outbrain
Close  

AFP confirms it coordinated with the MILF on Basilan operations

General confirms that 'Abu Sayyaf suspect' is an MILF man; Probe underway on why suspect was where he should not be
/ 06:06 PM April 14, 2016
SURVIVOR’S STORY AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin listen to the story of Capt. Kiblas Mauricio, who survived the clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan on Saturday. JULIE S. ALIPALA / INQUIRER MINDANAO

SURVIVOR’S STORY: AFP Chief of Staff Hernando Iriberri and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin listen to the story of Capt. Kiblas Mauricio, who survived the clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan on Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016. JULIE S. ALIPALA / INQUIRER MINDANAO

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) prior to its operation in the village of Baguindan in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan on April 9 that left 18 soldiers dead and 56 others wounded.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said the coordination, made through the Joint Coordination Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (JCCCH), was “part of the mechanism” to maintain the ceasefire between the MILF and the Philippine government and prevent miscommunication that could lead to fatal encounters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brig. Gen. Glenn Macasero of the government’s CCCH confirmed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer that prior coordination was made with Hadji Dan Asnawi, commander of the MILF’s 114th Base Command, and Hamsa Sapanton, commander of the MILF’s Provincial Police Force.

“We have implemented this to avoid confrontation between the military and the MILF,” Macasero said.

FEATURED STORIES

“We have talked to the base commander, then the MILF CCCH to establish and relay the general area of operations, and the men of Hamsa Sapanton of the provincial police force were re-positioned, they were relocated from Baguindan to Bohe Piyang,” Macasero said.

Almost 200 MILF members were also relocated and they gave way to the troops for the conduct of operations, he added.

Macasero said details of the operation “were not made known to the MILF, except for the general area of operation.”

Also included in the agreed ground rules was the relocation of civilians and the MILF out of Baguindan.

“If there is anyone from the MILF or civilians (who violate this ground rules), they can be considered aiding the lawless elements that are subject of this operation,” Macasero said.

The MILF in Basilan confirmed that prior coordination was made by the military.

An MILF source told the Inquirer that Asnawi and other MILF commanders regularly met for the gradual relocation of its people to safer areas.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The group of Asnawi has been helping the soldiers. They have been securing some areas as blocking force, day and night. We know the people are getting tired, some are hungry and we cannot move a lot, but we respect this because we want peace here,” the source said.

The MILF source also confirmed that the MILF has started investigating what happened in the morning of April 9, “just to be sure that no MILF was involved.”

Macasero also admitted that one of the three arrested Abu Sayyaf suspects in Baguindan was Jong Aujal, a member of the local ceasefire monitoring force, who has been hospitalized after being allegedly tortured by soldiers from the Philippine Marines.

“This is under investigation right now. The MILF knows the ground rules and we are wondering why he was there in the area,” Macasero said, adding that they have asked the International Monitoring Team to investigate the case.

Aside from Aujal, a certain Rakim Maruan is in critical condition, after his fingernails, toenails and teeth were allegedly extracted during torture. Another alleged torture victim, identified only as Ibno, a member of the MILF Police Force, was killed.

The MILF source said Aujul was not from Baguindan, but from the village of Linuan.

“The MILF is puzzled why Linuan people got inside Baguindan despite the ground rules,” the source said.

More than 100 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Isnilon Hapilon were the targets of the April 9 operation, Tan, the Wesmincom spokesperson, said.

Government troops were able to overrun a 25-bunker camp on Tuesday.

“Fifty-nine sacks of rice, dried goods, detonating cords for the improvised explosive devices and medical paraphernalia were recovered in the camp,” Tan said.  SFM

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
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: abu sayyaf, Acts of terror, AFP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bombing, Brigadier General Glenn Macasero, Ceasefire, clash, coordination, Crime, Encounter, extortion, gun battle, Hadji Dan Asnawi, Hamsa Sapanton, Isnilon Hapilon, JCCCH, Joint Coordination Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, Kidnapping, law enforcement, Major Filemon Tan Jr., manhunt for terrorists, MILF, MILF 114th Base Command, MILF Provincial Police Force, Military, Military operations, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Murder, Nation, news, Philippine Army, Philppine Marines, pursuit operations, Regions, Western Mindanao Command
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 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.