We have open lines with Umbra Kato, MILF chieftain says

MORO Islamic Liberation Front  chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim confirmed that they have internal problem involving former MILF’s 105th Base Commander Umbra Kato,  but  that there is an open line of communication with him.

In that interview, Kato enumerated some of the issues he raised against the MILF that included the alleged revisionist policy of the current leadership headed by Murad in abandoning the Front’s original stance of independence and that he was arbitrarily booted out of command.

In an earlier forum, Muhammad Ameen, chair of the MILF Secretariat, told his audience that until today including the conduct of the struggle and the negotiation, the MILF present leadership is following the ideological and political lines espoused in the book written by the late MILF founder Salamat Hashim entitled, “Guidelines to the Bangsamoro Mujahid”.

Salamat is recognized as the foremost ideologue of the MILF. He is not only recognized as a “learned man” (aleem, pl. ulama) by his peers in Mindanao but also by leading ulama of his time particularly those of the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

The book was originally published in Lahore, Pakistan but had been reprinted several times in Mindanao since he arrived in 1987.

Ameen also clarified that Kato was not stripped of his command but he voluntarily resigned, citing that old age is already creeping on him. The resignation is contained in a letter to the MILF leadership last year.

“We are making headway to convince him to fully return to the fold of the MILF,” Murad said in an interview after the press conference where some 35 members of the media, broadcast, print, and television attended.

“I believe this problem can still be resolved expeditiously and soon,” he added, without elaborating.

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