselves. We refuse to recognise the “elephant in the room”
      This elephant has ordered the Aquino govt to back the creation of a muslim state within the Philippines. This elephant was responsible for the PCOS-Election of BSA against the real will of the people.
      The same elephant is also trying to carve a state in Southern Thailand. The same elephant tried to do the same in Aceh, Indonesia. Their ultimate aim is to have real Military base in Southeast Asia. Thats why the actions of BSA and its negotiators is counter-intuitive. They seem to be oblivious to the threats as seen from the outside.

      That’s because they are head over heels deep into the kimchi of the elephants dung logic.

      That elephant is the United States of America.

      Take a minute to digest this. Remember no country in the world can resist them (except for a few). Even the Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE etc are their lackeys. Remember the US 6th Fleet is based in Bahrein – a muslim country. The Saudis condone the biggest US Air Base in the ME. Do not be deluded that the US can not make a deal with the muslims.

    5. It is unbelievable that this administration gave all of MILF demand. These guys (MILF) are stooges of Malaysia. If they don’t condemn ISIS then they are ISIS. Right Mr. Tiglao.

    6. Mr. Tiglao tama ka sa iyong mga pinahayag. Nakalulungkot, na mayroon
      tayong Presidente sa ngayon na may sariling paniniwala na napakalayo
      sa realidad at sa kototohanan. Maliwanag na ang kaniyang sinusulong
      na Bangsa ng Moro ay umpisa ng pagkakahiwahiwalay at pagkakahati-hati
      ng Bangsa. Malinaw na hindi ginamitan ng tamang Pagiisip ang kanilang
      ginawa. Nakakapagtaka na nagpahayag pa ang Pang-gulo ng pakikisim
      patya sa mga bansa na nagtulong tulong para Lumaban sa ISIS terrorism,
      at nagpahiwatig pa na handa raw ang Phil. na magpadala ng tulong para
      sa paglaban sa terrorista, gayong dito sa sariling bansa niya, hayagang
      pagkakanulo at pagkatig sa mga bandido ang kaniyang ginawa, para
      ibigay sa mga bandido ang parte ng soberinidad ng bansa sa mga tiwaling
      kaaway na kumitil at namugot sa mga bagong bayaning sundalo ng bansa.
      Sa kaniyang mga nakalipas na pahayag na pagtulong sa mga bansang
      lalaban sa Isis, samantalang dito sa sarili niyang bansa ipinagyayabang
      pa at pinapabilis ang paghahati ng Mindanao para mapagbigyan lang
      ang mga bandidong Muslim, kitang kita kung gaano ka abnormal ang
      LUSAW na pagiisip ng ating Pinuno.

    7. Condemn in the strongest possible term? And ISIS will be staggered to know that the MILF is now watching and disapproving?
      Tiglao is an old-school thinker who believes his column or newspaper makes an impact. My God! How many condemnations in the strongest term have been hurled by the NUJP and NPC when a reporter/journalist/broadcaster is murdered? How many killers are now in jail? We are speaking of ill-paid killers here. And we expect result against the ISIS from the condemnation of the MILF?
      Tiglao should be thankful he has a patron at Manila Times who thinks he is great shakes. Intelligent writers have long abandoned the “Condemn in the strongest possible term” method of thinking. Reporters who submitted such garbage when I was at the helm of a daily tabloid (with considerably more circulation than The Manila Times) got their second circumcision and eventually surpassed such inane methodology. Research is not a substitute for original thinking. Being a lackey does not give license to arrogance and illusion of ability. instead a lackey should be humble and try hard to be kind to those around him who earned their positions through sweat and ability, not by sycophancy or by connection.
      It’s not enough you got elevated as grand lackey during the corrupt Macapagal regime? Now we must pretend that you pretenders have been really educated of reason and ethics? That, I condemn in the strongest possible term — with as much staggering effect as the past statements from NUJP, human rights groups, and other impotent thinkers.

    8. ” International solidarity” was the concept which united anti-Western states and organizations during the Cold War. Under this principle, Moscow, Hanoi, Havana and other like-minded states opened their doors for ideological studies and military training s to third world militants who aspired to topple their own governments. In addition, these states militarily deployed their paramilitary units to actually participate in military actions: Palestnians being trained in Hanoi as “scholars”, Cuba sending troops to Angola as ” military advisers”, Moscow invading and ruling Afghanistan from 1979 onward, etc. That was then. The underpinning was ideological. NOW, the principle that undergirds ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al Nusra, Jemaa Islamiya, Abu Sayyaf etc is religious, specifically the concept of JIHAD. While the Quraan specifies only five pillars of Islam – profession of faith, praying five times a day, zakat, haj,and munificence – jihad has virtually become a sixth pillar. Any act or thought which is along the “way of Allah” or “fi sabilillahi”, is jihad. And nothing translates this most dramatically than military jihad despite attempts by misguided and self- deceived Western writers to give jihad a more
      benign translation as “holy war”. In the Philippine context, Abdul Rajak Janjalani, while a Philippine government scholar in Libya and Saudi Arabia, spent time in Afganistan definitely not as a tourist. When he returned to Jolo, he founded the Abu Sayyaf while roaming around the Jolo-Basilan area as a “preacher”. The rest is history. Therefore, it will not be surprising if there will be some MILF and Abu Sayyaf elements working hand- in – hand with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. As a matter of fact, it is a religious obligation on their part to become involved in this international religious jihad. Most especially because they – ISIS, MILF and Abu Sayyaf- share the same goal: establishment of an Islamist state.

    9. Leodegardo Pruna on

      It is just too bad that the chief negotiator is out not to ensure a peaceful Philippines but rather to bring herself and deles the popularity both are needing in the political arena. God bless the Philippines.

    10. Bonifacio Claudio on

      If the moros could make the Phil gov’t bow to their wishes, wait till they have their own state to run by themselves as “moros”. The Bangsamoro would be the “Israel” of the entire Phil Islands, in that it would cease to be a part, as it would consequently & eventualy be a separate independent state inside the Philippine territrory of Mindanao. It won’t be long when Bangsamoro would have its own airspace for all musulmans all over the world to freely come & ‘visit’ a friendly base for the emerging world caliphate. The Pnoy pushers are blinded to the stark reality of the signs of the times about the raison d’être of armed Islam in Mindanao. The Pnoy gov’t is setting a precedence for the rest of the nation’s ethnic groups to armed rebellion to attain a “statehood” similar to that of the “Bangsa ng mga Moro” & yet would just “store & padlock” their bloody weapons in their own Bangsamoro dêpot & assign themselves as “safekeepers” of the keys because only the moros have a say regarding the affairs of the moros. Musalmans all over the world are “brothers” in Islam; and you know what that means in the pursuit of the goals of the caliphate. God bless the Philippines…

    11. It’s horses for courses, this business of the Bansamoro at this time should should be held in abeyance until the business with the ISIS is resolved, in fairness to the majority of Filipinos. Why is Coronel and Ferrer in such a rush? What’s in for them? Only fools rush in!!! These are dangerous times the Country and the world is in dire trouble why add salt to injury?? That Hyat 10 group are all for themselves mga sip sip kI Abnoy. STOP THIS INSANITY NOW!!! Why cater to 10,000 Moros, and abandon the interest of millions? Put your foot down countrymen, in the eyes of the MNLF WE ARE ALL INFIDELS ANYHOW. After these idiotic administration things will change.

    12. Mr Tiglao is absolutely right,Coronel is blind.She can’t see (or pretend not to see).Definitely MILF has link with ISIS and i believe tens of Muslim Filipinos are already in Middle East (Syria) fighting d so called Jihad war…..

    13. Horacio B. Freires on

      We should avoid the experience of India thru Mahatma Ghandi’s grand error. . giving land to the muslims becoming Pakistan. . Now nuclear missiles are pointed to New Delhi. . and so follows India. . .There is peace but in an athmosphere of FEAR. . We have no nuclear missiles to point to that 10% of land to be controlled by islamists here under the BBL. . People might cut the head of Pnoy if he does that ..& massacre the entire Liberal Party members