Ex-MILF child warriors want normal lives

By Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2012 09:29 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2012 06:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Former child warriors of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are hopeful a final peace agreement with the government will finally bring stability to the region.

Walid Rasamal Ander and Abdullah Dilinogon were once featured on the ABS-CBN show “Rated K”.

Ander and Dilinogon are now young men.

They began training with the MILF when they were 9 years old, growing up with real guns, instead of toy guns.

Ander had aspirations of being a lawyer when he was a child to help others settle disputes.

Dilinogon, meanwhile, dreams of being an engineer.

The MILF leadership is now preparing them for life after the peace deal.

“’Yung buhay natin ngayon, nu’ng tayo'y nakikipaglaban sa gubyerno, maaaring magbago’ yung ating pamumuhay,” said Commander Kahar of the MILF’s 116th Brigade.

The two warriors, like many other youth in the Bangsamoro, yearn for a final peace agreement.

And without it, they will continue to hold on to their arms.