Philippine rebel warns Islamic State may gain from autonomy delay

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The head of a Philippine Muslim rebel group warned Monday that the Islamic State group could gain from frustrations in the country's south following the failure of the Philippine Congress to pass an autonomy bill as part of a peace agreement.

See Full Article

Murad Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said the militant IS group has attempted over the past year to recruit supporters in Mindanao but his group has worked to convince them that the peace pact signed with the government in 2014 was the best solution.

But he said the delay in enactment of the bill that aims to establish a more powerful and better-funded autonomous region for minority Muslims has led to frustrations that could be capitalized by the IS and other small hard-line rebel groups.

Malaysia is a facilitator in the peace talks, and Murad spoke while passing through Kuala Lumpur.

"There have been some efforts of penetration (by IS) but they have not succeeded in establishing a stronghold in Mindanao," he said during a news conference. "But now after the non-passage of the (bill), we are quite concerned that they can capitalize on this because the (frustration) of the people in the area is now very strong."

The 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberalization Front dropped its secessionist bid and settled for broader autonomy for minority Muslims in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation in a Malaysian-brokered pact it signed with Manila in 2014. The conflict has left 150,000 people dead and stunted development in the country's poorest region.

Under the deal, a bill was submitted to Congress to create the autonomous region to be called Bangsamoro. The bill's early passage was stalled by anger over the killing last year of 44 police commandos in fighting that involved some fighters from the Moro group.

Lawmakers ended the last regular session of their term last month without passing the bill.

Murad said his group will not completely abandon its arm struggle but will not revert to violence as long as the peace process has a chance to move forward. He said he is hopeful that the new president, to be elected later this year, will support and continue the efforts for peace.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Judge in Hawaii extends order blocking Trump's travel ban

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- A federal judge in Hawaii decided Wednesday to extend his order blocking U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban, preventing the government from suspending new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. Source
  • American Airlines pilot dies after medical episode on flight

    World News CTV News
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- An American Airlines pilot died after having a medical episode just before landing in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the captain declared a medical emergency on flight 1353 a couple of minutes before landing at Albuquerque International Sunport on Wednesday evening. Source
  • Polar bear photographed 'praying' next to cross

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    WESLEYVILLE, N.L. — Jessica Power says she was “beyond amazed” when she saw a polar bear roaming around an island just outside her window in a small community on Newfoundland’s central coast and appearing to pray. The 22-year-old photographer grabbed her camera and began snapping off 200 pictures as the large animal clambered up a hill to a white cross perched on top of the barren island. Source
  • Putin ready to meet Trump in Finland if it hosts summit

    World News Toronto Sun
    MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday voiced readiness to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at an upcoming Arctic summit, while reiterating rejections of allegations that Russian meddled in the U.S. presidential election. It wasn’t the first time Putin floated the idea of a meeting with Trump. Source
  • Deputies: Florida boy, 4, recovering after shooting himself

    World News CTV News
    ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. -- Authorities say a 4-year-old Florida boy is expected to recover after he apparently accidentally shot himself in the stomach. Pasco County Sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow said in a news release that the shooting happened Wednesday night in a home in Zephyrhills, which is near Tampa on Florida's west coast. Source
  • North Carolina girl, 5, suspended for recess make-believe game in which she used a stick 'gun'

    World News Toronto Sun
    Caitlin Miller's teachers took her to the principal's office on Friday and the 5-year-old did not understand why. She had been playing with her best friends during recess at her Raeford, North Carolina, school playground, just like any other day. Source
  • Several mutilated animals found dumped near Brandon, Man.

    Canada News CTV News
    The RCMP is looking into several gruesome discoveries of animal carcasses left mutilated by the side of the road near Brandon, Man. At least six animals have been found dumped in a rural municipality outside Brandon. Source
  • Mother accused of sitting on child’s head

    World News Toronto Sun
    MARIETTA, Ga. — Prosecutors say a suburban Atlanta woman accused of sitting on her 2-year-old son’s head to gain his submission has been indicted on a charge of first-degree child cruelty. News outlets report the Cobb County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday a grand jury returned the charge against Susan Elizabeth Kelley on March 23. Source
  • Teacher reportedly suspended for racy Facebook selfie

    World News Toronto Sun
    A British teacher’s racy Facebook selfie is being blamed for her removal from a private school north of London. Students at Ousedale secondary say Lydia Ferguson was reprimanded and escorted off the property last week, according to The Telegraph. Source
  • British teacher reportedly suspended for racy Facebook selfie

    World News Toronto Sun
    A British teacher’s racy Facebook selfie is being blamed for her removal from a private school north of London. Students at Ousedale secondary say Lydia Ferguson was reprimanded and escorted off the property last week, according to The Telegraph. Source