Ampatuan to GRP, MILF peace panels: punish MILF members behind skirmishes

Ampatuan, in an interview, said the MILF members involved in the recent attack must be castigated. “Such a maneuver, which was large in scale, was a serious violation of the ceasefire,” he said.

At around 4 p.m., on Sunday, an unidentified number of the MILF in Datu Saudi town reportedly started massing around the detachment of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and simultaneously attacked from different directions,  reports from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said.

The 6th ID said the group was armed with anti-tank rockets and assault rifles and forced hundreds of villagers to flee. But MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said the attack was not ordered by their central leadership.

The fighting, he said, was triggered by the killing earlier that day of a fellow MILF member by a militiaman identified with local officials.

The local police identified the victim as Ibrahim Kanapia, believed to be an MILF member who was shot dead near the detachment.    

Kanapia was riding his motorcycle with his wife and a daughter, when shot allegedly by a militiaman with an assault rifle. Kanapia’s daughter was wounded during the attack, according to Kabalu.

Alleged violations of the ceasefire agreement are to be reported to the joint CCCH which then goes to the area of incident to investigate the report. The Joint CCCH usually goes on field with the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team and unarmed Barangay Ceasefire volunteers.

Datu Saudi Mayor Shamron Ampatuan, chair of the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC), said hundreds of his constituents were forced to evacuate to school campuses nearby for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

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