MILF accuses Philippines gov't of ceasefire violations

One-time largest rebel group says hundreds of Philippine troops in full battle gear, backed by tanks moved into Muslim south

MILF accuses Philippines gov't of ceasefire violations

World Bulletin/News Desk

Commanders of the Philippines’ one-time largest rebel group have accused the government of blatantly violating a ceasefire as army troops began large-scale movements in the country’s Muslim south.

In a post on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) official website Saturday, commanders reported that hundreds of troops clad in full battle gear and backed by several tanks had moved into areas of southern Maguindanao province.

However, the Philippines government, the MILF’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and their mutual Ad Hoc Joint Action Group said they were unaware of any massive deployment of troops.

“This nature of uncoordinated movement can trigger an untoward incident and - worst - a fierce encounter between the government and MILF forces,” Rasid Ladiasan, head of the MILF CCCH Secretariat, told Luwaran.com.

“We do not want any tension or confrontational situation between MILF and government forces, otherwise we are being remiss in our responsibility,” he said.

Ladiasan warned that any movement outside regular administrative functions constitutes ceasefire violations when the two side’s CCCHs are not coordinated.

“The government forces know this very well, but unfortunately they acted in contravention,” he added.

He appealed to the government’s CCCH to enhance coordination - especially at a time when the government and the MILF are confronting major challenges over the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, whose passage would pave the way for the establishment of an autonomous region led by the area's indigenous Muslim community.

“The MILF CCCH is going to file a strong protest over this incident as the proper way to address this situation,” Ladiasan said.

Earlier in the day, a top official from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) region had welcomed the appointment of Brigadier General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. this week as the new chairman of the government's CCCH. 

“It is an advantage and better for us... he is also kind," ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman told the Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

At the turnover ceremony Monday, Galvez had said, “I will see myself doing a very critical job of preserving peace.”

“We can bring peace to Mindanao… From now on we will have a progressive Mindanao because we will work together for lasting peace," he added, vowing to pursue the gains of a joint ceasefire signed with the MILF.

Galvez had also urged his counterparts from the MILF to not only implement the ceasefire, but also explore ways of proactively preventing hostilities.

Monday’s ceremony had been attended by MILF members, a delegation from the International Monitoring Team, top military officials and non-government organizations.

Established in 2003, the CCCH – one of the ceasefire mechanisms agreed to during‎ government-MILF peace negotiations - is mandated to monitor the implementation of deals and to contain and prevent conflict.

Since 2012, the CCCH has reported zero skirmishes between government and MILF forces.

On March 27 this year, the MILF and the government signed a peace agreement - the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro - which brought to a close 17-years of negotiations and ended a decades-old armed conflict in Mindanao while granting Muslim areas greater political autonomy.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2014, 09:57

Muhammed Öylek

YORUM EKLE