MILF declares Umbra Kato a 'bughaat'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2011 01:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 25 2011 04:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is now considering rogue rebel Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato and his companions as “bughaat,” an Arabic term that means “anyone or group who rebel against the ruler or those who do not obey a lawful order or duly organized authority.”

This means that Umbra Kato and his so-called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are no longer members of the MILF, “unless they cease and desist without delay their anti-MILF campaigns and other related activities that are intended to discredit and destruct the entire legitimate leadership of the MILF.”

He was ordered to immediately return to the fold of the MILF.

Umbra Kato is considered a threat by many to the ongoing peace process between the secessionist group and the government.

Government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen earlier called on the MILF to clarify the status of Umbra Kato.

The MILF central committee took into consideration the decision of the Assembly of the Ulama, or the learned of the Islam, which already declared the rogue rebel and the BIFF as “bughaat” as early as June 27.

The central committee came out with a decision on July 5. This was only signed by MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim on August 18.

The Assembly of the Ulama will again meet not later than 10 days after the end of Ramadan, celebrated on August 30, “to decide what is the best option in order to preserve the brotherhood, unity, solidarity, cooperation and dignity of the leadership and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the preservation and maintenance of its unified political leadership and military command.”

The central committee, which is the MILF’s highest policy making body, also resolved to closely monitor the “reaction and compliance” of Umbra Kato.