Moro rebels told: Love your wives, not guns-A A +A
Sunday, October 28, 2012
SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao -- Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said Saturday that he looks forward to Moro husbands loving their wives more than their guns.
This was what the MILF leader envisions once the framework agreement, which the MILF and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) signed on Oct. 15, is fully implemented.
Just like any other family in the country, Murad said Bangsamoro families were hoping that their basic necessities are provided.
“Now, many of the Moro families love their guns more than their wives. He can separate with his wife but he cannot separate with his gun. That is what we are looking forward to. When there is security, when there is justice...when they are served with their basic necessities, then they might say I will marry another three wives,” he said during his first press conference since the signing of the framework agreement in Malacañang.
Murad's press conference is in response to numerous requests for interview from members of the media, local, national, and international news agencies, after the successful signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Manila last October 15.
After the forging of the agreement, Murad said it is their main priority to ensure that their people, including the fighters, feel that something good is happening on the ground.
"Please be reminded that the task ahead is bigger and more complex and complicated: translating this agreement into reality on the ground," Murad said.
"Our main task this time is... to make them feel and realize that the framework agreement is not only an agreement between the MILF and the (government) but an all-inclusive agreement between the Bangsamoro people and the Philippine state."
Through that, he said the decommissioning of MILF forces would be much easier.
Under the preliminary peace deal, the MILF and the GPH agreed for the gradual decommissioning of the estimated 11,000 MILF forces.
Murad explained that the MILF combatants are not interested to join with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
What the MILF is opting for is for the "establishment of an effective police force that will enforce effective law and order in the area," he said.
In the absence of the implementation yet of the framework agreement, the MILF chief urged international financing agencies to intensify their efforts in assisting their area, particularly on the livelihood programs, basic necessities, health and education.
He also said the MILF will be crafting an integrated development plan for the Bangsamoro entity.
The GPH and the MILF are yet to complete the annexes for wealth and power-sharing in the Bangsamoro region.
Both panels will be resuming the formal peace talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by mid-November to work on the issue. (SDR/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 28, 2012.