The United States is using your taxpayer dollars to aid a region dominated by Islamic terrorists in the Philippines, or what the media refer to as ‘separatist rebels’. Separatist rebels (al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, and MILF) who wage jihad to implement Islamic sharia law recently killed two U.S. soldiers. Was that discussed when U.S. diplomats met with one of the groups recently? Previous posts on jihad in the Philippines here.
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Leaders of the Philippines’ largest Muslim separatist group said Sunday they had met US diplomats and called for Washington’s involvement to help broker a peace deal.
The meeting between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim and US charge d’affaires Leslie Bassett took place on Friday at Darapanan, the rebel group’s main training camp on Mindanao island, an MILF statement said.
US embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson told AFP: “Ms Bassett met with various leaders and officials in Cotabato as part of a routine familiarisation visit.”
Darapanan is located in the Cotabato region of Mindanao, but the spokeswoman would not specifically say if these meetings included MILF representatives.
Lieutenant-General Raymundo Ferrer, commander of Philippine military forces in Mindanao, told AFP he instructed an army division in the area to provide security to the American diplomats, who had requested a military escort ahead of a visit to the region.
But he added: “We were not informed about the meeting.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Ponce, spokesman for the Philippine Army’s Sixth Infantry Division, told AFP: “We provided security, but we all know that they (soldiers) could not enter the MILF camp and join them (US diplomats).”
He added: “We learned afterwards from intelligence reports about the meeting (with the MILF). We learned that they discussed development projects and probably also the peace process.”
Washington is a key aid donor to impoverished Muslim areas of Mindanao, and US special forces based on the island provide training and intelligence to Philippine troops fighting Islamist militants.
More from GMA News:
Secessionist Moro rebels sought the help of the United States in forging peace negotiations with the Philippine government in a meeting with US Embassy officials in Mindanao over the weekend.
In an article posted on its Web site, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front described the meeting last Friday as “warm and forthright” and praised US diplomats for knowing the background of the decades-old Mindanao conflict.
“The US government knows very well the background of the conflict both historically and legally, and we believe that US can greatly help toward the peaceful resolution of the conflict,” MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar told US Embassy officials.
Jaafar appealed to the US government to help in the resolution of the problem by addressing the root cause, which he said is political. He said the US’ granting of independence to the Philippines had immorally and illegally incorporated the Bangsamoro homeland.
Joining Bassett were US Embassy Political Officer Michael Pignagtello, USAid country director Elzaida Washingto, and Anthony Senci, Embassy Defense Minister.
Bassett said the US is committed to support the peace process in Mindanao, particularly between the government and the MILF. She said the US government is “very willing” to provide more assistance and more specific roles in the peace process between the Philippine government and the MILF.
“The United States government greatly respect and support people’s struggle and aspiration to achieve peace in the region,” she said.
Really? The U.S. government respects Islamic jihadists whose ‘efforts’ kill non-Muslims and U.S. soldiers to spread Islam and create their own Islamic country within Philippine borders?