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Joint gov’t-MILF panel to probe anti-drug ops vs Moro rebels – Roque

By: - Reporter / @JhoannaBINQ
/ 04:35 PM May 28, 2018
Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The joint ceasefire panel of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would investigate the reported anti-drug operation against Moro rebels in North Cotabato last weekend, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the MILF had already filed a formal protest over the incident, wherein nine members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) were killed in a joint anti-illegal drug operation of the police and military in Matalam, North Cotabato on Saturday.

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“They [the MILF] already filed a formal protest,” Roque said in Filipino in a Palace briefing. “So there’s a mechanism that will start. There will be an investigation. Let’s just wait for the result of the investigation and see if it’s true that some MILF members are involved in trading drugs.”

READ: MILF to file protest over death of members killed in anti-drug operations

On Saturday, authorities said they had killed nine suspected drug pushers in overnight joint police and military operations that started Friday. They also arrested three other suspects and seized suspected crystal meth (shabu) and some firearms.

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According to the police, the raiding team served search warrants against Dadting Kasan and Intan Aban on Friday night in Sitio Biao in Barangay Kilada. But the suspects fired at them. An hour-long firefight resulted in the wounding and subsequent death of seven suspects.

The operatives returned to the area Saturday morning and killed two more suspects.

But Butch Malang, head of the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), said the nine fatalities were disarmed before they were shot at close range by police officers and soldiers.

In his letter to MILF peace panel Mohagher Iqbal, Malang said all belonged to the 105th Base Command of the MILF and voluntarily surrendered to the authorities before their firearms were confiscated.

On the other hand, BIAF spokesperson Von al-Haq disputed police reports that the BIAF troops engaged the raiding team in a heavy firefight and said no methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was recovered during the raid. /atm

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, BIAF, Butch Malang, Dadting Kasan, Harry Roque, Intan Aban, MILF
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