Former president Erap: “M.I.L.F. can’t be trusted, all-out war still best solution”


Photo Credit: Minda News

MANILA, Philippines—For former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, an all-out war against the Muslim rebels is the only way true peace can finally be achieved in Mindanao.

In an interview with media, Estrada said the ongoing peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would ultimately fail because the rebels cannot be trusted to keep their word.

Photo Credit: Minda News
Photo Credit: Minda News

He pointed to the killing of more than 40 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force last Sunday by a combined group of MILF and its splinter group,the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), last Sunday as proof that the rebel group is not committed to forging peace in Mindanao.

The SAF members were on a mission to serve warrants of arrest against wanted militants Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Basit Usman who were believed to be hiding in Mamapasano, Maguindanao.

Both the government and MILF have labelled it a “misencounter,” sparking public uproar for it to be called a “massacre” instead.

Estrada said the group cannot continue to call it an isolated incident which won’t affect the ongoing peace negotiations.

“Many lives were sacrificed pointlessly; of course, it will set back the peace talks,” he said.

Recalling his declaration of all-out war against the MILF back in 2000 when he was still president, Estrada said his decision was based on the untrustworthiness of the rebel group.

“We engaged the MILF several times with ceasefires and peace talks. Yet behind our backs they still continued to cause mayhem in Mindanao. They have been doing that for decades,” he said.

“The government has sincerely offered the rebel group genuine peace several times, it’s unfortunate they have not reciprocated our sincerity,” he added.

Nevertheless, he also asked the public to pray that the Aquino government would finally achieve real peace with the rebels.

This article has gone viral and has been viewed 37056 times so far. Article originally posted: January 27, 2015, 10:29 pm (UTC-0). Last update: February 1, 2015 at 5:54 am (UTC-0).

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