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Pollwatch: MILF won't join 2016 election but rebels free to cast votes.

As in past elections, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not participate in the May 2016 political exercise. But they will not prevent their members from casting their votes.

"This has been the policy of the MILF since its inception in September 1977," the group said on its official online portal (Luwaran.com).

The MILF cited the four presidential bets: "Sen. Miriam Santiago, Sen. Grace Llamanzares-Poe, former Secretary Mar Roxas, and Vice President Jejomar Binay."

"We do not and will not pass judgment on them. It is for the people to determine who is the better leader in their judgement," the MILF said.

It cited three reasons for its apolitical stance.

First, the MILF is still a revolutionary organization. Second, the "MILF believes and pursues a different method of choosing leaders of society"; and third, the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is still stalled in Congress.

"Therefore, participating in such a highly partisan and divisive exercises, such as in the forthcoming elections in May 2016, will not only bring enmity and animosity among the ranks and file of the MILF but can be a menu for disintegration," the group said.

The MILF, however will allow its members to vote for candidates of their choice, particularly among the presidentiables.

"If exercised with caution and clear purpose, voting the right candidate, especially if he or she wins, is a great service to this country," the MILF said in its Editorial piece.

"Good leaders always make a difference in the lives of the people," the group added.

PRO-BBL

Without endorsing any presidential candidate, the MILF gave hints as to its possible preference in relation with the Mindanao peace process.

"However, in so far as the search for solution to the Bangsamoro Question is concerned, the choice of candidates should be on the basis of their past and their current actuation, including their pronouncements on the BBL," the Moro Front said.

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Title Annotation:Pollwatch 2016
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Oct 19, 2015
Words:320
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