MILF official: Marawi raid an isolated case

By Gerry Lee Gorit, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 08 2013 12:06 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2013 08:06 PM

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar described Friday’s attack on the police station in Marawi City as an isolated case.

Jaafar yesterday said the MILF is conducting its own investigation of the incident in which the MILF rebels released their comrades held at the police station, killed a civilian and took the police chief hostage.

Meanwhile, presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles said the attack was unfortunate as it occurred while the government and the MILF peace panels were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for its 42nd exploratory talks.

Deles said the government peace panel headed by Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer had raised the matter to their MILF counterpart for immediate action.

“We monitored the situation and coordinated with the ceasefire committees to ensure immediate resolution,” she said.

Jaafar said he could not confirm whether the group of Commander Bravo was responsible for the attack.

Police said the raid was led by Jimmy Rajamuda, the commander of MILF’s Musa Island base command.

Deles and Jaafar said the incident would not affect the peace process between the government and the MILF.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process expressed elation over the government’s security agreement with the MILF, which it said hastened the release of Marawi police chief Superintendent Christopher Panapan.

Panapan’s brother-in-law was shot dead during the attack.

Capt. Jefferson Somera, spokesman for the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division, shared Jaafar’s view that the incident was an isolated case, but said it was a violation of the ongoing peace talks.

Somera said they have filed a complaint with the MILF Ad Hoc Joint Action Group based in Lanao del Sur.

He clarified that despite the incident, the Philippine Army would abide by the peace talks and continue to trust the other party. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, John Unson