Terror tag for MILF?
As two more bombs exploded yesterday in Cotabato, the government threatened to push for the inclusion of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the United States’ terror blacklist. Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said that while the government is ready to ask the US to pin the terrorist tag on the MILF, it is also ready to sit down and negotiate for peace – just as the government is in the midst of informal peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has been classified by the US as a terrorist organization. “The long-term goal of this government is to have peace in Mindanao,” Bunye said. “And we will walk the extra mile to attain that peace.” “The ball is in the MILF’s hands. It should not lose this opportunity to show that it is also seeking peace,” Bunye added. This, as President Arroyo summoned to a meeting today at Malacañang local government officials led by North Cotabato Gov. Emmanuel Piñol to discuss the government’s next course of action in areas affected by MILF bomb and raid attacks. As of yesterday, Bunye said, Piñol’s proposal that the government declare the MILF a terrorist group had not yet been elevated to the President for her consideration. “This has not been officially taken, but, if (the MILF) persist in attacking civilians, this option might just be considered,” Bunye told Palace reporters. Full Story