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Moro Islamic Liberation Front

October 21, 2011 by staff 

Moro Islamic Liberation FrontMoro Islamic Liberation Front, As requested the suspension of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) assembly, separate ambushes took place in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay last night, leaving four soldiers and three policemen dead.

The Philippine military spokesman Colonel Antonio Parlade and local police said the MILF fighters are most likely in the latest attacks.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Parlade, said the attacks were probably carried by the MILF, because “no other lawless elements in the area.”

MILF spokesman Von Al Haq, meanwhile, confirmed the suspicion of the military. He said the attacks were carried out in retaliation for the continuous mortar shelling of the military position of the separatist group in the province.

“It’s just retaliation. That’s part of the war. The soldiers have been indiscriminately hitting civilian areas in our position and Berry city,” said Al Haq.

He added that members of the 114th Base Command of the MILF carried out the attacks. The military believes that the same group carried out the attack on the Site Bakisung, Baramgay Cambug in Al-Barka town, Basilan province last Tuesday, where 19 soldiers were killed.

The MILF said that six of its fighters were killed in Basilan clash. He also claimed that 22 guns were captured by soldiers during the fighting fighters.

Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the MILF peace panel, said the rebels involved in the attack in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay only defend against the offensive operations of government.

“There were those who initiated the attack, ground forces moved into our position, Moro communities where our forces are located,” said Iqbal.

Chief Superintendent Elpidio de Asis, regional police director, said the ambush occurred in Barangay first Gulayon, Alicia town around 7:21 pm He said that based on a local police report, four members of the Brigade Army 102nd Infantry were killed and six others wounded in the ambush.

One of the dead soldiers were reported missing earlier by local police.

An army truck with soldiers and drums of gasoline also fell into an ambush by suspected Moro rebels in the town of Ipil an hour later, leaving a wounded soldier.

Around 23:15, an undetermined number of Moro rebels ambushed a joint team of police and soldiers who were on patrol in Barangay Simbol, Kabasalan town. Three local police officers, including deputy chief of police of the city, were killed, while another officer and an Army soldier were wounded.

Regional police also reported a bomb explosion in a vacant lot near the Philippine Ports Authority wharf area around 8:00 pm Police were still investigating whether the explosion is related to the three MILF attacks.

Suspension of talks

Iqbal, meanwhile, said the military is “feeding the wrong information” to the public about the incident in Zamboanga Sibugay. He said the MILF is “under attack”.

He said that the clashes between Moro rebels and the army “trust and confidence in the negotiators have been badly affected.”

Iqbal said it has communicated with the International Monitoring Team to request a mediation body to investigate the incident.

The attacks came three days after the death of 19 members of special forces of Al-Barka town.

The MILF leadership says its fighters to the soldiers involved in a shooting, and which entered its designated territory.

The military, however, said troops were at least four kilometers away from the MILF area of ??temporary stay, a designated area for the MILF to stay to avoid a clash with troops operating against rebel elements in Mindanao.

The lawmakers also asked President Benigno Aquino III to order the suspension of peace negotiations with the MILF because of the incident.

Parlade had said the suspension of talks with the MILF will allow the military to conduct pursuit operations against those who perpetrated the attack in Basilan.

Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the government should temporarily stop the conversation and clarify several issues with the MILF before returning to the bargaining table next month.

“My proposal is the suspension [of the peace talks], it is necessary for us to clarify some terms of reference,” Biazon said.

He said the government should ask the MILF on the relations of its members with Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups in Mindanao, to seek clarification on the MILF-controlled areas and the role they should play the rebel group if similar incidents will shock Basilan happen again.

Biazon said he also wants the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to make known the steps taken by the government to act in the protests of the military in relation to past incidents of alleged disagreement with the MILF.

“This is not an isolated case … What is this protest, if these things can not be prevented. It happened again,” said the congressman, in reference to the beheading of 14 marines in Al-Barka town 2007.

Moro rebels surrender

In a separate television interview, peace Marvic Leonen main panel said the government is now seriously evaluating how the MILF is complying with the ceasefire agreement exists.

Leone said that if there ever is a “lack of sincerity on the one hand, we will go in another direction”, which main duty is to leave the peace panel of the search for “lasting, peaceful and political solution” to the problem of peace and order in Mindanao.

During the interview, Leone said he agreed with the proposals that the MILF should surrender their fighters involved in Tuesday’s attack against government troops.

He said the Philippine Army, come with the names of those who may be involved in the attack. The list was submitted to the MILF before the table and asked the government panel to separatist groups to hand over the suspects, he said.

President Arroyo has rejected calls for a war against the MILF. He said Filipinos should learn from the past and that “nobody gets to benefit from a war.”

He also refused to blame the entire leadership of the MILF for the attack. He said there is a need for a full investigation into the incident before the government “may take the appropriate course of management.”

“We should not jump to conclusions that might be irresponsible,” said Aquino

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