World Bulletin / News Desk
Leaders and fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) intends to establish its own political party that will join local elections in the planned Bangsamoro region, Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, said.
MILF are still not allowed to vote in the May 2013 elections despite the Framework Agreement it has forged with the Aquino government.
“The planned political party would only join the elections in the Bangsamoro,” Jaafar told Rappler.com.
But in the meantime that the Bangsamoro is not yet in place, MILF leaders and members are banned from voting, he added.
“Our policy on elections is still being implemented. Those who are in the leadership of the MILF and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces are prohibited from joining and voting in the upcoming elections,” Jaafar explained.
However, Jaafar stressed that civilian members and supporters of the MILF are allowed to vote.
The peace panels of both sides have reached an agreement to work for the creation of a new political entity called Bangsamoro, which will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Both sides are scheduled to sign the initial deal on October 15.
A transition commission will be formed to craft a law on the Bangsamoro. Provinces in ARMM and neighboring areas will then go through a plebiscite and decide whether or not they want to join the autonomous region.
“This is still a plan. We have not even thought about its name yet. But this is a plan that would push through if the MILF leadership does not change its mind,” Jaafar said.