MANILA, April 8 — The Philippine government has been negotiating and dealing with a fictitious person representing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. “Mohagher Iqbal is a nom de guerre and Mohagher Iqbal is the official name that has been used in negotiations ever since the negotiations with the Philippine government started in 1997,” Ferrer told the House joint committees on public order and peace, reconciliation and unity. Thanks to the SAF44 Mamasapano massacre. Without that incident, the government negotiators would have kept lying to their teeth and to the Filipino people.
Now, MILF chief negotiator and spokesman Mohagher Iqbal on Wednesday admitted of using aliases but evasive in revealing his real name. Instead of directly answering the question of Ang Nars Party-list Rep. Leah Paquiz, Iqbal said it is a common practice within a revolutionary organization to use aliases.
“I have so many names and that is natural in revolutionary organizations,” he told members of the House committee on Public Order and Safety joint with the committee on Peace, Unification and Unity hearing on the Mamasapano incident. Iqbal explained that even Filipino hero Marcelo del Pilar was known to have used nine aliases during his lifetime. Iqbal maintained he is a Filipino citizen and a Bangsamoro “by entity.”
Negros Occidental Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer then asked the MILF chief peace negotiator if he could show his passport the hearing but Iqbal immediately declined claiming certain sensitivities. “Because of security reasons, my name on the passport is known only to the government. I travel a lot — maybe hundred times. But I’m not hiding my name on my passport,” he said.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles affirmed that Iqbal uses a Philippine passport issued by the DFA in leaving and entering the country. Earlier, Professor Miriam Coronel Ferrer, chair of the government peace panel, admitted Iqbal is using an alias but she declined from divulging his real name.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles took issue with Iqbal’s use of pseudonyms, saying the use of pseudonyms in any public transaction or document is prohibited under Article 178 of the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Alias Law under Commonwealth Act 142 as amended by Republic Act 6085. (PNA)