Senate panel to tackle Iqbal’s aliases in BBL hearing

By on April 11, 2015


Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Chair of the Committee on Local Government, discusses with MILF chief peace negotiator Mohager Iqbal the conditions for the resumption of the Bangsamoro Basic law Hearings. (Facebook photo)
Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Chair of the Committee on Local Government, discusses with MILF chief peace negotiator Mohager Iqbal the conditions for the resumption of the Bangsamoro Basic law Hearings. (Facebook photo)

MANILA — The aliases being used by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal will be up for discussion when the Senate committee on local government resumes its public hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Monday.

Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. on Thursday said he will encourage Iqbal to attend the BBL hearings to explain the use of alias in negotiating with the Philippine government.

“Yes, I will bring it up. This is an important revelation and raises many questions,” Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, said in a media interview.

Marcos said the Senate has to find out the implication of the use of aliases and the reason why Iqbal has to use pseudonym in submitting documents to the government.

“Who notarized the agreements he signed and what were the docs he represented identifying himself as Iqbal? Why did he feel needed to hide an alias? Who is he?,” Marcos asked.

Marcos also wanted to find out whether the Philippine government peace panel knew that Iqbal is using alias.

“The Senate wants to know if we are negotiating with a ghost or a true person,” Marcos said.

“This is entirely the first peace agreement in the world which a government negotiated with a fictitious person. Even that negotiated by other governments, those rebel leaders used their real names when signing peace pacts,” he added.

For his part, Senator Vicente Sotto III said the government “should not be talking to an unknown personality.”

In the recent House of Representatives inquiry into the Mamasapano incident, Iqbal admitted the he has so many names but refused to divulge his real name.

Iqbal has reportedly admitted that he did not use his real name in the peace agreements signed between the MILF and the GPH.

As chief negotiator of the MILF, Iqbal has affixed his signatures in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro on October 15, 2012 and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on March 27, 2014.

The two agreements have resulted in the drafting of the BBL which seeks to create the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).