TUBOD, LANAO DEL NORTE—Erstwhile Moro guerrilla leader Abdullah Macapaar, more popularly known as Commander Bravo, of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) participated in a meeting of the provincial peace and order council on Wednesday (March 10), making a public appearance at an official government meeting for the first time.
The meeting, chaired by Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, was held jointly with the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
Macapaar, now a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), was commander of the MILF’s northwestern Mindanao front that maintains base commands in parts of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte which are awaiting decommissioning, in keeping with a 2014 peace deal with the government.
During his days as a guerrilla commander, Macapaar led the occupation of Kauswagan town in 2000, the attack in Maigo town in 2003, and still another in Kolambugan town in 2008 after the botched signing of a Moro homeland deal.
The occupation of Kauswagan triggered an all-out war declaration by then President Joseph Estrada that culminated in the fall of the MILF’s Camp Abubakar in Maguindanao.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Macapaar appealed for support for the proposal to extend the Bangsamoro transition period by another three years so that the BTA can be given enough time to complete the milestones mandated by the Bangsamoro Organic Act.
In response, the council unanimously endorsed House Bill No. 8222 authored by Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo, asking President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the proposed law as urgent.
HB No. 8222 seeks the postponement of the Bangsamoro elections to 2028 if transition targets, including the decommissioning of MILF fighters and transformation of guerrilla camps, were not met by May 2022.
The measure also seeks funding for transition programs through block grant for the Bansamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which is the region’s fixed share of national revenue.
Four other bills related to extending the Bangsamoro transition period is pending in the House and two in the Senate.
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