P-Noy admits P5-million check was given to MILF chair; Peace negotiator clarifies money was "not for guns or ammunition"

Interaksyon.com reports that President Benigno Aquino III admitted yesterday, October 26, that the government’s chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen turned a check for P5 million to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Murad Ebrahim during the formal exploratory talks held in Kuala Lumpur last August 22 to 23.

Interaksyon.com reports that President Benigno Aquino III admitted yesterday, October 26, that the government turned over a check for P5 million to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Murad Ebrahim. It was chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen who gave the check to Ebrahim during the formal exploratory talks held in Kuala Lumpur last August 22 to 23.

 

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the money was for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Management and Leadership Institute (BLMI) to "train future Bangsamoro leaders."

 

"The government, through (Leonen), is asking for accountability. We will be expecting some report on the outcome of the P5 million and where it went. We hope the MILF will clarify this part," Lacierda said.

 

Meanwhile, Leonen, dismissed reports that the P5 million was used to buy guns and ammunition "as alleged by a malicious text message." Recently, there have been text messages going around, implying that the money was used to beef up MILF’s weapons cache.

 

Leonen added that the BLMI was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has enabled it to receive assistance from donor institutions such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He also pointed out: "The P5 million is a commitment made by the previous administration. It is intended to fast-track the establishment of the institute."

 

For more on this story, log on to Interaksyon.com.

 

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