Extremists May Take Advantage of BOL Non-ratification, Says MILF Chair

Manila, Philippines — The chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) warned that extremist groups may attempt to take advantage of the situation in Mindanao if the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) fails, Philstar reported.

The plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL will be held on January 21 and Feb. 6, 2019.

“[If] the BOL is not passed, they will again capitalize on its failure in order to campaign, [be] more adherent in their campaign,” MIlF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in an interview on ANC’s “Headstart” Wednesday.

Murad noted that Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and ISIS-inspired Maute group were formed after failures of peace processes.

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“If you look at it, it’s all tied up with the peace process. If there’s a fruit of the peace process which is acceptable to the people, then these people will have no choice. They have to accept; otherwise, they will be isolated by the people,” Murad said.

‘BOL to withstand constitutional test’

The MILF chair is confident that the BOL can withstand constitutional test.

This, despite the petition filed by the Philippine Constitution Association asking the Supreme Court to strike down the BOL as unconstitutional.

The province of Sulu last October also questioned the constitutionality of BOL.

“It has been processed many times during the negotiations, during the crafting of the law, during the passing of the law in Congress. Everybody made sure the law will be constitutional,” Murad said.

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Once ratified, the BOL will pave the way for the replacement of the now 29-year Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM.

An MILF transitory body will manage the BARMM pending the election of officials. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)