Maguindanao leaders join hands with MILF in massive anti-narcotics campaign

By Edwin O. Fernandez

COTABATO CITY, Nov 19 (PNA) — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and local alliance of political leaders have agreed to join hands to help the government contain the proliferation of illegal drugs in Maguindanao.

Earlier, the MILF has passed two resolutions directing its field commanders to help address the proliferation of illegal drugs, especially methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, in Maguindanao and in areas covered by the government and MILF ceasefire agreement.

After passing the resolution, the MILF posted roadside posters around the province reminding residents it is against illegal drugs, specifically shabu. The posters read: “Illegal drug is the root of all evil. No to illegal drugs.”

In a statement, the MILF said if the efforts to curb or stop kidnap-for-ransom groups operating in Mindanao have many success stories, it was because the government and MILF have cooperated and created the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) whose task is mainly “to interdict and isolate these criminals operating in or near MILF communities.”

The group added that it sees no reason the campaign against illegal drugs will fail.

In its website editorial, the MILF said the advantage of the group taking an active role in fighting drug trafficking and addiction is three-fold.

First, the MILF has a vast knowledge of the population and therefore, they have a good information of the dealers and users.

Second, most, if not all, of the users, mostly young people, are from their own people, and therefore, if they are allowed or tolerated to continue with their evil deeds, they will destroy the future of Moro society, and,

Third, with its Islamic ideology, the MILF has more reasons to stop the drug trade and proliferation, because drug addiction or even the use of it is considered “haram” or prohibited or forbidden.

It said the same reason is given why Muslims are prohibited to drink liquor, because it clouds the intellect and makes it difficult to differentiate between right and wrong.

“Muslim faith is founded on the intellect, rational thought and good judgment. Anything that could jeopardize this behavior is forbidden,” the MILF said.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, both leaders of the Alliance of Lumad, Iranun and Maguindanaon (ALIM) met in Davao City Wednesday and agreed to work with the MILF in eradicating illegal drugs in the province.

Mangudadatu has directed all police chiefs in Maguindanao’s 36 towns to link with the MILF for a joint anti-narcotics campaign in support of the government’s peace initiative in Mindanao.

He also directed local village officials to coordinate with the MILF in addressing the proliferation of shabu.Mangudadatu acknowledge that most of the crimes happening in the province were related to illegal drugs.

He said he will soon convene the provincial peace and order council to discuss how local officials, the police and the MILF can jointly campaign to get rid of the province of illegal drugs.

He then appealed to the residents of Maguindanaon, especially parents, to closely monitor their children’s activities and contribute in the over-all desire to make the province a quiet and peaceful place to live in. (PNA)