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Sunday, March 22, 2015

OPAPP and MILF – Curiouser and curiouser


http://www.manilatimes.net/opapp-and-milf-curiouser-and-curiouser/170357/

IN Chapter 2 of Alice in Wonderland we find the delightful “Curiouser and curiouser” quote.
“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice–for she was now becoming so tall and “opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!” For when she looked down at her feet they seemed to be almost out of sight, getting so far off).
But it’s in Chapter 5 (Advice from a Caterpillar) that the words fit the problem of OPAPP and the MILF’s Chairman Murad and Chief Negotiator Iqbal.
The Caterpillar asked Alice. “Who are you?” And Alice, who had been bewildered by the things that were happening to her, replied in embarrassment, “I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” The Caterpillar sternly said, “What do you mean? Explain yourself!” And Alice replied, “I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir, because I’m not myself, you see.”
That’s how we imagine Government Panel Chief Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and MILF Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal will end up answering when they are asked to explain:
1. The revelation Prof. Ferrer told congressmen–per Davao City Rep. Davao Karlo Alexei Nograles, who chairs his chamber’s Labor Committee–that she and officials of the Aquino government knew all along that the MILF leaders they were dealing with were using fictitious names and signing agreements using those fictitious names.
2. Why Murad and Iqbal, who are known to travel a lot and seen to be arriving in various countries, specially Malaysia for meetings with the Philippine government panel, do not have any record of their departures from the Philippines in the Bureau of Immigration.
Congressman Nograles came to be curious about these things because of the disclosure or claim made by former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan that Murad and Iqbal are not Filipinos but are Malaysian citizens. Alunan posted the information in his Facebook page on Friday. He said the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration might already be aware that the two MILF leaders are carrying Malaysian passports.
Immigration sources have told The Times that Murad and Iqbal’s names don’t appear in the BI data bank. They said that these two MILF leaders must have been using other names and/or foreign passports.
The only other way their departures are unrecorded by Immigration is if they always leave illegally through the Mindanao backdoor used by fugitives and bandits, like the Abu Sayaff and Islamic extremists and jihadists.
Rep. Nograles’ concerns are valid and important.
If Murad and Iqbal are Malaysians, then the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (if passed) are instruments for which President Aquino, the OPAPP and the whole Congress should be charged with treason.
If the MILF signatories of agreements have signed the documents with fictitious names, then the agreements are invalid.
We have always said that the MILF has been funded, trained in warfare and sponsored by Malaysia. And we questioned the MILF leaders’ loyalty to the Philippine Republic and our Constitution. But we never thought that Murad and Iqbal are actually Malaysians– whose true identities the Aquino administration does not know.
Curiouser and curiouser.

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