MILF accuses gov't of violating ceasefire

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2014 06:07 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2014 10:13 PM

MANILA - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) accused the government of violating a ceasefire agreement after hundreds of soldiers were deployed to the towns of Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao.

MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) chairman Rasid Ladiasan said the movement of the troops, which was not coordinated with the MILF leadership, can trigger further skirmishes.

A “strong protest” is already being prepared by the MILF, he said.

“We do not want any tension or confrontational situation to grip in between MILF and government forces otherwise we are being remiss with our responsibility,” Ladiasan said in a statement posted on the MILF website.

He said coordination is paramount at this time given the challenges the two parties are facing with the delays in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Malacanang has yet to provide Congress with a draft.

“Clearly, any movement which are not normal administrative functions like the case that transpired early morning today in that areas constitute ceasefire violations when the CCCHs were not coordinated. The government forces know this very well but unfortunately they acted in contravention,” Ladiasan said.

Asked for comment, Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez, the head of the CCCH on the government’s side, said the issue has already been clarified with the MILF.

Galvez clarified that the show of force was meant for the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a breakaway group, saying it was to preempt attacks that the group may launch in time for President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“The intention is just to reposition (troops) to prevent the BIFF from attacking,” he explained.

According to Galvez, the MILF has already accepted the military’s rationale.