MILF’s Jaafar says review of peace process needed

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Manila, March 15, 2015   –  Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Vice Chair for Political Affairs Ghazali Jaafar remains optimistic the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be passed despite the bloody Mamasapano incident, which resulted in the killing of 44 highly-trained Special Action Force (SAF) operatives on Jan. 25, but says a review of the mechanisms of the peace process is needed.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Vice Chair for Political Affairs Ghazali Jaafar (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

In a phone interview with CBCPNews, Jaafar said the incident is indeed a problem.

“This is a problem because what should not have happened has happened,” Jaafar said in Filipino. He added there are political leaders and concerned citizens who have become emotional as a result of what was described by some as a “misencounter” and as “carnage.”

7-man investigation team

Referring to what former MILF Spokesman Eid Kabalu said during a recent Tapatan sa Aristocrat that elements of the 105th Brigade have always been the “headache ofthe Central Committee”, Jaafar said this was true before Umbra Kato bolted their group to form his own Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Jaafar added they formed a seven-man investigation team to find out what transpired that fateful Sunday, Jan. 25, between the MILF and police operatives.

Asked if the MILF would heed Senate President Franklin M. Drilon’s call to surrender combatants involved in the incident, Jaafar said it is best to review the mechanisms provided within the peace process.

‘Civilized way’

Despite the sudden turn of events, Jaafar said he and the MILF remain optimistic the peace process would push through because it is the most civilized way of resolving armed conflicts.

He went on the describe the peace process as a “political solution to a political problem.”

Asked of his opinion on the situation, Jaafar said the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which he described as “brokered by Malaysia and witnessed by the international community.”

“I believe President (Benigno Simeon C.) Aquino is serious to see the peace process succeed,” Jaafar said. (Melo M. Acuña/CBCPNews)

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