MILF says recruitment of Higaonons in Iligan is a scam, denies having a camp there

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 26 March) – The reported recruitment and training among Higaonon tribesmen into the ranks of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in a remote barangay in Iligan city was a scam operation, its Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities said.

MILF CCCH chief Rashid Lidasan also denied the MILF has a camp in Barangay Rogongon in Iligan City.

“Our investigation disclosed that a certain Abdul Amoran is behind the scam to swindle the Higaonon tribesmen. He is also responsible of putting a tarpaulin outside his house announcing this was the headquarters of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade,” Lidasan said.

The Army, led by Col. Gilbert Gapay of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, has lodged a complaint with the government CCCH alleging the MILF was recruiting the tribesmen and training them in their new camp in Barangay Rogongon.

Lidasan, who met with Amerudin Usman of the MILF North Eastern Mindanao Front in Cagayan de Oro, said their investigation in Barangay Rogongon found it contrary.

The MILF CCCH had tasked Usman to investigate the complaint lodged by the Army.

“Amoran claimed he is a fighter of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade when he is not. He is not even a commander. To back his claim, he put a tarpaulin, which says this was the office of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade,” Usman told MindaNews.

He said the real location of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade was in the town of Butig, Lanao del Sur, more than a hundred kilometers away.

“Amoran’s house is not a camp. It is only one house,” Usman said.

In their complaint, Gapay said Amoran demanded P800 from the Higaonon tribesmen to be able to join the MILF ranks and were promised five hectares of land once they are accepted.

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