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Comelec: MILF political party can join 2016 polls

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could file a petition to be a registered national or regional political party for the May 2016 polls.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said in an interview that this becomes possible after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the MILF and the Government of the Philippines.

The CAB seeks to end the fighting between the MILF and the government as well as promote peace and development in Mindanao. Under the accord, the MILF has agreed to abandon its arm struggle and instead create a new Bangsamoro political entity in Mindanao.

The poll chief said those who believe that MILF is an advocate of violence will have the burden of proof.

Based on the Omnibus Election Code, any organized group of persons seeking registration as a national or regional political party must file with the Comelec a verified petition attached with their constitution and by-laws, platform or program of government, and other relevant information.

Section 61 of the law also states that no religious sect shall be registered as a political party as well as those that seek to achieve its goal through violence.

MILF officials earlier expressed their desire to create a political party that will enable them to participate in the elections.