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War on drugs: Should MILF be trusted?

The rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has allegedly expressed its desire to collaborate with the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in the fight against illegal drugs.

Late last year, the MILF central committee had already issued a directive to its leaders to help limit the rapid spread of shabu in Mindanao’s Moro communities.

However, government security agencies supposedly objected to the idea since it would violate the ceasefire agreement.

With Duterte’s victory last elections and his firm stand against illegal drugs, the MILF reportedly now sees the possibility of working together with the government in fighting the drug menace.

But the question is how can we trust the sincerity of the MILF at this time after its last year’s involvement in the Mamasapano massacre?

The MILF allowed and even took part in the killings by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) of 44 PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) commandos out on a mission to capture a couple of international terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.

Almost a year and a half may have passed but the painful memory of this tragic event remains etched in the hearts and minds of Filipinos here and abroad. To this day, not one among the perpetrators has paid for this gruesome crime.

That incident was the main reason why the Senate and Lower House stopped the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which would have granted the MILF vast powers over a large part of Mindanao.

It was a wake-up call for the government to be wary of entering a deal with the leaders of the rebel group, whose trustworthiness would forever be in doubt since the massacre.

If the Duterte Adminsitration would allow to join the fight against drugs, how could citizens be assured that the MILF would not take advantage of the situation by pointing to their enemies as users and pushers even if they are not linked to drugs?

This would only result in the death of more people supposedly associated with the sale and use of prohibited drugs, which we definitely do not need at the moment. Some people in Congress want to have the killings during police drug operations probed at this point.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column athttp://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/ (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)

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