MILF passes resolution denying sanctuary to Ampatuan family and followers

DARAPANAN, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao (MindaNews/09 August) –  No entry.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Central Committee has just passed a resolution denying sanctuary to “all members of the Ampatuan family and their followers” within the MILF areas.

Members of the Ampatuan family and their followers who were involved in the November 23 massacre where 58 persons were killed, 32 of them from the media, “are not allowed in MILF areas,” MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said.

Six members of the Ampatuan clan – the former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., former Datu Unsay mayor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., suspended ARMM Governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan, former Shariff Aguak mayor Datu Anwar Ampatuan, former Vice Governor Sajid Ampatuan, and former Mamasapano mayor and former OIC Vice Governor Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan – are presently detained in Metro Manila, for 57 counts of murder. The remains of one victim, Reynaldo Momay, had not been found but for his dentures, hence the count of 57.

A total of 197 persons have been implicated in the massacre, 28 of them surnamed Ampatuan although only about a dozen of these Ampatuans are prominent. Still, of the prominent Ampatuans, only the six listed above, are presently detained. The rest are at large, including those who won top posts in the May elections.

Sixty two policemen and four Army sergeants were also implicated in the carnage.

Ebrahim told MindaNews Monday morning that the  Ampatuan family members and their followers “will not be accepted in the houses of the MILF and firearms or money offered as bribe to seek refuge in our areas are not allowed.”

“Violators will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.

MILF information chief Mohagher Iqbal told MindaNews there was a  policy on denying sanctuary to the Ampatuans and their followers shortly after the massacre “but not in resolution form.”

A copy of the resolution was furnished MindaNews by e-mail late Monday evening.  The resolution is dated July 11 and is titled “Resolution of the MILF Central Committee adopting policy vis-à-vis the Ampatuan family and followers.”

It was adopted unanimously during a special meeting in Camp Darapanan on July 11.

The resolution states that: “all members of the Ampatuan family and their followers who have participated in the infamous Ampatuan massacre on November 23, 2009, shall not be accepted into the folds of the MILF;” that “material considerations, such as weapons, money and other offers/bribes for the purpose of seeking protection and security and/or taking refuge in MILF areas are unwarranted and therefore unacceptable,” and that “any member of the MILF found guilty of violating this policy shall  be dealt with accordingly and subject to strict disciplinary action.”

The resolution says “this policy shall take effect immediately and will remain valid until revoked by the MILF Chairman or the MILF Central Committee.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

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