'No loyalty check among MILF men'

By Ramil Bajo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 03 2015 08:21 AM | Updated as of Mar 03 2015 04:21 PM

KORONADAL CITY – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was not conducting a loyalty check when many of its members converged in several villages in South Cotabato, raising worries among some officials, the rebel group’s chairman Ghadzali Jaafar said yesterday.

“We don’t need to subject our men to loyalty check because we are sure of their loyalty. They are all willing to die for the front,” Jaafar said in an interview.

The presence of a large number of MILF guerrillas in the villages of Datal Bob and Salome in T’boli town last week had alarmed security forces and provincial officials.

The alleged MILF members, who were not carrying firearms, reportedly belonged to the 107th Base Command under the leadership of Commander Kato Mastura.

Jaafar stressed that what the officials saw in the villages of T’boli were not “warriors” but “civilian” members of the MILF.

Asked why they were there, Jaafar said it was “to conduct briefings about the flow (or progress) of the peace talk between the MILF and the government.”

Jaafar said their civilian members have had the authority to do such briefings. “It is their obligation to inform other Moro people about it,” Jaafar said.

In a radio interview, South Cotabato Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez reminded the MILF that the province is “peace-loving,” where Muslims and Christians coexist in harmony.

“Muslims and Christians in South Cotabato are both enjoying the benefits of living with harmony and understanding,” Hernandez said.

He said any Bangsamoro Basic Law “should be fair and acceptable to everyone.”

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