COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 26, 2008) – The Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, flatly rejected Friday an offer by communist insurgents to join them in toppling the Arroyo regime.
The New People’s Army is fighting to topple the democratic government and install a Maoist state in the Philippines and was convincing the MILF to join them.
“We cannot join the NPA in toppling the government. Our hands are also full of problems. That is too much for the Bangsamoro people,” Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader, told the Mindanao Examiner.
Communist leader Jose Maria Sison urged the MILF rebels to join forces with them, saying, they have a common enemy – the Arroyo administration.
But Kabalu said the MILF, which is also fighting for a separate Muslim homeland, has an existing cease-fire agreement with the government, although, sporadic fighting still continues in many areas in Mindanao. “We have a cease-fire agreement with the Philippine government and we cannot just abandon the accord,” he said.
Kabalu said although the MILF and the NPA have forged a tactical alliance, both groups have different ideologies. “For one, the MILF is guided by religion, Islam, and we believe in the Supreme Creator, Allah and the communist rebels are more on socialism,” he said.
Socialism is any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
The NPA, armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines, broke off peace talks with Manila in 2004 after both sides failed to sign an agreement ending hostilities in the countryside.
Manila’s peace talks with the MILF also collapsed in August after the failed signing of the Muslim homeland deal, although, a fragile truce still remains. (Mindanao Examiner)