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AFP ready for possible MNLF attacks

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Philippine Army soldiers fire a 60mm mortar towards the position of MNLF loyal to Misuari where they camp out with their hostages in Barangay Sta. Barbara in Zamboanga City. EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines is ready for possible attacks by the Moro National Liberation Front following the signing of the annex on power sharing in the framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“The desire of the AFP is to end or put closure to all internal security threats through peaceful means like this one with the MILF. This closure will bring peace to the area. However, if others do not see it that way, that is unfortunate but it is the duty of the AFP to maintain peace and order at all times. So if there are any threats from anyone we are prepared for it,” AFP spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told reporters on Tuesday.

A news report quoted MNLF spokesperson Absalom Cerveza as saying that the deal on power sharing between the MILF and the government would lead to another war.

In September, MNLF forces under the faction of founding chairman Nur Misuari attacked Zamboanga City to show disagreement over the peace deal the government and MILF are working on. The three-week fighting claimed more than 200 lives and displaced more than 100,000 persons.

Zagala said they do not desire a repeat of the Zamboanga siege, which he described as “very tragic.”

“As an organization, the AFP cannot tolerate the attack on Zamboanga so it is our duty to stop all threats,” he said.

Zagala also said that they have received no information on any impending attack by the MNLF, adding that the statement of Cerveza does not reflect the whole MNLF.

“We believe that the MNLF still abides by the final peace agreement and that what happened in Zamboanga are only misguided by Misuari,” he said.

RELATED STORIES:

AFP welcomes gov’t, MILF power-sharing deal

Gov’t, MILF agree on power-sharing, go closer to comprehensive peace pact

Gazmin thinks man who led MNLF attack on Zamboanga is dead


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