Tribute to Chairman Salamat Hashim (MILF)


Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal, Spokesperson, Communist Party of the Philippines

The news about MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim`s death saddens us. We extend our condolences to his family, the leaders and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces and the Moro people whom he unstintingly served all his life.

We hail Chairman Salamat`s militancy and revolutionary leadership. He was a great fighter and leader of the Moro people.

With the MILF`s establishment and advance under Chairman Salamat`s leadership, the Moro people`s revolutionary armed struggle gained renewed vigor and determination after the Moro National Liberation Front betrayed it with its acquiescence to the Tripoli Agreement during the US-Marcos dictatorship and the MNLF`s eventual surrender during the US-Ramos regime. The renewed advance of the MILF`s armed struggle for liberation and self-determination is absolutely just in the face of the continued exploitation and oppression of the Moro people at the hands of the reactionary neocolonial Manila government.

Chairman Salamat was very open to the formation of a national revolutionary united front. He had great trust in the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People`s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Under his leadership, the CPP-NDF-NPA and the MILF-BIAF developed a good and fruitful revolutionary alliance that started way back in 1980 but was formalized only in 1999.

Under Chairman Salamat`s leadership, the MILF successfully thwarted the AFP`s all-out war launched by the Estrada regime in 1998 that has been perpetuated and intensified by the Arroyo regime. This regime has run roughshod over the agreements forged during talks with the MILF and even gloats about crushing large Moro communities that serve as MILF bases. For this, the reactionary government reels from the expanding and intensifying guerrilla warfare launched by BIAF fighters.

The reactionary puppet Manila government has likewise failed to use the peace talks to deceive the MILF and effect its surrender. Because they have held fast to their weapons, the MILF, under Chairman Salamat`s leadership, has avoided the capitulationist road and has defended its integrity against attempts by both the Estrada and Arroyo governments to subsume the MILF to their authority.

We are happy to know that the MILF has announced the assumption of Brother Al Haj Murad of the Chairmanship of the MILF Central Committee. We also consider him a friend and ally of the CPP-NDF-NPA. We are confident that Chairman Murad will continue Chairman Salamat`s brilliant work.

Under this new leadership, we foresee the continuing positive relationship and cooperation between the CPP-NDF-NPA and the MILF-BIAF even as the Moro and Filipino peoples continue to advance their revolutionary struggle against US imperialism and the puppet regime.

August 05, 2003