Jolo terrorist attack could justify Moro Islamic Liberation Front renege on “promise” to disarm

The successful ratification of the new “Bangsamoro Organic Law” is a victory long fought for by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The BOL is a culmination of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 40-year struggle for autonomy, including on-and-off talks with the government spanning the administration of 4 presidents.

As such, it is quite likely that the project is seen by other factions of the broader Islamic “movement” in Muslim Mindanao as a victory by a single tribe that could then go on to dominate the others. Others deride the MILF victory as capitulating to or, worse, rewarding a group with an appetite for war. Indeed, clashes between the MILF and the Philippine military has, at last count, resulted in an estimated 120,000 deaths. The group also continues to maintain 30,000 armed combatants which served as the bargaining chip in exchange for rule over this now-“autonomous” region.

Indeed, Get Real Post writer Ilda wrote back in February 2015, An agreement with just one Muslim rebel group will not bring peace to Mindanao. This was just a few weeks after elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front massacred 44 Special Action Force officers in Mamasapano.

Other rebel groups like the newly-formed group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Abu Sayyaf and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – the original Muslim rebel group who managed to win autonomy from the Philippine government in 1996 – all want their own version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

This alone would be ample justification the MILF could use to renege on its “promise” to disarm its bandit army. What then if they do? What’s the plan? It seems there is no alternative to an “autonomous” Bangsamoro “nation” ruled by warlords — the way it’s always been.

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