MANILA, Philippines – Reports confirmed that as the Philippine government is hell-bent at passing the much maligned Bangsamoro Basic Law, while military forces are fighting the war with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom fighters (BIFF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group, another radical Muslim group is emerging as a new player in the war for the heart and minds and at the conflict zones in Mindanao itself.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the new group, Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was organized by Mohamad Ali Tambako.
Tambako is a radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East, used to be one of the leaders of the BIFF who had a falling out relationship with BIFF founder Ameril Umbra Kato.
The BIFF is a splinter group from the MILF, which is negotiating peace with the government. MILF was also a splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Tambako was a former member of the MNLF.
Now we have to believe Professor Miriam Ferrer, who chairs the side of government peace panel ( Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process) when she said passing the draft BBL into a law will not totally solve the conflict in Mindanao as there are still other armed groups that are sowing chaos in the region.
“BBL is not equal to peace, it’s too narrow a view,” Ferrer stressed in an interview at the sidelines of a journalism seminar in Anilao, Batangas, on Sunday.