MANILA (Mabuhay) — Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal on Wednesday defended his use of an alias, saying such is a common practice within a revolutionary organization. He remained mum on what his real name is.
At the House of Representatives’ third hearing on the Mamasapano debacle, Iqbal maintained he is a Filipino citizen and a Bangsamoro “by entity.”
Asked by Ang Nars party-list Rep. Leah Paquiz what his real name is, Iqbal clammed up and shifted the topic to the various aliases he uses.
“I have so many names and that is natural in revolutionary organizations,” he said.
To emphasize the commonality of using pseudonyms, Iqbal said Filipino hero Marcelo del Pilar was known to have used nine aliases during his lifetime.
Some of the fake names which Del Pilar was said to have used are Siling Labuyo, Dolores and Plaridel.
In an attempt to know Iqbal’s real name, House committee on public order and safety chair Negros Occidental Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer asked the MILF executive if he could show lawmakers his passport during the hearing but he declined because of certain “sensitivities.”
Instead, Iqbal said he will ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to provide the House with information regarding the name indicated on his one and only passport.
“Because of security reasons, my name on the passport is known only to the government. I travel a lot—maybe hundred times. But I’m not hiding my name on my passport,” he said
Even Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles was evasive in answering questions on Iqbal’s use of myriad aliases.
Asked by Paquiz what the peace panel thinks of the multiple names used by the MILF executive, Deles said: “In entering and leaving the country, they used their Philippines passport issued by DFA.”
She only reiterated her answer on Iqbal’s use of a DFA-issued passport when the lawmaker repeated her question.
Flustered, Paquiz remarked, “Thank you very much but I’m not satisfied with your answer.”
Professor Miriam Coronel Ferrer, chair of the government peace panel, earlier admitted Iqbal was using an alias but she declined from divulging his real name.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles took issue with Iqbal’s use of pseudonyms, saying the use of pseudonyms in any public transaction or document is prohibited under Article 178 of the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Alias Law under Commonwealth Act 142 as amended by Republic Act 6085. (MNS)