Close  

MILF slams police over Lanao Sur clash

Former Moro rebel group files protest, says PNP violated ceasefire terms in encounter that killed 4 of its fighters

SHATTERED CALM The seaside town of Madamba, Lanao del Sur, became a brief battleground between government forces and MILF fighters after policemen tried to arrest suspects in a murder case.

DAVAO CITY—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Friday filed a protest against the police for allegedly violating a ceasefire agreement in the deadly clash in Madamba, Lanao del Sur province, that left four Moro fighters dead.

This developed as Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. described the incident as “an isolated case,” but appealed to government security forces to be prudent in conducting law enforcement operations in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to avoid jeopardizing the peace process in the South.

ADVERTISEMENT

Butch Malang, chair of the MILF panel in the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), told the Inquirer that police did not inform his group about their operation at Barangay Ilian.

“There was no coordination with the CCCH and clearly this is a violation of the ceasefire agreement. The clashes could have been prevented if there was coordination,” Malang said in a phone interview.

FEATURED STORIES

According to him, the village is an MILF-populated community.

Warrants of arrest

A police team was serving warrants of arrest early on Thursday against several suspects in the murder of a village official when the clash occured at Ilian.

Police claimed the suspects resisted arrest and that the ensuing firefight resulted in the killing of four men, whom the MILF later identified as members of its Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

Eight soldiers who joined the police team were wounded and one policeman remained missing as of Friday morning.

Malang said the CCCH was working to locate the missing policeman.

Von Al Haq, spokesperson for the BIAF, said the government troops involved in the operation should have coordinated with the CCCH to prevent the clash.

ADVERTISEMENT

The government and the MILF, he explained, have not signed an “exit agreement” despite the creation of the BARMM, meaning all mechanisms under the peace process have not been dissolved.

Order to stand down

Al Haq said the MILF had ordered its fighters in Madamba and neighboring towns to stand down.

“[We ordered them] not to be swayed by their emotions [and to] totally observe and respect all peace mechanisms with the sole intent of protecting the gains of the peace process,” he said.

Galvez said the military, the police and local officials were planning to hold a dialogue with the MILF’s 102nd Base Command to normalize the situation.

“They should bear in mind the supremacy of the peace process and the safety of the operating troops should always prevail, and consider the strategic implications of their tactical actions,” Galvez told the Inquirer in a text message.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: BARMM, Carlito Galvez, clash. Lanao del Sur, Madamba, MILF, Military, Mindanao, peace process, ‎Police
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.