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Gov’t troop deployment near MILF camps to foil BIFF attacks, says general

/ 07:20 PM July 27, 2014

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Government troops did not violate a ceasefire with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mindanao as a top official said the recent movements in two Maguindanao towns were meant as a preemptive move against possible attacks from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez, who leads the government side of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, said the issue has been clarified with the MILF.

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“It was a show of force against the BIFF. We have talked to the MILF and we said it was not intended for them,” the official said.

Galvez issued the statement after the MILF accused government troops of violating a ceasefire in parts of Mindanao by making “uncoordinated movements” in two Maguindanao towns, Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi.

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In a post on its website on Saturday, www.luwaran.com, the MILF said the military made movements early morning in areas near MILF forces.

Citing reports from MILF commanders, Luwaran said “hundreds” of Philippine Army troops in full battle gear and backed with several tanks moved into Barangays Kitango, Tatapan, Kitapok, Maitem, and Pagatin.

Galvez clarified that the issue has been cleared up with the local commanders.

He said the area was near MILF-controlled areas and the movement might have been misconstrued as against the MILF.

“The intention was to reposition in case a BIFF attack should happen, and we don’t want that to happen with civilians getting involved. So what we did was a preemptive move,” Galvez said.

He added that the preemptive action was in light of President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address on Monday.

“In preparation for the SONA, we are having these preemptive movements,” he said, adding that the MILF has been informed and has come to understand the situation.

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TAGS: Armed conflict, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, biff, Carlito Galvez, Ceasefire, Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, Insurgency, internal defense, MILF, Military, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro rebellion, News, Peace agreement, peace negotiations, peace process, Peace Talks, Philippine Army, rebellion, Regions, Security, troop deployment
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