PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his senior official to talk with a commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who allegedly established his own government in Mindanao and reportedly involved in illegal drugs.
In a statement, Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers and Muslim Concerns Secretary Abdullah "Dabs" Mama-o said he met with MILF Commander Abdullah Macapaar, also known as Commander Bravo, in his mountain lair in Lanao del Sur on December 10.
"In line with President Duterte's directive, I immediately sought a meeting with Commander Bravo. We held the meeting inside a mosque in his mountain hide-out in Lanao del Sur in the presence of his men. [Commander] Bravo clarifies that his operations in the MILF NWMF [Northwestern Mindanao Front] were, in fact, in support of the President's anti-drug war," Mama-o said.
Bravo and his group allegedly established their own government in southern Philippines and have been receiving payoffs from drug dealers and distributors in Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, the Visayas, and other parts of the country who had come down to Lanao to hide from the authorities.
According to Mama-o, Bravo denied the allegations against him and asserted that the drug syndicates cooked up wrong information that reached the President to make it appear he was setting up a separate government.
"He [Bravo] said his command will continue complementing the President's drive against the scourge of drugs. He also said that he abides by the on-going peace process between the government and the MILF," he said.
Mama-o submitted a report to Duterte regarding his meeting with Bravo. (SDR/Sunnex)