Palace rules out US support for MNLF in fighting Abu Sayyaf

...President’s spokesman says AFP to eventually stop fighting between MNLF, Abu Sayyaf

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Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang said on Thursday that authorities would eventually intervene to stop sporadic fighting between the Moro National Liberation Front and Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu but only after securing the civilians.

Strategic Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang gave this statement, even as he stressed the Philippine government would not endorse the MNLF’s request for arms from the US in fighting the Abu Sayyaf.

Speaking about the end to the fighting between the MNLF and the Abu Sayyaf, Carandang said, “Well, ultimately that’s what we want to happen. But first things first. I think it’s more important at this point to ensure the safety of civilians and then the other issues such as putting an end to this, I think, will come after we’ve done the primary task.’’

And authorities’ primary task would be to secure civilians from being caught in the crossfire, Carandang said.

“We also want to make sure that any hostages that may be held remain safe. Those are the priorities of our security forces—particularly making sure that the civilians remain unaffected as much as possible or not harmed by the fighting that’s happening between the MNLF fighters and the Abu Sayyaf,’’ he added.

Col. Orlando de Leon, commander of the 2nd Marine Brigade stationed in Sulu, said he would deploy troops to the area to contain the fighting by encircling it.

Eight MNLF fighters were killed and beheaded by the ASG while 18 of the bandits were confirmed dead in the fighting that broke out hours after the bandit group freed two Filipino TV crewmen Saturday night, after MNLF tried to help in negotiating for their release.

Rolando Letrero and Ramelito Vale, Filipino crewmen of Jordanian journalist Baker Abdulla Atyani, were freed in Patikul town, Sulu, Saturday night.

MNLF commander Khabir Malik tried to negotiate for the release of Atyani and his Filipino crewmen with Abu Sayyaf commander Jul-Asman Sawadjaan. The bandit group rejected this, and instead released the two to unknown negotiators, angering the MNLF.

Meanwhile, Carandang said they could not confirm reports that the MNLF had rescued three foreign hostages.

“We have not verified this. According to our AFP, there’s no definite information about the claims of the MNLF at this point,’’ he said.

Carandang also ruled out a government endorsement of MNLF’s “appeal’’ for outside help against the bandit group.

“Not at this time,’’ Carandang said, reacting to a blog on the bangsamoromnlf.blogspot.com appealing for donation of ammunition from the US Embassy in Manila to the MNLF.”I believe that the Americans will act in accordance to the statements and the policies of the government and they will take the lead based on what we say.’’

Speaking in Davao City last Tuesday, President Aquino declared that the MNLF operation against the bandits was not sanctioned by the government.

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  • bogli_anakdami

    teka… teka… teka… muna…

    how strong is the abusabayags, allah la la la la-wise?

    how about the aft/pnp sundalong-kanins (uniformed thugs)?

    ay sus, ginoo… how how da karabaw can the bottle oooopsie battle hardered generales garapales not defeat the ragtags?

    yun lang…

  • Fulpol

    a tough arm group wanted to end Abu Sayyaff… but BS Aquino gov’t has still reservation??

    US declared Abu Sayyaff as terrorist….

    something fishy about Carandang’s comment on the issue..

    I kept on asking: who owns Abu Sayyaff?

    MNLF might say: “we don’t owned them”…

  • Fulpol

    conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy…

    true peace is elusive because of conspiracies…

  • bogli_anakdami

    bangsamorons (silent n) ~ nmlf, milf, abusabayags, nmop, mnpq, etchas tera, etc, ~ is pnp/afp mistahs/pmaers cash cow…

    kung wala sila, allah eh di walang abuloy from unc sammy, oic, eu, asean, and any civilized world who would be willing to send ukay-ukay to flip gung gongs…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O3ENWYQ6FDNIXMUJDQ7HP2TLQM rey

    who, in the first place, trained the abu sayyaf?

  • $37644997

    A strategy that comes too late is very ineffective.MNLF has a strategy that works better than the one that is suggestive.

  • PHtaxpayer

    PH govt should scrap VFA. There are reports the Americans are aiding the MNLF already.
    The CIA aided the mujahidin in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s. The US govt gives Islamic states like Pakistand and the Gulf states billions in arms and aid every year. There are over 600 American soldiers in Mindanao today. They should be removed for the sake of national security.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XIDO4V2FQAQ6UPUCBXYOODPLAA drunken_master

    “…authorities would eventually intervene to stop sporadic fighting between the Moro National Liberation Front and Abu Sayyaf…” — aba e huwag!!! hayaan natin silang mag-ubusan!!! nyahahaha

  • Loggnat

    The AFP should have coordinated and assisted the MNLF against the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf when the firefight started. The MNLF has the guts to take on the Abus and the military did not take the opportunity to really put a lot of damaged to the Abu terrorist group. Those Polish helicopters equipped with infra-red sights and cameras could have further reduced the membership total of the Abus.

  • pinoyobserver

    IDIOTIC! The Government standing by while the MNLF, who is supposed to be a peace partner, battles the terrostic and criminal ASG.  Mga Inutil kayo. Are you suffering from Amnesia and have forgotten all the Soldiers and ordinary civilians, local and foreigners alike, who have been brutally killed and terrorized by these bandits?

  • Ronald Tan

    Walang kwenta ang Gobyerno sa sitwasyon na ito. Hindi ba dapat ahit moral Support man lang sa MNLF ibigay? Medical, Supplies. 

    ang tagal tagal na nyang ABU SAYYAF Problem Eto na ang pagkakataon!

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