OBSESSED with passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as his administration’s so-called “legacy”, PNoy is whitewashing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) links to known terrorists and terror groups, some of whom have pledged allegiance to the notorious jihadist group ISIS.
According to the ISIS Study Group, a website maintained by retired military personnel from the US Special Forces and the US armed forces’ intelligence community, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia has directed senior National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) officials to “tone down” their assessments on linkages between the MILF and Zulkifli bin Hir aka “Marwan,” the Indonesian terrorist killed by SAF commandos during the Mamasapano raid.
“Our sources within NICA have informed us that Garcia has specifically instructed the organization to avoid airing out the truth that Marwan was receiving direct support from the MILF 105th Base Command (BC) out of fear that it would further erode support for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Furthermore, our sources have reported that Garcia has been personally editing NICA assessments that were to be delivered to PNoy and members of the Philippine Congress,” the group said.
If Garcia has indeed taken to sanitizing the intelligence agency’s reports, it is treason of the highest order. He is compromising national security for the sake of deodorizing the MILF’s image, obviously with the knowledge of and/or at the behest of PNoy.
While the MILF-Central Committee (MILF-CC) might want to forge a peace deal with the Philippine government, the group says they have absolutely no control over the three MILF units that are providing direct support to the terror groups operating in the country: the 102nd, 105th and 118th Base Commands (BC),
This supposedly became more apparent with the recent death of Abdul Basit Usman, the accomplice of Marwan who managed to escape during the Mamasapano raid.
When the killing of Usman was first reported, military sources said he was killed by a military asset who was purportedly recruited from within the group of the alleged terrorist. The asset allegedly managed to recruit two fellow aides to turn against Usman, who was then targeted in an operation. The military later said the asset died with Usman when the MILF tried to collar the terror suspect.
Another version put forward by Armed Forces Chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang was that Usman was killed by his bodyguards who allegedly wanted to claim the $1-million bounty on his head. A week later, the military backtracked on its claim on how Usman was killed.
Echoing the account by MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, the military now says the MILF’s 118th Base Command planned to capture Usman and present him to the group’s Central Committee but he resisted, sparking a firefight that led to his death.
Jaafar claims Usman’s death showed that the MILF was doing its part in maintaining peace and order in areas they controlled as agreed upon in agreements it signed with the government. “Usman’s death is proof that the MILF is sincere in its efforts to strictly abide with the provisions of the ceasefire mechanism,” Jaafar added.
Even though they had nothing to do with it, the MILF’s Central Committee is now exploiting Usman’s death to soften public opposition to the BBL.
“The reason they claimed credit for Usman’s death was to save face after the 25 January 2015 Mamasapano raid that killed Marwan, demonstrate to the [Government of the Philippines] that they’re a viable partner of peace and to further the narrative that they actually control their three ‘problem children’ when in truth they don’t,” the ISIS study group said.
“If it was publicly known that the MILF-CC can’t control the elements within their organization known for providing support to terror groups, then the Philippine Congress and general public would know that the peace deal isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. After all, just how much of a success will the BBL be if the people in charge of the new Bangsamoro government can’t even police themselves?” it added.
While the MILF’s Central Committee supposedly issued an order to its commanders to “expel” terror groups from their territory, the group says this was largely ignored by MILF’s military units. This explains why many terrorists and terrorist organizations are finding a safe haven in MILF enclaves.
In the Sarangani region, the Ansar Khalifa Sarangani (AKS) – a terror group reportedly receiving direct support from Indonesian jihadists – is said to be re-establishing Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)’s training camps. Meanwhile, Singaporean JI operative Lito Ribiyah aka “Muawiyah” is purportedly hiding in the Salvo, Patatin, Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak area controlled by MILF fighters. Muamar Askali, the leader of the radical wing of the Abu Sayyaf Group which pledged allegiance to ISIS, continues to roam freely in the Jolo-Sulu area.
Legalizing the MILF’s control over the “Bangsamoro territory” through the BBL will only make the region a staging ground for terrorism.