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MILF bid for a political party separate from Mamasapano clash - Brillantes

Exiting Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the bid of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to be registered and accredited as a political party in time for the 2016 elections is distinct from and should be unaffected by the January 25 Mamasapano clash in Maguindanao.

"Wala namang koneksyon yung nangyari sa accreditation nila for political party. Whether national or local, hindi naman yun ang key sa registration. Ako, personally, I don’t think makakaapekto yun,” Brillantes said.

Brillantes also said that the incident, which has been called a “misencounter” by some ranking government officials, is not definitive of the group’s ideals.

“Kapag meron bang member ng UNA or Liberal Party na pumatay, ibig sabihin hindi na papayagan sa elections? In general dapat, meron ba silang policy advocating violence? Palagay ko naman they renounced it already, dahil may peace treaty na nga,” Brillantes said.

The MILF is preparing to form its political party this year and will likely participate in the 2016 elections.

MILF chief of information Mohagher Iqbal earlier said the creation of a political party would be necessary in anticipation of the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The Bangsamoro Region is being eyed to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Both the MILF and government peace panels are aiming for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law before the 2016 elections.

Brillantes said he is not discounting the possibility that the January 25 incident that killed 44 PNP-SAF members allegedly at the hands of the MILF in Maguindanao, will be raised during the hearing for the party’s accreditation.

“Mate-take up naman din sa hearing yan if ever. I’m sure there might be someone who will question it,” he said.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, any organized group seeking registration as a national or regional political party must file with the Comelec a verified petition attached with their constitution and bylaws, platform or program of government and other relevant information, to be considered a legitimate political party.

The law prohibits the registration of religious sects and political parties which seek to achieve goals through violence. — AGENCY


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