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Iqbal: MILF clash with SAF self-defense

/ 04:44 PM January 26, 2015
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MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—It was self-defense.

This was how the chairman of the peace negotiating panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Mohagher Iqbal, described what happened after the rebels killed almost 50 members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) in Maguindanao.

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Five from the MILF were reportedly killed.

“Hindi pwede mag-baby dun. Self-defense ang nangyari,” Iqbal said on Monday.

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He insisted that there was no coordination from the Philippine National Police in the law enforcement operation early Sunday in Tikanalipao in Mamasapano town that lasted for almost 12 hours.

Iqbal said it was the SAF who fired first as they entered the MILF lair, a violation of the peace pact between the government and the MILF.

The policemen were reportedly out to serve the warrant for two wanted terrorists of the Jemaah Islamiyah when they clashed with MILF members.

“Pumasok tapos umaatake, anong gagawin mo,” he said.

Congress hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law were postponed on Monday after the incident.

“Ang importante rito yung dalawang panig, yung partners sa peace process mag-usap at titingnan how to move forward kasi mahalaga yun sa peace process. Mahalaga yung BBL. Although it’s unfortunate yung merong namatay dyan, pero ang importante ang susunod kailangan may coordination para hindi mangyari yung ganyan,” Iqbal said.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro, Ceasefire, elite cops, MILF, Mohagher Iqbal, peace process
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