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Jaafar, MILF's political affairs chief, 75.

One of the leaders of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) dies of lingering illness in a hospital in Davao City, officials and relatives said.

Ghadzali Jaafar, a Maguindanaon, died at past 1 a.m. after a long bout with cardiovascular disease.

Jaafar, whose real name is Salih Abo, was the head of the now-defunct Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) that drafted what is now known as Republic Act 11054, the charter of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). It is more known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Before his demise, the 75-year-old Jaafar was member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), a body now overseeing BARMM's gradual takeover of the regional government.

Early this year, Jaafar underwent a heart bypass and was supposed to act as interim speaker of the BARMM regional parliament.

'He was a hardworking mujahidden (freedom fighter) and dedicated his life for the Bangsamoro cause,' MILF chief now BARMM interim chief minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in a statement.

Jaafar spent the last 50 years of his life with the MILF, serving as its spokesperson, political officer and many other posts in the group's central committee.

Jaafar, Murad and Mohaqher Iqbal, then MILF chief negotiator and now BARMM education minister, were still teens when they joined the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1970s.

They joined the Ustadz Salamat Hashim when he bolted from the MNLF due to ideological and political differences with then MNLF chair Nur Misuari. Salamat with Murad, Jaafar and Iqbal formed the MILF.

Relatives said Jaafar will be buried Wednesday in his farm in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 13, 2019
Words:317
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