Government told to stop arrests of MILF combatants

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Sunday, November 18, 2012


THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has urged the government to stop arbitrary arrests of its combatants as part of the confidence building measure.

The country's largest Muslim insurgent group made the call following the holding of peace advocacy and constituency building organized by the 118th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the MILF armed group, in Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao province recently.

The advocacy was part of the continuing information and education campaign all over Mindanao of the MILF Central Committee on the GPH – MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, said BIAF chief of staff Sammy Al Mansur.

“The BIAF overwhelmingly welcome and support the framework agreement, even as he called on all the BIAF officers and men to cooperate in all initiatives and endeavors that pushes for the success of the agreement,” Al Mansur said.

He stressed, however, that the only guarantee for the successful realization of the letters and spirit of the framework agreement is its faithful implementation by both parties according to its provisions.

BIAF and MILF political officers urged the government to make the necessary steps in order to address the clamor to halt the arrests against MILF personalities.

“As one of the best confidence building as an offshoot of the framework agreement, it is necessary that the government must stop all arrest against the MILF,” Al Mansur said quoting a top commander of BIAF.

“We fully support the framework agreement and the continuing negotiation but how can we cooperate fully if we are apprehensive of being victims of arbitrary arrest,” he added.

The Philippine National Police recently removed the MILF from security threats. Government and MILF forces had been called as partners for peace but if arrest against the latter would still happen, then partnership is not strongly founded, the BIAF official said.

“While the peace panels are pursuing discussions on the cases involving detained MILF officers and members, we must be given the assurance that there will be no more arrest against MILF people,” he added.

Arrests and detention against MILF adversely affect the trust and confidence to the government-MILF peace process, Al Mansur said. (SDR/Sunnex)

Local news

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