Cotabato City gov’t files protest vs. MILF over strafing in Barangay Kalanganan

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COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Sept) – The Cotabato City government has filed a protest before the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) following the harassment allegedly by a commander of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) in Sitio Linao, Barangay Kalanganan Saturday night.

Guiani said the harassment involved the firing of two rifle grenades and strafing of several homes by MILF Commander Erap of the MILF’s 105th base command shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday.

The city government of Cotabato has filed a protest with the joint ceasefire committees of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front, claiming a commander of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces harassed a family in Barangay Kalanganan. MILF peace implementing chair Mohagher Iqbal said: “Let the ceasefire mechanisms handle the issue.” Photo posted by Mayor Guiani on her FB page

In a statement, Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi condemned the harassment carried out by the MILF commander against a family he has been at odds with.

The victims whose houses were strafed also demanded reparation for the damages incurred and for the cows that were reportedly taken by the armed men.

Guiani said what happened caused “unnecessary panic and anxiety” and if the perpetrators are left unpunished, there will be “doubts and qualms” on the success of the new political entity in Mindanao, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which is a product of the peace talks.

Guiani has been vocal about her views that Cotabato City, the current seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and among the proposed core territory of the BARMM, would vote against inclusion in the new political entity during the plebiscite on January 21, 2019.

In the city government’s complaint, it urged the Joint CCCH to act on their requests for the “arrest and turn over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the perpetrators for appropriate legal procedures” and “prohibition of all armed elements of the BIAF-MILF to enter the territorial jurisdiction of Cotabato City. They may enter the city’s territory provided that they will not be bringing along their firearms.”

The MILF-CCCH has received the complaint and will forward it to the MILF central committee for their comments.

“Let the ceasefire mechanisms handle the issue,” MILF Peace Implementing Panel chair Mohagher Iqbal told MindaNews Monday morning.

Security measures in the city have been beefed up with additional security forces in Kalanganan.

The “no ID, no entry” policy has been intensified following the noontime bombing in General Santos City Sunday that injured seven persons.

Cotabato City has been placed on level 3 alert status.(Ferdinandh Cabrera /MindaNews)

 

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