Alleged Moro rebs burn 60 houses in Sultan sa Baronguis; MILF vows probe

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 July) — Suspected Moro rebels this morning burned at least 60 houses reportedly owned by supporters of a former vice mayor in Sultan sa Baronguis town in Maguindanao with whom they have a quarrel.

Lt. Col Benjamin Hao, spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division said Kumander Pelmen Maestro of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front 105th Brigade was responsible for the burning of houses in Crossing Badal, Barangay Barurao in Sultan sa Barongis.Inset Map Courtesy of Wikipedia

Hao said most of the houses that were burned belonged to supporters or relatives of Vice Mayor Datu Sukarno Badal, who have a quarrel with Maestro.

“The armed men left immediately after burning the houses at 5 this morning. We have dispatched soldiers to the town,” Lao said.

Reached for comment, MILF spokesperson for military affairs Von Al Haq said they have already received a report on the incident and is conducting an investigation to determine the involvement of Maestro.

Al Haq admitted that Maestro and Badal are at odds against each other.

“We will sanction any of our forces who have participated in the burning,” he told Mindanews.

He said the MILF views the burning of houses as a “serious offense” committed against unarmed civilians.

“We assure the victims that we will compensate them by exacting justice on the perpetrators. We will make public our report,” Al Haq added.

The MILF is known to sanction erring commanders, including Abdurahman Macapaar alias Commander Bravo who staged attacks in Lanao del Norte in 2008 after the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

Al Haq said they have ordered the 105th Brigade to leave the area this afternoon. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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