Charter change needed for Bangsamoro, says MILF chair

Posted at 10/25/2012 9:12 PM | Updated as of 10/26/2012 12:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Constitution has to be amended for the Bangsamoro political entity to be established, according to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.

Murad made this assertion despite assurances by chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen that the final peace agreement will be within the bounds of the Constitution.

“Kung titingnan ninyo, mayroon doon probisyon na the transition commission can recommend to propose an amendment to the Constitution when necessary,” said Murad.

Chairman Murad was pleased, but not surprised, by the support thrown by renegade MILF commander Bravo Macapaar for the signing of the framework agreement. 

Murad said he also expects the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) headed by Umbra Kato to support the MILF leadership's quest for peace.

The BIFF broke away from the MILF after the failed MOA-AD with the Arroyo administration.

“Magtulungan nalang tayo dito sa pag-implement nitong framework agreement,” said Murad.

Murad was only 21 years old when he began to bear arms.

Now a senior citizen at 64, Murad says he can only retire when peace is attained by the Bangsamoro people.

But he faces a different battle ahead, this time behind the negotiating table.