MANILA — For Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), making demands is not negotiating.
“We need to respect each other. When you make demands, you are no longer negotiating. You are dictating,” Iqbal said responding to the conditions set by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez for the approval of the Bangsamore Basic Law (BBL) draft.
Rodriguez, chair of the House ad hoc committee on the BBL said on Monday that the passage of the bill that aims to create a substate in Mindanao depends on the surrender of firearms seized by Moro fighters during the Mamasapano incident.
He added that MILF should surrender the fighters involved in the incident and give up Filipino terrorist, Basit Usman who escaped during the encounter.
Iqbal stressed that many agreements have specific set of protocols as to how each party would deal with each other.
“Our relationship is based on the documents we signed,” he said.
He also added that the MILF will remain a revolutionary group until the full realization of the peace agreement their group signed with the government.
Iqbal reiterated that based on the agreements, the group’s relationship with the government is “political and not legal.”