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MILF fumes over ‘disturbed’ honeymoon

/ 07:02 PM April 15, 2014

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Tuesday accused the military in Basilan for “disturbing” their “honeymoon period” with Malacañang after its operations against the Abu Sayyaf supposedly killed some of their members.

“That’s why my message to the military in Basilan is please do not disturb the honeymoon period between the MILF and Malacañang because after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, there is a honeymoon period,” MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar told reporters.

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The government sealed a peace deal with MILF late last month, ending the decades-old armed conflict in Mindanao. On Monday, the government received the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a product of the peace negotiations between the two.

The military launched operations in Basilan against the Abu Sayyaf on Friday. Reports said that 18 were killed from the ASG while two soldiers died.

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But Jaafar said he received reports that four members of the MILF were killed from the operations.

“The report that I’m getting is that our men in that area were affected directly although the target was not them….So we think dapat malaman ang dahilan bakit nagkaganun because probably someone committed a mistake again and dapat hindi ito maulit,” he said.

Jaafar said the issue has already reached the International Monitoring Team, but added that the MILF is also conducting its own investigation.

The IMT is tasked to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF.

Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista, meanwhile, said those MILF that joined the series of clashes were there in “personal capacity” as some of those involved were their relatives.

“We are in touch with the MILF. There were persons who joined in their personal capacity because they were relatives,” he told reporters.

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