MORO Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar on Wednesday died at the age of 75.
Jaafar passed away in a hospital in Davao City due to kidney failure.
Malacañang yesterday expressed its condolences to the family and friends of the late MILF leader and Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) member.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called Jaafar a “warrior of peace” who “has fought many battles” for his cause.
“May Allah grant him a place in Jannah (Paradise),” Panelo said.
Jaafar was a “great Moro leader” who showed everyone his determination in leading the Moro people through the passage and eventual ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr.
“We will never forget that despite his health condition, Jaafar went the extra mile to join several campaign rallies to push for the realization of the Moro people’s aspiration for a genuine and meaningful autonomy,” Galvez said.
“Jaafar selflessly dedicated and devoted his life for others. Truly, he is a man of peace,” he added.
Jaafar served as chairperson of the MILF peace negotiating panel from 1996 to 1997.
He was also the first vice chairman of the MILF Central Committee and vice chairperson for political affairs of the rebel group that once waged a bloody separatist insurgency in Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Jaafar as chairperson of the BTA which helped Congress in drafting the BOL in January 2017.
Despite his frail health, Jaafar attended the oath-taking of BTA members in Malacañang on February 22.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines yesterday offered prayers and condoled with the family, relatives and friends of Jaafar.
AFP spokesman Marine B/Gen Edgard Arevalo said the AFP, through its chief of staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., mourned with the untimely demise of the MILF vice chair.
“His insights and dedication as a person and as a peace advocate will be his enduring legacy not only to the Bangsamoro people but to the entire nation as well. For those whom he left behind, the pursuit for peace continues until its fruition,” Madrigal said.
PNP JOINS MOURNING
The Philippine National Police yesterday joined the entire country in mourning and paying respects to Jaafar.
“The Philippine National Police joins the Filipino nation in mourning over the passing of Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission. From a worthy adversary to a partner in peace, Chairman Jaafar shared the PNP’s aspirations for genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao,” said PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Bernard Banac.
Major General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army also expressed condolences to the family of Jaafar.
Police Regional Office 11 director Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales said Jaafar’s remains were claimed by close friends and relatives and brought to Cotabato City for burial in accordance with the Muslim tradition.
With Alfred Dalizon and Zaida delos Reyes