MILF vows to help defeat terrorists

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KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 2 Aug) – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will go after terrorists who derail efforts to bring peace and stability in Mindanao, MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim announced on Thursday.

Condemning the lethal car bomb explosion in Basilan on Tuesday that killed 11 persons, including the suspected bomber, Murad instructed his commanders to be on full alert for the possibility of more terrorist attacks in the south.

“There will be no compromise with terrorists whose aims are to create chaos, destruction, and bloodshed. No quarters shall be given to them and they must be defeated at once. They must not be allowed to grow,” he said in a statement.

Murad also asked MILF members of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) to coordinate with their counterparts in the government for possible joint action against terrorists, pursuant to the provisions of relevant agreements.

The CCCH and AHJAG are mechanisms in the Bangsamoro peace process that allow government-MILF coordination or cooperation involving military and anti-crime operations.

On August 1, the MILF Central Committee convened a special session and adopted a resolution, which reads in part: “The MILF Central Committee views with deep concerns the latest upsurge of violence and terrorism in Mindanao particularly in Basilan. The wounds inflicted on our people and peace-loving people of Marawi City on May 23 last year are still unhealed and aching; and here again, signs are clear: The terrorists are not yet down and out. Collectively and individually, we condemn this dastardly act as well as all other forms of violent extremism.”

The resolution also called on members of the MILF to be vigilant at all times and work together to oppose and defeat religious extremism.

The deadly explosion came less than a week after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which seeks to establish the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The creation of the new Bangsamoro political entity is the key component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which the government and the MILF signed in 2014. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)

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