By Genalyn Kabiling and MB Online
The Duterte administration is considering operations against a belligerent Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander who established his own “government” in Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently revealed some abuses committed by the MILF’s Abdullah Macapaar, known as Commander Bravo, and warned he might order the security forces to “get rid” of him “one of these days.”
“At this point in time, I have to deal with the rebellion that is getting worse,” the president said during the San Beda College of Law alumni homecoming in Taguig City Saturday night, November 26.
“He’s popular to you, si t*** inang ‘tong, si Bravo. Meron na siya doong gobyerno sa Mindanao and most of constituents really are also Moros,” he added.
Duterte said Bravo has apprehended suspected criminals and prosecuted them in Shari’ah courts but also supposedly asked money from arrested offenders in exchange of giving them lighter sentences.
“ ‘Pag nagkasala ka doon kulong ka, hulihin ka niyan ‘pag… drug pusher ka. Bayad ka lang sa kanya, siya ang magsentensiya,” Duterte said.
The MILF commander is also engaged in dubious money lending scheme where he pockets half of the profits, according to Duterte. “Mag-utang ka. Bayad ka sa kanya P10,000. Sabihin niya doon sa libro niya, sa treasurer na, iyong P5,000 kanya.”
Duterte admitted that the government’s action plan in addressing the Bravo situation was among the topics discussed with some senior government officials in Davao last weekend.
“Sabi ko, I will decide. Maghahanap ako ng Maranao, isip-isip ko si Dabs Mamao, ayan o, iyong Presidential adviser for… siguro I’ll give you what, siguro mga 20 days to get rid of Bravo,” he said, referring to presidential adviser on the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) affairs Abdullah Mamao.
“But one of these days, I said I’ll be forced to ask the security forces of the… unahin mo na ‘yan,” Duterte added.
Despite his complaints about Bravo, the president has nothing against the MILF leadership following its strong support for the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. He said the MILF has actually cooperated by not standing in the way of anti-drug operations.
“In fairness to the Moro leaders, Murad and all, hate drugs,” Duterte said.
“Pagka ang mission ng pulis doon pati army pumapasok sa territory and it’s a drug mission, the MILF, hindi makialam. So that is really something we should appreciate,” he added.
The government signed in October an executive order for an expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission, where more members of the MILF will sit for the task of drafting the enabling law of the future Bangsamoro government in Mindanao.