MILF rebs seize 8 drug pushers, cattle rustlers in Lanao Sur

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/14 February) – Armed fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front seized eight suspected drug pushers and cattle rustlers last Friday, prompting the Philippine Army to deploy tanks and soldiers in Piagapo town in Lanao del Sur.

 

The International Monitoring Team has sent several teams to Piagapo town Monday to prevent the situation from escalating into a shooting war between the soldiers and MILF rebels.

 

Col. Daniel Lucero, commanding officer of the Marawi-based 103rd Infantry Brigade, said around 50 rebels took hostage 19-year-old Sakrula Maruhum, Rashid Amaigo, Akmad Sharif, Maini Salik, Hakim Esmael, Ansar Gapor, Minso Enday, and Akra Akraman, all residents of Piagapo town.

 

Lucero said the victims were suspected drug pushers and cattle rustlers who allegedly prey on civilians in Piagapo and killed an MILF fighter who was sent to arrest them.

 

He said this prompted the MILF rebels to seize the victims. The MILF called its action “a legitimate law-enforcement action.”

 

“The victims were reported to be notorious drug smugglers and cattle rustlers but this do not give the MILF the right to arrest them,” Lucero told MindaNews by phone.

 

He said the MILF’s claim of law enforcement action is not part of the ceasefire deal they have with the Philippine government.

 

“There is nothing in the ceasefire agreement that allows the MILF to punish criminals,” Lucero said.

 

Both panels of the Philippine government and the MILF are presently in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to resume exploratory talks to end the war in Mindanao. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

Comments

comments