Capturing Commander Bravo ain't easy, admits Lanao Army commander

The obstacle, according to Col. Rey Ardo, commanding officer of the 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Campo Ranao in Marawi City, is the closely-knit clannish culture of the Maranaos.

“They are very clannish in nature. And this hinders us from getting Commander Bravo,” he said during the thanksgiving celebration of the 104th Infantry Brigade, which has been named “The Best Brigade” by their mother unit, the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, at the Ati-atihan Restaurant here on Tuesday.

Ardo stressed that they need to consider the culture and values of the Maranaos.

“None of these families will turn over Bravo to authorities because as far as they are concerned, Bravo is a hero,” he said.

Ardo said, too, that the P10-million bounty offered by the government on the Moro rebel leader’s head would not be enough to relocate and secure the lives of relatives of those who may turn against Bravo.

“Force and coercion isn’t applicable here,” he added.

Bravo, or Abduhraman Macapaar, belongs to a family of warriors in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. His influence spans many towns of Lanao del Norte.

He was behind the March 2000 attack of Kauswagan town that led former President Joseph Estrada to declare an “all-out war” against the MILF. He was likewise reported as the one who led the assault of neighboring Maigo town three years later. 

Last August, Bravo also commanded the simultaneous attacks in the municipalities of Kolambugan and Kauswagan shortly after the government backed out from signing the already initialed Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain with the MILF in Kuala Lumpur. (Violeta M. Gloria / MindaNews)

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