MILF says won't go to war if federalism shift fails

Arianne Apatan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2019 10:30 PM

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not go to war if the government fails to pursue a shift to federalism, its chairman said Saturday.

MILF chairman Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari warned him of war if the government won't shift to federalism.

"Ang tingin namin, it really depends on how brother Nur will analyze the situation, kung talaga bang he will declare war after na hindi mag-succeed yung federalism but for us we will maintain na acceptable na sa amin yung present na BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) and if there will be federalism then we are all supportive to that," he told reporters in Mother Kabuntalan, Maguindanao.

"Hindi natin masyadong ma-gauge.... kasi hindi naman si Misuari ang direct ... si presidente ang nagsabi nun, so hindi natin alam. But I think the President, he just want to emphasize na importanteng makapasa itong federalism." 

The BOL is part of the 2014 peace agreement between government and MILF, a splinter group of the MNLF, to finally end a protracted decades-old war in the southern Philippines that has left around 120,000 dead.