MILF’s Bravo can attend FAB information campaign but…

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/16 November)— The joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (Joint CCCH) of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has approved the request of a rebel commander to attend an information campaign on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in Barangay Delabayen, Kauswagan town in Lanao del Norte on Saturday.

But MILF commander Abdurahman Macapaar, aka Kumander Bravo, can attend the FAB information campaign with only a handful of his men, MindaNews learned Friday.

Last Tuesday, Bravo and his 300 armed men went to Delabayen without informing the joint CCCH, prompting the Philippine Army to reciprocate, sending troops and tanks to the area.

On Thursday, Army and MILF forces were ordered to stand down as tension rose and the possibility of a shooting war loomed. Both camps had agreed to wait for the decision of the joint CCCH regarding the case of Bravo, who wanted to attend the information campaign together with his 300 heavily armed followers that day. The info campaign was reset to Saturday,

Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero, chief of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said he received  the order from Brig. Gen. Gilberto Jose Roa, head of the government CCCH, Friday noon.

Lucero said the order came with two conditions for Bravo to comply if he will go to Delabayan to attend the FAB information campaign.

“Bravo will have to come with only 15 of his men as his bodyguards. There will be no show of firearms and Bravo and his men are not allowed to wear MILF uniforms,” Lucero said.

Roa, who is in Kuala Lumpur attending the talks on the annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, told MindaNews that the MILF-CCCH had written the GPH-CCCH for coordination regarding the MILF’s information campaign in Delabayan on Saturday.

MindaNews tried but failed to contact the MILF to ask whether Bravo is amenable to the conditions.

Lucero said he heard Bravo has signified that he will abide with the conditions and will go to Delabayan with only a few of his men.

The military official said the Army will be around in Delabayan to monitor the compliance of Bravo and his men to the conditions of the joint CCCH. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)