MILF official gives cold shoulder to PNoy SONA

Posted at 07/29/2014 3:24 PM

COTABATO CITY - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) seems to be giving a cold shoulder to what President Benigno Aquino III said about the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

In a phone interview with ABS-CBN Cotabato, MILF First Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar, who is currently out of town, said Aquino did not have to mention things people already know about the CAB and the peace process.

Rather, Aquino should have told the people what the current status of the CAB is after it was signed last March.

The MILF, according to Jaafar, will not comment on the President's SONA to avoid being misunderstood. Both panels are still exhausting all means to make both ends meet and resolve whatever issues they are facing now in peace negotiations.

However, Jaafar could not conceal his thoughts and feelings on the current status of the peace talks, especially with the delay of the submission of the proposed draft on the Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress.

"Hindi lang malamig ang mga leaders ng MILF lalo na ang mga Bangsamoro. Palagay ko mukhang nagagalit na ang mga Bangsamoro sapagkat matagal na panahon na silang naghihintay, 37 years of waiting," Jaafar said.

He said they cannot blame the Bangsamoro people, as they have been waiting for a long time and expecting that their aspirations would be finally realized through the CAB.

Jaafar advised the Bangsamoro and their supporters to remain calm, be patient, and wait and prepare for whatever will be the outcome of the negotiations.

"Dahil nilagdaan ang agreement, nandiyan ang BBL, huwag tayo aasa ng 100 percent na ma-implement iyan bagamat magsikap tayo at huwag mawalan ng pag-asa. Pero huwag nating ibuhos ang mga tubig natin dun sa lalagyan natin ng tubig dahil kapag hindi natuloy ang in-expect nating ulan, wala tayong maiinom," he said.

Meanwhile, some peace advocates are dissatisfied with the President's report on CAB.

Abdulbasit Benito of the Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace said he should have elaborated more on the reasons why there have been delays in the passage of the BBL.

Aquino should have also at least given a timeline to when the BBL will be submitted to Congress, Benito said.

Jaafar said the MILF is still hoping that whatever the government has agreed and signed with them will be implemented.