Basilan execs ask MILF fighters to leave village stricken by fear following clash | Inquirer News
Close  

Basilan execs ask MILF fighters to leave village stricken by fear following clash

/ 05:07 PM March 03, 2021

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Officials of Sumisip town, Basilan province asked members of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), armed wing of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to leave a villae in the town to calm people down.

Sumisip Mayor Andan Hataman said at least 1,000 residents of Sukaten village had fled their homes when BIAF members clashed with government soldiers, leaving two soldiers and a guerrilla wounded

ADVERTISEMENT

Three smaller communities—Campo Tres, Punoh Kilale and Kahawaan—were in the crossfire, said the mayor.

Most residents of Sukaten had sought shelter in another village, Tumahubong. They go to Sukaten only during daytime to tend to their farms and animals.

FEATURED STORIES

Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, commanding officer of Joint Task Force Basilan, confirmed the clash between BIAF and government soldiers last Feb. 28.

He said armed members of MILF occupied Sukaten and sent in reinforcement which brought fear to residents.

Gobay said what the MILF group did violated the “normalization process.”

“They are not supposed to expand the area of temporary stay and they are prohibited from bringing firearms outside of this area,” Gobway said.

Hataman said the local government’s request for BIAF fighters to leave the village was just an echo of a similar appeal by village leaders.

But instead of leaving, BIAF allegedly set up checkpoints and added 50 more men to the guerrilla group already in the area.

Gobway said he sent the 64th Infantry Battalion and some officials of the local ceasefire committee for negotiations but on the way to Sukaten, “they were fired upon.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The clash came almost seven years after the government and the MILF signed a peace agreement that sought to expand Moro autonomous rule in Mindanao but fell short of setting up an independent Islamic state.

This is the second gunfight after the 2014 pact that pitted government troops and MILF forces. The first, an unintended one, was during the January 2015 botched operation against Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan that left 44 police commandoes killed.

As a result of the peace agreement, the 40,000-strong BIAF is now awaiting decommissioning, a process that had already covered 12,000 of the guerrillas as of 2020.

Edited by TSB

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

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: Army, Basilan, gunfight, MILF, Mindanao, Moro
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 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.