‘War is not an option,’ Iqbal says

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, Dec. 16 (PNA) — Mohagher Iqbal, the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Lineration Front (MILF) on Wednesday said that they will continue negotiating with the government to push Bangsamoro Basic Law which they consider as the vehicle to attain long lasting peace in Mindanao.

Iqbal, who was monitoring the progress of the proposed measure at the House of Representatives said that they are “sick and tired” of engaging government troopers in firefight in the hinterland.

“War is not an option,” Iqbal told House reporters in a chance interview when asked if they consider going back to war should BBL is junked in the present administration.

He said they “will cross the bridge when they get there” should they fail to convince the government to pass the measure.

“The MILF is 100 percent optimistic that BBL will become law. We need to go to usual process and we are hopeful for the best,” he pointed out.

He added that they (MILF) are open to amendments saying that they knew they cannot get the 100 percent support from lawmakers.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., said that they will try to squeeze the time and finish the period of interpellation hoping to pass it next year when they come back for the resumption of session on Jan. 18, 2016.

“We still have nine session days left before Congress goes on long recess to give way to the national elections,” Belmonte told House reporters in a separate interview.

Asked if MILF is ready to wait until next year, Iqbal said they need to follow the process, (PNA)