Sen. Cayetano uncovers Iqbal’s real identity


MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

I don’t know why but Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano seems to be making a big deal out of Mohagher Iqbal’s real identity.

After being critical of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator for using an alias in talking peace with the government and working for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Cayetano finally uncovered Iqbal’s real name to be Datucan Abas, based on school and criminal records that he presented.

To me it was not really much of a revelation as a police record showing a warrant of arrest for the bombing of the Davao’s Sasa wharf and airport was issued to one bearing the name of Datucan Abas Mohagher Iqbal.

Cayetano said Datucan Abas Mohagher Iqbal was among respondents in a case in the 11th Judicial Region Branch 12, Regional Trial Court in Davao City.

Needless to say that Iqbal has behind him a criminal record when scores of people died during the Davao bombings in April 2003.

He may have been comfortable and safe using the pseudo name Mohagher Iqbal thereafter, which many people believed was his true name, but would using the name Datucan Abas had made a lot more of difference in who he really as the MILF chief peace negotiator?

We are all for peace in Mindanao by creating a Bangsamoro political entity in the region that will help its people attain an improved quality of life and see the place progress, and certainly the government panel is not negotiating with the MILF because it wants to change Iqbal’s personality.

More than a person’s character or identity, what should be of greater consideration and interest when a former rebel person takes on the noble job of negotiating with the government in establishing peace and stability in his fellow Muslim’s war-torn region, is his intention and motivation, not to mention his sincerity.

The BBL is not about Iqbal or Abas or any other negotiator’s name. It is about the result of the negotiation by government and a group of former rebels of the MILF who have chosen to have peace in Mindanao.

Surely, the MILF is not a bogus organization.


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