New MILF attacks break agreement: military

Posted at 10/24/2011 10:01 AM | Updated as of 10/24/2011 2:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A military spokesman on Monday said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) broke a truce agreement when they launched fresh attacks in Basilan and Lanao del Norte on Sunday.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom), said the MILF fighters who conducted the twin attacks, which left 8 dead and 12 injured, were not informed of the agreement reached upon by the two sides on Saturday night.

The agreement comes in the wake of the consecutive attacks of members of the MILF in Al-Barka town in Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay last week. Cabangbang explained the agreement was reached through the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG).

“Dito po sa ground, nagkaroon ng kasunduan na ang mga miyembro ng MILF sa 130th Base Command sa Zamboanga Sibugay, at yung 114th Base Command sa Basilan ay babalik at titigil sa kanilang paglabas ng kanilang Area of Temporary Stay (ATS),” Cabangbang said in an interview on dzMM.

“So these two incidents, ito po ay inereklamo na po namin. At inamin ng MILF na hindi po naabisuhan ang mga ilan sa mga miyembro nila na sa suspension ng MILF operations ng Sabado ng gabi, alas-10.”

Six persons were killed in an ambush by suspected MILF fighters from the 114th Base Command in Sumisip, Basilan on Sunday morning.

The Task Force Basilan said 5 Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative employees and 1 CAFGU were killed while 7 civilians and 1 CAFGU were injured in the attack.

The attack in Barangay Payong, Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte, meanwhile, left 2 soldiers killed and 4 others injured.

Cabangbang explained that despite the truce, the military will still continue to pursuit lawless elements who belong to the separatist group.

“Ipinaliwanag namin na ang aming ginagawa ay hindi po against sa MILF , kundi sa kanilang mga miyembro na sobra-sobra na ang ginagawang pangingidnap, pang-eextort sa area. Identified naman namin kung sino,” he said.

The Aquino government had also reiterated its stand of sticking with the peace talks, and not resorting to declaring an all-out war against the group.