NorthCot gov asks military to intervene in MILF-MNLF row

Want create site? With Free visual composer you can do it easy.

CARMEN, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 29 May) – North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza has asked the military on Wednesday to intervene in the row between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the municipality of Matalam, which has already affected over a thousand families.

Mendoza told MindaNews over the phone that she endorsed the request of Senior Supt. Danilo Peralta, provincial police chief, for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division to clear the area first before the displaced villagers would return.

But she added that she received reports on the presence of armed men last Tuesday despite the memorandum of agreement signed by the warring groups last week to withdraw their forces.

Capt. Antonio Bulao, spokesperson of the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade, said the military has utilized all peace mechanisms to prevent the escalation of the conflict. He said they encouraged the leadership of both parties, local government officials and ceasefire committees to intervene.

The MNLF group is under Datu Dima Ambil of the MNLF Sebangan Kutawato State Revolutionary Committee while the MILF fighters are part of the 108th Base Command led by Kagui Mansor and a certain Marumsar.

But clashes escalated and displaced villagers from barangays Marbel and Ilian in Matalam, according to Bulao.

Two MILF fighters were hurt in the clash, the Army earlier reported.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 1,421 families from barangays Marbel, Ilian, Kilada, Kidama, Estado and Natutungan have been affected by the fighting.

On May 23, both sides signed a pact to withdraw their forces within 24 hours, Bulao disclosed.

Edris Gandalibo, appointed by Mendoza as her deputy governor for Muslims, said that part of the agreement was that MILF and MNLF members who are local residents will not have to withdraw.

“But they should not display their firearms. They are all from Barangay Marbel. They are just neighbors actually,” said Gandalibo, who was part of the negotiating team from the provincial government.

But Bulao said tension has not been defused until Tuesday because the armed men – Some 400 MILF fighters and 100 MNLF members – were still sighted in the villages.

The conflict stemmed from a land dispute between members of the MILF and the MNLF.

In February 2011, the same groups also clashed in barangays Nangaan and Simone in the neighboring municipality of Kabacan.

“What is important is that the area should be cleared of those who do not belong to that community,” Bulao said. He noted that most of the forces from both camps are not local residents.

“The area should be cleared of these armed men soonest so people’s agony won’t be prolonged, especially those who were displaced from their homes,” he added.

Gandalibo said that government soldiers are deployed as “peacekeeping force” to allow the return of the displaced villagers. (Keith Bacongco / Mindanews)

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

Comments

comments