Palace: MNLF attack on Abu not sanctioned



President Aquino: No sanction AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino said Tuesday the government did not sanction the attack by armed men of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) against kidnappers believed to be members of the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group that left at least 26 dead.

“There’s no sanction; there’s no clearance. They didn’t tell us that they were going to attack the Abu Sayyaf,” the President said in a press conference after he spoke 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.

Reports said the MNLF, which signed a peace treaty with the government in 1996, had gone to the Abu Sayyaf lair in upland Patikul in Jolo to demand the release of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani and his Filipino companions.

Death toll: 26


The clash broke out on Sunday morning, hours after the kidnappers freed cameraman Ramelito Vela and audio technician Rolando Letrero after eight months of captivity in the jungles of Sulu but reportedly refused to hand over Atyani.

The fighting subsided Monday after the kidnap group reportedly split into smaller groups, with a large group seen fleeing Patikul 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 sent the social welfare department to evacuate those caught in the crossfire.

“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,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview aired over government-run radio.

Violence contained

Aquino said the violence was “being contained” so that it would not spread beyond Patikul.

To prevent similar skirmishes in the future, the President said the government has always advocated a long-term solution: development of Mindanao, specifically the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“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 have not been addressed,” he said.

After a new comprehensive peace agreement is forged with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a breakaway faction of the MNLF, the government would press ahead with its development plan for Mindanao, specifically ARMM, Aquino said.

Sensitive issues

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. The agreement calls for the setting up of an autonomous Bangsamoro entity that would replace ARMM.

In Zamboanga City, Habib Mudjahab Hashim, chairman of the MNLF’s Islamic Council Committee, called for an end to the fighting.

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  • Rovingmoron

    The ASG wouldn’t release Atyani as US$3M is at stake here. They would rather shoot it out with the MNLF. For me what the MNLF did was good in order, once and for all, to drive away these ASG elements outside of the MNLF’s turf.

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    governor is right to pinish the bandits

  • John Sulayman

    “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.”

    Either camp? Dapat walang kasalanan ang MNLF because they did a good job in killing terrorists! Terrorists who love kidnapping and beheading foreigners and Filipinos alike! They’ve been doing the job which Malacanang has failed to do since 1991!

  • agustin

    this is now the chance for our gov’t forces to pulverized the Abu Sayyaf.This Abu Sayyaf has been a headache and have caused much bad image to the Philippines.

  • Night

    abay meron padin palang armed component ang MNLF???

  • GaggerAlert

    If you SOB got kidnapped by the Abu sayaff, hopefully, indi ka tulungan ng MNLF. 

    Even if its not sanctioned, they providec action. You could just acknowledge their help you effing nincompoop!Pasalamat ng nag initiative ang mga to para makuha yung hostage. E yung yung AFP anu na nangyari? Ni tactical support wala??These actions really speaks loudly about our commander in chief! 

  • Bengatibo

    Nagka-onsehan sa hatian nang ransom money.

  • Fulpol

    Abu Sayyaf is not ours- MNLF

    who owned it? who is the protector of Abu Sayyaf?

  • ever green

    nagpaparamdam lang ang MNLF. Matagal na kasing na sideline iyan at puro MILF ang nahe-headline. After the framework agreement between MILF ang the government gusto lang siguro ng MNLF na pakita na they are still a force to reckon with……iyun nga lang medyo pumalpak…..

  • bogli_anakdami

    syempre naman…. parang atimonan 13…. o kaya eh ampatuanization thingy, di ba?

    walang kinalaman ang mga nasa administrasyon jan… peks man… mag-tae man si pres gung gong akin’o..

    yun lang…

  • John Sulayman

    We should be congratulating the MNLF for the job that the Palace and the Philippine Military (kung meron man) has failed to do, which is to kill every last member of the Abu Sayyaf

  • virgoyap

    Is the MNLF not a group to be reckoned with also?

  • bugoybanggers

    Mga US Trained na AFP, saan na kayo? Kita ninyo kung gaano ka PROFESSIONAL makipag barilan ang mga TRAINED by ULAMAS na MNLF at ASG, walang civilian casualties, kung AFP pa baka kahit mga alaga ninyong manok patay sa ratratan. Ang kasundaluhang galing LUZON pag rumatrat, ang mata nakatingin sa LUPA o naka YUKO basta putok dito putok doon BAHALA na ang tamaan dahil iyan ang turo sa kanila ng mga AMO nilang KANO (magaling lang sa WARGAME ala BALIKATAN) at ang mga iyan ay galing sa mga semilya ng mga mamayabang na mga BETERANO(WW2) ng Bataan.. (Mga nauna pang sumuko sa mga HAPON na hinahangaan ng kanilang mga APO). Lahing mga duwag at mayayabang, mag balot balot na kayo, hayaan na lang ninyong mga Mandirigmang MORO ang mag resolba sa problema nila. Nasaan na ang mga CHR? Yung pinagmamalaki ng DEMOKRASYANG Pilipinas, sugod na kayo at mag imbestiga, baka ang bayag ninyo ay pang duwag at mayayabang na kawani ng AFP-PNP lang! Nakakahiyang kawani ng gobierno na malamya na nagpapaBULLY dahil dakilang tuta ng mga manlolokong KANO.

  • Pitbulldog

    Mukhang nagre-report na yata kay P-noy ang MNLF ayon sa pagkaintindi sa sinasabi ng kumag.  A president talking about a “lawless” element as if it is just a branch of his armed services.   Ogag ka talaga, pabayaan mo magubusan ang mga ungas na yan.  Mas maraming issues na mas mahalaga na dapat mong asikasuhin, engot. Ano pakialam namin kung matigok lahat ng mga yan?

  • gear

    sa paghuhugas ng kamay ng palasyo: can we ask France to assist us in fighting terrorist? Mabilis kasi nila napuksa mga terrorist sa Mali bakit satin antagal na ng gulo sa Mindanao – haist sabagay kabuhayan kasi ng mga ilan jan nakasalalay sa digmaan. so insincere.

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