Murad says 99.99% of 105th, 108th base commands support MILF peace policy

MORO Islamic Liberation Front  Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim assured that 99.99% of 105th, 108th base commands  of the MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) support the position of the MILF in the negotiations with the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

Murad made the assurance during the peace advocacy gathering at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on February 7.

The 105th Base Command was formerly headed by Ustadz Umbra Kato, who resigned last year due to health and age reasons, while the 108th Base Command is a newly organized command, culled from the 104th, 105th and 106th Base Commands.

The two commands have about 35,000 combatants, a sizeable portion are armed.

More than 5,000 from these two commands coming from the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani attended the peace assembly, which was coordinated with government and MILF Ceasefire Committees and the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT).

Murad corrected the information and news articles that Ustadz Umbra Kato separated from the MILF and organized the so-called the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

He explained that Kato is asserting is a separate military unit within the military organization of the MILF, which has not been recognized by MILF.

Murad  was quoted  in the MILF official site that  the MILF leadership is in control of the organization.

“There is no MILF lost command and no lawless commanders. The MILF is solid and its leadership has effective control over its people, both military and political organs. We can assure everybody that whatever agreement forged with the government will be followed by our people and will be implemented on the ground,” he said.

“The assertion of Kato is an internal problem that we are confident of managing and resolving soon,” he stressed, which he added will not affect the peace process.

Murad reiterated previous statements that the MILF is consistent with its position that it is determined to forge a negotiated political settlement that would address the root cause of the problem, which is essentially the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination.

“Let us give the peace process a chance,” he told his audience, adding that it is very early to judge what will be the fate of the talks since we are just resuming from where we stopped during the last administration in June 2010.

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