Armed clashes in Maguindanao won?t affect peace talks ? Dureza

Dureza visited Cotabato City today to look into reports about Sunday’s armed confrontation in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao between government forces and the MILF.


He stressed that the ceasefire is holding and both the GRP and MILF’s ceasefire committees remain in full control of the situation.


Dureza met behind closed doors with  the Joint Government-MILF Coordinating Committee on  the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) in Camp Siongco, headquarters of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.


The meeting was attended by Brig. Gen. Edgardo Gurrea, chair of the government’s CCCH and his counterpart in the MILF, Von Al Haq.


Gurrea stressed they have ironed out the security problem in Shariff Aguak with the help of the MILF and International Monitoring Team.


Gurrea assured local government officials, including residents of Shariff Aguak town, that “everything is under control.”


Reports said fighting erupted when members of the Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVOs) in Shariff Aguak, together with some soldiers, allegedly entered an area believed to be occupied by MILF in Barangay Kuloy, Shariff Aguak.


The Moro fighters, according to MILF spokesperson Eid Kabalu, were forced to engage the CVOs and the soldiers in an armed fighting to protect their base.


Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, the Division spokesperson said some 30 MILF guerrillas led by on Abu Rusda allegedly harassed the command post of the Bravo Company  of the 64th IB in Barangay Kuloy, Shariff Aguak. The  firefight lasted 30 minutes with the MILF reportedly withdrawing towards Barangay Tapikan, he said.