15 ex-MILF, MNLF members finish college

By Raiza Dapilin, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Mar 21 2015 01:45 AM | Updated as of Mar 21 2015 10:00 AM

BASILAN – Fifteen former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have graduated from the Basilan State College Tipo-Tipo Extension.

The former MILF and MNLF members were among the 68 pioneer graduates of BSC-Tipo-Tipo Extension, which offers degrees in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies.

One of the former rebels is 71-year-old Ustadz Madar Cabulot, who said that it is never too late to learn.

One former commander of the MNLF, Bonnie Salih, shared the same sentiment and added that he wanted to be a role model to out-of-school youth.

He said education played a big part in his reformation.

Former representative of the lone district of Basilan, Gerry Salapuddin, congratulated the pioneer graduates and extended his special applause to his former colleagues back when he was still a member of the MNLF.

Salapuddin said that as one former rebel, education must be a priority. He spearheaded the construction of a college facility in the province, which was later named the Basilan State College.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Tipo-Tipo, Ingatun Lukman Istarul, said he wants others to see the bright side in the area, and that it is not always about war, but children and adults living in harmony with the advocacy on education as a key to success and peace.