Does the MILF manufacture its own high caliber weapons?

By , on February 13, 2015


MILF Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal at Thursday's (Feb 12, 2015) Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash (Photo courtesy of Sen. Grace Poe's Facebook page)
MILF Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal at Thursday’s (Feb 12, 2015) Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash (Photo courtesy of Sen. Grace Poe’s Facebook page)

MANILA — On Thursday, February 12, the Senate probe on the Mamasapano clash reached its third day.

After two days of absence, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal finally attended the Senate inquiry. One of the senators that addressed Iqbal was Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano.

With only five minutes granted each senator, Cayetano didn’t waste much of his time and proceeded to question Iqbal.

“Can you tell me kung bakit significant ang address na ito (Can you tell me why this address is significant)?” Cayetano asked Iqbal, reading an address of a sheet of paper: “Barangay Katol, General Salipada Pendatun, Maguindanao.”

Di ba ito ang address ng pagawaan ng armas ng MILF (Is it because this is where the MILF manufactures its weapons)?” Cayetano asked.

Cayetano even mentioned the name the said factory: Bangsamoro Military Industries (BMI), which allegedly has three manufacturing facilities–all for the MILF.

Iqbal said he does not know of such factories.

Holding up a photo of a Barrett M107 .50 caliber rifle, Cayetano said, “Ito po ang pumatay at bumasag sa bungo ng marami po sa ating mga SAF. Ang isa nito ay P750,000 to P1,000,000 (This is what killed and smashed the skulls of our SAF [Special Action Forces]. One of these costs P750,000 to P1,000,000).”

Hindi po kaya ng dalawang buwan na training ang gumagamit nito dahil ang effective range nito sa .50 caliber na bala ay two kilometers (Two months are not enough to train the user [of this weapon] because the effective range of this with a .40 caliber bullet is two kilometers. ),” Cayetano said, pointing out that the alleged weapons facilities also manufacture bullets.

Cayetano continued to pester Iqbal, throwing another MILF facility in the mix: an MILF “academy.”

This is reportedly the same academy where international terrorist Malaysian bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias ‘Marwan’ went in hiding in a previous operation.

Iqbal confirmed that there used to be an MILF academy in Camp Abubakar, but “not anymore.”

Meanwhile, sacked SAF commander getulio Napenas said that he once heard about the academy in Mamasapano but reports were never confirmed.