MILF to push for creation of sub-state in Mindanao

THE secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will push for the creation of a sub-state in Mindanao upon resumption of the peace talks between the group and the government (GRP).

MILF chief negotiator, Mohagher Iqbal said that they will abandon the creation of a Bangsamoro juridical entity and would instead push for the creation of a “sub-state” when the peace talks resume.

“It’s not stated in our proposal specifically, but the formulation that we have put up is really for the creation of a sub-state,” Iqbal said.

The MILF official said the creation of a sub-state in Mindanao, which recognizes central or unitary government, is much more attainable that the creation of a Bangsamoro juridical entity.

“Nandiyan pa rin ang unitary government, pero kailangang meron kaming sub-state,” Iqbal said.

He gave assurance that “the power of the central goverment and that of the sub-state would be defined.”

“Ang importante dito eh hindi independent,” Iqbal added.

The MILF official said the sub-state is patterned after the American federal system.

“Di ba sa Amerika mga states–New York, Texas, California. Mga estado ‘yan pero hindi naman ‘yun independensya,” Iqbal said.

He said the functions of national defense, foreign affairs, currency and postal services will belong to the central government.

“Walang sundalo ang sub-state kundi internal security lang,” Iqbal said.

The peace talks, stalled by the junking of an allegedly unconstitutional memorandum of agreement in 2008 by the Supreme Court, will resume after both sides have completed the composition of their respective negotiation panels and Malaysia’s retention as foreign facilitator.  Anthony Vargas

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