Aquino: No support, clearance for MNLF attacks on Abu Sayyaf

‘Proper authorities to solve Sulu crisis,’ says President


President Benigno Aquino III FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino said Tuesday that the government did not sanction the attack by the Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas against Abu Sayyaf Group bandits that left at least 26 dead.

“There’s no sanction; there’s no clearance. They didn’t tell us that they’re gonna attack the Abu Sayyaf,’’ the President said after speaking at the Philippine Development Forum in Davao City.

The President’s deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said they were deferring to local authorities to determine whether either camp would be held liable for the killings.

After years of fighting for secession, the MNLF signed a peace agreement with the Ramos administration in 1996.

The clash broke out Sunday morning, hours after the bandit group freed cameraman Ramelito Vela and audio technician Rolando Letrero Saturday night after eight months of captivity in the jungles of Sulu.

The fighting subsided Monday after the bandit group split into smaller groups, with a large group seen fleeing Patikul town to an adjacent town. Authorities put the death toll at 26.

On hearing about last Sunday’s clash, the President said he ordered the military and police to secure the civilians, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to evacuate them.

“So there was something like 300-plus families that are currently being assisted primarily by the LGU (local government unit) of Sulu, assisted by our national government agencies,’’ Mr. Aquino told reporters in a chance interview with reporters aired over government-run radio.

He said the violence was “being contained’’ to prevent it from spreading beyond Patikul.

President Aquino took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of developing Mindanao, specifically the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to prevent similar skirmishes in the future.

“That’s what we’re hoping to achieve with the peace process: address the root cause of rebellion, and find solutions to the social ills that had not been addressed,’’ he said.

After the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which broke away from the MNLF, the government would press ahead with its development plan for Mindanao, specifically ARMM, he said.

“We have a long list of plans especially for the ARMM,’’ he said.

The government and the MILF are now ironing out sensitive issues in the annexes of the framework agreement that was signed in October last year and that seeks  to set up an autonomous Bangsamoro entity that would replace ARMM.

“With regards to the governance of the ARMM, there’s a transition commission leading up to the 2016 elections where there’s a transitional authority,”  he said, referring to the body that would draft a proposed law creating a new autonomous government. “The people of Mindanao will be taking a more, shall we say, a more responsive approach to governance.’’

The entity that would replace the ARMM would address the problem on a long-term basis, he added.

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  • billy gunner

    no support or clearance you say? you are the government and you are supposed to exercise effective control of the governed, right? para mo lang sinabi na wala ka ngang ginagawa.

    • Winzum Daoas

      They said there was go government support because the MNLF acted unilaterally. Unless you insist that the government must be able to predict the future or read minds, then the your statement is not an intelligent statement but a statement of hate. Since they cannot read minds or look into the future, the best they can now do is to investigate and to contain it. Its like you are saying the government is at fault because they cannot control everything. If you still believe in your first statement, I dare you to predict and enumerate to me every single gun battle that will happen in Mindanao between any forces in the next year. If you cannot, then you’ve just disproved your point.

      • billy gunner

        really? the gun battle has been raging for days and all the govt could say is that it would not interfere coz it doesnt want to appear as the one who started it all. sure you cant predict but don’t tell me you can do nothing about it!

      • Bongbong123

        The government
        must support MNLF to get rid of these bandits.

  • Blod

    parang walang paki alam, para naren niang sinabi na, kayo na bahala dyan, Note: Territory paren ng pinas yong pinag sasagupaan nila, protect the innocent people… 

  • aldhins

    Tama ang ginawa ng MNLF kailangan na ng kamay  na bakal sa mga Abu Sayyaf  wala na silang pinag-lalaban ultimo kapwa nila Muslim kidnap na nila  para  mag ka pera.

  • joboni96

    kailangang magkaisa ang bangsa moro

    para masipa ang imperyalista sa mindanao

  • Adarna

    INQUIRER PLEASEE! you are misleading the public with your WRONG  TITLE. Basing from this article, the president DID NOT  mention the word ” no support”. Better place “no sanction , no clearance” or whatever is truly best. Because at times in the world of politics, you may not be “cleared”, but you are “supported”. Kawawa naman ung namatay na MNLF, wala pala silang “supporta” from gov if ure taking the title na wala naman sa full article if you read it. So please, better omit the word “no support”. It is never stated in the article.

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    kukuwa pa ng clearance ayaw talaga maubos ang mga bandido! hindi na kailangan ang clearance  ubusin na ang mga criminal puntahan sa bundok dun nag kukuta! mahina ang pangulo na ito ubusin ang bandido

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