MILF’s refusal to surrender SAF killers could be last straw
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MILF’s refusal to surrender SAF killers could be last straw

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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) refusal to surrender its fighters who were involved in the Mamasapano carnage could be the final straw for members of Congress who are being wooed by the Aquino government to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a lawmaker said Monday.
Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles said the continuing refusal of the MILF to abide by the peace agreement could have a huge effect on the passage of the BBL as many members of Congress including those who are rabid supporters of the proposal are now in a dilemma if the MILF can really be trusted to run an autonomous Bangsamoro entity.
“The MILF cannot say that they will be the ones to discipline their own members. Because what is clearly stated in the peace agreement is that it will be the joint GRP-MILF team that will investigate and punish violators of the peace agreement. This is not a one-way street!” said Nograles.
“They are not excluded from the jurisdiction of Philippine courts, they are not excluded from the Philippine territory. We have laws that have to be respected. The peace agreement does not give blanket amnesty and neither does it give the license to kill,” he added.
Nograles, a lawyer and a member of the congressional ad hoc committee for the BBL, pointed out that the authority to investigate and punish violators of the peace deal rests solely on the joint GRP-MILF peace panel. The appropriate punishment, he adds, can only be determined and imposed by Philippine courts.
Based on the provisions of the Manual of Instructions for CCCH (Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities) and LMT (local monitoring team), “it shall be the responsibility of the GRP-MILF peace panel to take immediate and necessary action to stop any violation and punish respective forces or military field commanders who violate the implementing guidelines.”
“If we cannot trust the MILF to honor and follow the peace agreement to the letter, how can we trust them with the BBL?” Nograles said.
MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal earlier said that the MILF will impose sanctions on its members who figured in the January 25 Mamasapano incident which led to the deaths of 44 police commandos.

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