Posts Tagged ‘MILF’

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MILF denies killing terrorist for reward money

May 29, 2015

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) purportedly whacked a fellow terrorist to collect the $1 million bounty offered on his head. The MILF denies it, but whoever said there’s honor among thieves? Not a bad idea actually. If you can get rid of a rival terror kingpin and enrich yourself in the process, it’s easy to understand why some terrorist groups would consider doing something like this. If I were one of the terrorists listed in the U.S. Rewards for Justice program, I’d be keeping one eye open for any “colleagues” who might want to capitalize on my death.

From ABS-CBN News on May 12:

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Government shares wealth with MILF

July 18, 2013

The central government of the Philippines has brokered a deal with the radical Moro Islamic Liberation Front to split revenues generated in the breakaway southern island of Mindanao.  The MILF (or “Bangsamoro”) will receive 75 percent of tax revenues, 75 percent of mining revenues, and 50 percent of fossil fuel revenues, with the central government retaining the balance.  The “crown jewel” of the agreement is that the MILF will receive their whopping cut through an automatic, annual, haggle-free grant from the central government.

It remains to be seen which taxes, such as zakat, jizya, or kharaj, the MILF may seek to impose on Mindanao residents.  The agreement is reminiscent of a truce between the government of Pakistan and militants in the tribal belt that resulted in the imposition of jizya against Sikhs in that country in 2009.

From the Philippine Star on Tuesday:

MANILA, Philippines – A wealth-sharing deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is advantageous to the country and “will stand the test of legality and constitutionality,” the chief of the government panel negotiating peace with Muslim rebels said yesterday.

In a press briefing at Malacañang, chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said a wealth-sharing scheme approved on Saturday was justified as it would make the envisioned Bangsamoro entity self-sustaining and progressive.

The Bangsamoro is also entitled to automatic appropriation from the central government.

Based on the agreement, the Bangsamoro entity gets 75 percent share in taxes and revenues from natural resources and metallic minerals and 50 percent from energy and other mineral resources.

Ferrer said that of all the provisions in the wealth-sharing annex, “the jewel in the crown” was the provision entitling Bangsamoro to automatic appropriation and regular release of budget.

The allocation will be in the form of an annual “block grant” from the central government similar to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) received by local government units.

“The formula for the automatic appropriation of block grant will be provided in the basic law. Many of us have not focused on this detail because much of the reporting on media have concentrated on the sharing arrangements with regard to natural resources but, as I said, this is the jewel in the crown,” Ferrer said.

At the same time, Ferrer said the agreement provided that revenues collected by the Bangsamoro from additional taxes and their share in government income from natural resources would be deducted from the annual block grants on the fourth year of the operation of the regular Bangsamoro government.

“This provision came from the MILF. It indicated that behind the haggling for more share is the intent to be less and less dependent on the national government,” Ferrer said.

“It indicated that the intention is not to get the ‘lion’s share’ for its own sake but to be able, in the future, to stand tall as a progressive and peaceful region; an equal partner of the central government in an equally peaceful and progressive country,” she said.

“This, indeed, is the true meaning of partnership – a partnership that is not based on dependency and patronage, but on the strength and capacities introduced by both for the benefit of the whole,” she added.

Ferrer said this was a unique provision because there would be automatic appropriation that would spare the region from the constraints of central budgeting process.

“I would like to say that this is a structural difference. This is not just an add-on in terms of additional percentage or whatever but this, basically, redefines the whole structure with regard to the financing of the Bangsamoro government,” Ferrer said…

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Power to tax granted to MILF

October 14, 2012

The government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have reached the framework for greater Muslim control over the southern Philippines.  The framework grants the MILF the power to tax the locals (see here and here).  To the layman, this may sound like a technical concession of little importance and limited risk.

But given the track record of militant groups that have used traditional Islamic tax policies such as zakat and jizya to fund jihad, this concession is very disturbing.

Consider:

  • Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan impose mandatory zakat (a portion of which tax may be allocated to the mujahideen in accordance with sharia law).
  • Pakistan struck a truce in 2009 that wound up allowing Islamic militants to collect jizya from Sikhs.
  • Malaysia imposes mandatory zakat, a quasi-jizya through its bumiputra system, and has at least one Islamic political party that has proposed the reinstatement of the kharaj—an Islamic property tax that imposes higher rates on non-Muslims.
  • According to the U.S. State Department’s 2009 report on international religious freedom in reference to the Philippines:  “In July 2008 Catholic Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela, Basilan and other Catholics reportedly received letters from self-described ‘Muslim warriors’ possibly linked to the ASG [Abu Sayyaf Group], threatening harm if the Catholics did not convert to Islam or pay ‘Islamic taxes.’”

Given the pattern, would you really expect the MILF to apply modern, secular income and sales taxes with rates equally applied to Muslims and Catholics alike?  Would you expect the revenues to be used for social services equitably delivered to all citizens regardless of religion?  Unlikely.

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Philippines to let MILF collect taxes

February 3, 2010

In a chilling decision, Filipino negotiators are poised to put the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in charge of tax collection in the South.  Thanks to Rantburg for headlining this story yesterday.  Their source for this article was Iran Press TV:

The Filipino government has agreed to offer expanded autonomy to the Muslim minority in the country’s south.

Officials hope the move will pave the way for sealing a peace deal aimed at ending the 40-year-long conflict in the region with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Annabelle Abaya, the presidential adviser on the peace process, was hoping that the offer would convince the MILF to sign a peace accord before a new president is sworn in on June 30. “In enhanced autonomy, the president is offering to share powers,” Abaya told reporters on Monday.

The autonomy allows the Muslim minority to control tax collection and natural resources in the south.

As I commented on Rantburg, this means that as in Pakistan, South Filipinos will be forced to pay the 2.5% zakat tax plus secular Philippine taxes, that Muslim farmers will pay the discriminatory ushr tax on harvests, that Christians will be subjected to the jizya, and in the Philippines we may even see the restoration of Islam’s ancient & hated kharaj tax on land seized from non-Muslims.

Then tax revenues will be skimmed off the top by the tax collectors, who will claim that they’re spending it on the poor, but the bulk of it will actually be spent to propagate Islam and to wage jihad.

Prediction:  MILF autonomy will not “solve” militant Islam in the Philippines, it will exacerbate it.