“NO TO BAD DOGS” reads one of the placards referring to the candidates perceived to be anti-Moro and anti-Muslim.

Thousands of Bangsamoro Muslims joined the mass rally held at Plaza Cabili, Marawi City on March 9, as a manifestation of outrage at national candidates who, based on their recent actions and policies, the Muslims now consider as enemies of Islam.

These candidates are running for national positions in the coming May 10 elections.

Mr. Joseph ‘Erap’Estrada, a movie actor and former Philippine president who was ousted from office by a popular revolt in 200, is running for the presidency. During his incumbency as Philippine president, he declared and waged all-out war against the MILF which resulted in widespread destruction in Mindanao and Sulu and over 1 million Bangsamoro Muslims being uprooted from their lands and homes. Mosques were not even spared and were also desecrated and destroyed. He has publicly announced that once elected as president, his priority is to make war against the MILF, which is currently holding peace talks with government, again.

The fatwa also declared Senator Mar Roxas and Franklin Drilon, vice-presidential and senatorial candidates respectively of the Liberal Party, as enemies of Islam and the Bangsamoro people. Both strongly opposed the 2008 MILF-GRP Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) and filed a petition-intervention before the Philippine Supreme Court against the signing of this agreement that would have brought the conflict in Mindanao to near closure at the negotiating table between the Philippine government and the MILF. “Up to the present, they are against the welfare of the Bangsamoro”, says the fatwa.

The fatwa finally declared and enjoined all Muslim believers in the Philippines and the Bangsamoro that voting for Erap Estrada, Mar Roxas and Franklin Drilon is ‘HARAM’ (forbidden).

“We will utilize the media and organize more rallies, conferences and Friday congregations to make sure that Erap, Mar Roxas and Franklin Drilon will not succeed in this 2010 election”, says Lacs Dalidig.