Al Arabiya interview with Philippines’ Moro ILF chair al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim
In an Interview with Al Arabiya, the chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) al-Haj Murad Ibrahim said that the comprehensive deal for Mindanao was a result of a “compromise” between the Philippines government and his group in order to give the Mindanao people their right to self-rule.
Talking to Al Arabiya bureau Chief in South and East Asia Baker Atyani from Kuala Lumpur, al-Haj Murad said that the Front would form a political party and take part in the democratic process after the transition period ends in 2016.
Play the above video to watch the full interview
He added that the agreement, which was signed on March 27, 2014, would pave the way for everyone in Mindanao to participate in the democratic process, adding that the ballot box would decide who would govern the people.
Al-Haj Murad also said that the deal would isolate all groups and individuals involved in criminal activities such as the Abu Sayyaf group, which he claimed was being manipulated by corrupt military and political elements for their own interests.
The signed agreement gives Mindanao the status of a semi-autonomous state under the central government in Manila. While the Philippines Armed Forces will maintain a presence, maintaining law and order will be left to the police force which will be drawn from the people of Mindanao.
He also noted that the enhanced military pact between Washington and Manila would not be a cause of concern for his group as long as it does not harm the signed “peace” deal between Manila and MILF.