Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday claimed he has been targeted for assassination by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, supposedly to ensure the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Appearing at the Kapihan sa Senado, Cayetano said an “official intelligence report” furnished by a law enforcement agency he refused to identify specifically named him, confirming what he learned from “unofficial sources,” who said politicians, including one from Metro Manila, would be “sacrificed” for the BBL’s passage.

Asked to show the report naming him, Cayetano said those who furnished him a copy “requested not to divulge it in public since they are still investigating the report.”

Nevertheless, he claimed the report said “the threat was specifically for me as a senator.”

“Sa unofficial sources, politicians ang tinutukoy (The unofficial sources only mentioned politicians),” he added.

In the wake of the January 25 Mamasapano incident, Cayetano withdrew his sponsorship of the proposed BBL, which would create a new autonomous homeland as part of the peace agreement between the MILF and government.

Cayetano, who hails from Taguig City, which hosts a large Muslim community, claimed that if the assassination bid succeeded, “palalabasin na naman ng MILF na BIFF iyon, pero hindi naman BIFF iyon, na palagi nilang ginagawa (the MILF will say it is the handiwork of the BIFF, even if it isn’t, which is what they always do).”

He also claimed that the two organizations are “BFF, best friends forever.”

The BIFF, which is the target of an ongoing “all-out” military offensive in Maguindanao, broke away from the MILF in 2008 after disagreeing with the direction peace talks with government were heading. The BIFF continues to pursue the establishment of an independent Islamic state in the south.

Cayetano said he and his family are taking the alleged threat seriously, including considering asking for additional security personnel.

“We are taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our family,” Cayetano said, adding this was what the agency that furnished him the report recommended.

The senator also claimed there was a “black propaganda” campaign to portray him as “anti-Muslim.”

“Mula Marawi hanggang Luzon, ipinagkakalat nila na anti-Muslim ako, pero hindi nililiwanag na anti-MILF lang ako (From Marawi to Luzon, they are spreading the word that I am anti-Muslim without explaining that I am only anti-MILF),” he said.

“If you look at Taguig City, we have one of the largest communities of Muslims, the Maharlika Village. Most of them are my supporters and they even tell me some information,” Cayetano said.

“I am not anti-Muslim, but I am anti-MILF. In fact the chief security of Taguig City is a Muslim, why should I be an anti-Muslim,” Cayetano said.  (MNS)