By Ali G. Macabalang
Cotabato City – A major faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) reorganized its central committee leadership recently by electing a new chairman and four vice chairmen in what was described as an innovative bid to rally the Duterte administration’s thrust for inclusive peace and sustainable development among the Bangsamoro community.
Sharia Court Judge Ali Limbona said the election of the MNLF top officials capped a three days of meetings that started on February 18 in Pagadian City where the front’s central committee also amended its charter to make it more responsive to the times.
The reorganized group is said to be the largest of three MNLF factions. MNLF founding leader Nur Misuari leads his own faction, while incumbent Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Charman Abul Khayr Alonto heads another bloc.
Close to 100 key MNLF leaders constituting the faction’s “expanded” central committee unanimously elected former Sulu Governor and Congressman Yusoph Jikiri as chairman, replacing former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, who chaired the group for years, Limbona said.
He said the central committee created four positions for vice chairmen, and subsequently elected to the posts Prof. Sultan Pundoma Sani for military affairs, lawyer Sultan Ferdausi Abbas for external affairs, former regional assemblyman Hatimil Hassan for internal affairs, and Romeo Sema for political affairs.
Limbona, a member of the front’s expanded ruling committee, said outgoing chairman Sema was elected head of the Bangsamoro People’s Congress.
In a press statement, Jikiri said he will try to persuade both neutral and skeptic quarters to rally all initiatives under the Duterte administration that seek to harmonize the government’s peace accords with the MNLF in 1996 and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014 towards an “inclusive” solution to the Moro rebellion.