MILF chair vows to respect Bangsamoro plebiscite outcome

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2019 04:07 PM


MANILA - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will "respect" the outcome of the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the group's chairman said Thursday, downplaying a threat issued by one of his commanders against a city mayor who opposes the measure.

A video of MILF Commander Wahid Tondok was made public after he allegedly told Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani that "blood would be shed" should she insist on not joining the Bangsamoro entity envisioned in the law.

"We will respect whatever the result of the plebiscite," MILF chair Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim told ANC's Early Edition.

"We will respect the democratic process. Kung talagang hindi boboto 'yung iba, there will be no manipulation, it will be a voting na talagang boboto 'yung mga tao," he said.

(If the others will not vote, there will be no manipulation, it will be a voting where people will actually vote.)

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Murad also distanced the MILF from Tondok's "outburst of emotions."

"Itong Wahid Tondok at Mayor Cynthia, ito ay sa pagitan nila. Nagkaroon sila ng hindi pagkakaunawaan dahil 'yung mga statement ni Wahid is an outburst of emotion. Hindi 'yun policy ng MILF."

(It is a misunderstanding between Wahid Tondok and Mayor Cynthia. They had a misunderstanding because Wahid's statements were an outburst of emotion. It is not the policy of the MILF.)

"Nagsalita siya ulit na humingi siya ng patawad sa nasabi niya and he committed na hindi siya gagawa ng ano mang disturbances in Cotabato City," he said.

(He gave a statement apologizing for his earlier pronouncements and committed that he will not create any disturbances in Cotabato City.)

Cotabato City was placed under the Commission on Elections' control a week before the plebiscite. This also followed the New Year's eve bomb attack that killed at least 2 people and injured several others.

Guiani earlier said the "crown jewel" city would not vote in favor of the BOL after the deadly blast.

Despite this, Murad remained confident that the BOL would receive an "overwhelming support" in Cotabato City, one of Maguindanao's centers of commerce.

"Ang tingin namin kung pabayaan lang 'yung mga tao, walang manipulation sa voting, definitely yes, we will win in Cotabato hindi lang sa mga Bangsamoro, sa Muslim population, but even in the Christian population," he said.

(We think that if they would just let the people decide, if there will be no vote manipulations, definitely yes, we will win in Cotabato not just among the Bangsamoro and the Muslim population, but but even in the Christian population.)