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MILF to form political party for 2016 polls


The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is set to form its political party this year and will likely participate in the 2016 elections, a television report said. 

A report by Ruth Cabal on GMA News TV's State of the Nation on Thursday, MILF chief of information Mohagher Iqbal said the creation of a political party would be necessary in anticipation of the Bangsamoro Region.

The Bangsamoro Region is being eyed to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Both the MILF and government peace panels are aiming for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law before President Benigno Aquino III's term ends in 2016.
 
"The MILF is a movement, it will stay as a movement. If we want to participate in running the affairs of the future Bangsamoro entity, then definitely we will have to organize a political party," Iqbal said in the report.

 
In the same television report, the Philippine Council on Islam and Democracy (PCID) said that the MILF can have more strength in pushing for its advocacies by having its own political party.
 
"You have the vote, you have power, and you can leverage, so you can negotiate," said PCID president Amina Rasul.
 
"Clearly, the MILF cannot go to Congress and negotiate. That is going to weaken them. But if they have a political party, the political party can (negotiate)," she added.

Dirty politics?
 
Meanwhile, the MILF said that if ever it will participate in the 2016 polls, it hopes the elections will be cleaner this time around as it expressed its fears of being cheated.
 
The MILF's observation of the recently-concluded 2013 polls is that there was still dirty politics involved, particularly in the ARMM.
 
"Prevailing pa rin ang three Gs: gold, goons, and guns," said MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, adding allegations of electronic fraud as well.
 
But ARMM governor-elect Mujiv Hataman insisted that there was no cheating in his area. He also asked for the MILF's cooperation to ensure that succeeding polls will be clean too.
 
"Baka puwedeng imbitahan 'yung mga expert planner nila na makibahagi rito, kahit sa ganoon na lang na mag-ambag sila ng kanilang tulong o ideya," Hataman said.

'Victory for the peace process'

Meanwhile, an article posted on MindaNews Monday quoted MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim as saying that the victory of the administration in the elections was a "victory for the peace process" as well.
 
“We’re quite happy that in the results of the election in both local and national level, the administration candidates dominated. So I think there will be no reason for the government not to push through with the processes in the negotiation when they have… majority (in) Congress,” Murad told MindaNews.

Nine candidates from the Liberal Party-led coalition were declared winners in the senatorial race, along with three from the United Nationalist Alliance. — with Gian C. Geronimo/RSJ, GMA News
 
 
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