MILF says AFP, PNP had no role in Usman's death

By Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at May 04 2015 03:15 PM | Updated as of May 04 2015 11:15 PM

MAGUINDANAO - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has confirmed that wanted terrorist Abdul Basit Usman is dead.

MILF First Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar told ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao on Monday that they received the report on Usman's death yesterday but it took time them time to confirm it.

Jaafar also confirmed that Usman died in Barangay Muti in Guindulungan. However, Jaafar said the MILF is conducting its own investigation as to how exactly Usman died.

Jaafar said the MILF received two different stories regarding Usman's death. The first one is that Usman died during an encounter between his followers and MILF fighters.

The second version was that Usman was arrested by the MILF's 118th Base Command but the wanted terrorist and his followers resisted, resulting in a firefight that caused his death.

Jaafar said he is more convinced with the second version. He said the MILF Central Committee had a standing order to all commanders on the ground that Usman be brought before the MILF's central leadership once he is arrested.

"Meron kaming utos. Titingnan ng Central Committee at kakausapin. Iyan lang muna. As to the reason, hindi namin pwedeng sabihin," Jaafar said.

The MILF also said there were no military or police forces involved in the death of Usman. Jaafar also denied that Usman was seeking refuge in an MILF area.

Jaafar also stressed they are not and will never be interested in the $1 million bounty on Usman's head. He said the MILF leadership will not also allow MILF commanders and members to go after the reward money.

"Not interested sa reward money. Hindi rin namin tatanggapin. Hindi namin papayagan ang mga commander namin na gawin iyon," Jaafar said.

The MILF reiterated that it remains committed to the peace process despite what happened during the January 25 Mamasapano raid.