Representatives from different Muslim groups gesture a thumbs-down sign as they launch their “Anti-Bugok (rotten) Coalition” urging the public not to vote for pro-war politicians, at a press conference in Manila, Monday. The groups criticized several politicians calling for all-out war against Moro rebels in Mindanao in response to the bloody Mamasapano encounter.(MNS photo)

Representatives from different Muslim groups gesture a thumbs-down sign as they launch their “Anti-Bugok (rotten) Coalition” urging the public not to vote for pro-war politicians, at a press conference in Manila, Monday. The groups criticized several politicians calling for all-out war against Moro rebels in Mindanao in response to the bloody Mamasapano encounter. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal admitted the group used to have its own arms factory, but they already abandoned it because of the peace process.

When asked where the MILF acquired its firearms, Iqbal said the group bought weapons from gun smugglers and gun runners within the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police during the Arroyo administration.

Noong una, meron kami, inaamin namin gumagawa kami ng RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] at saka iba’t ibang armas, pero ngayon wala na po. Kasi kung maipasa ang BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) magde-decommission po ang MILF,” he said.

Iyung armas na binili namin, karamihan niyan nanggagaling sa AFP at PNP pero before, not now…during the time of [President Gloria] Arroyo.”

Iqbal also said the MILF has stopped recruiting child warriors.

Meron na ho kaming naprimahan with UNICEF na iyung pag-recruit ng mga bata below 18 years old, bawal na po at tinutupad namin iyan…hindi na po ginagawa ng MILF yan,” Iqbal said. (MNS)