Nograles tells MILF: ‘Lay all your cards on the table’

By on April 11, 2015


Davao Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles (politics.com.ph)
Davao Cong. Karlo Alexei Nograles (politics.com.ph)

MANILA — Davao City Congressman Karlo Alexei Nograles on Friday urged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to be more transparent and “lay all their cards on the table” to erase all doubts on their sincerity in negotiating peace with the government.

Nograles said the peace agreement signed by the government and the MILF might be questioned after MILF Vice-Chairman Mohagher Iqbal admitted that he was not using his real name when he signed the peace document that became the basis of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

This admission of Iqbal, Nograles said, only raises doubts on the sincerity and the motive of the MILF in its bid to push for Bangsamoro independence.

“Now that it has been revealed that Mohagher Iqbal is not a real name proves that the signing of the peace agreement started on the wrong foot. Just like Oplan Exodus started on the wrong foot,” Nograles said.

“There was no absolute transparency and honesty on the part of the MILF peace negotiator. If MILF is sincere to negotiations, they should lay all cards on the table, nothing less,” he added.

Also revealing is the statement of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles that it was only after Iqbal’s admission that she learned that Iqbal was just an alias.

“This runs counter to the statement of GRP peace negotiator Miriam Coronel Ferrer who earlier said that government has always known that Mohagher Iqbal is not his real name. So which is which? Did our government peace negotiators know or did they not know? Ang alam ko siPA Deles mas nauna pa sa negotiating table kaysa kay Prof.Coronel-Ferrer,” Nograles noted.

He said that the statements of Iqbal and Deles certainly raises doubts into the validity of the peace agreement.

“Even Justice Sec. Leila de Lima is unsure if signing a document using an alias invalidates the agreement. Someone might just go to court and question this. It won’t be me because I am for peace. But let us fix the defect now while we still can,” Nograles stressed.

The veteran solon observed that the problem with using aliases is that it allows a person to assume different personalities.

“If it is okay to sign a document using an alias then why didn’t Mohagher Iqbal sign the peace agreement as Salah Jubair?”, he asked.

Salah Jubair is the name Mohagher Iqbal used when he wrote and published his books entitled “The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GRP-MILF Peace Process,” and “Bangsamoro: A nation under endless tyranny,” where he used the name Salah Jubair.

“That is why we have laws against illegal use of aliases especially when signing public documents because it is very difficult to determine the sincerity or true intent of the person using an illegal alias,” Nograles concluded.