Impose full force of law on MILF ‘rogues’, gov’t urged

October 25, 2011

Mario B. Casayuran
Tempo
October 25, 2011

Manila, Philippines – Do not show mercy for the so-called murderous “lost commands’’ of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) whose rampage in Mindanao last week snuffed the lives of 44 persons, mostly Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) soldiers and Philippine National Police (PNP) policemen.

This was stressed by Sen. Francis “Kiko’’ Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate social justice and rural development committee, who called on the government to exercise the full force of the law on this so-called “lost commands’’ that have been sowing violence in Basilan, Zamboanga and Lanao del Norte.

“We cannot simply turn a blind eye to the murderous and lawless elements in the area who, with treachery, take advantage of the restraint exercised by our men in uniform out of respect for the peace process,’’ Pangilinan said.

“’We should continue to talk peace with the MILF but we should show no mercy for the murderous lost commands. We trust that the MILF will agree that these lost commands should be dealt with the full force of the law,’’ he said.

Pangilinan earlier urged the Philippine peace panel “to review its current track to the path of peace and rethink its handling of the MILF given this latest incident (Basilan incident where 19 AFP soldiers were killed in ambush).’’

“We cannot allow the MILF to dictate the terms and conditions of the peace process. The latest incident is a major setback in the efforts to secure a just and honorable peace,’’ he added.

Citing the vicious cycle of “rogues’’ committing abuses and hiding in MILF “territories,’’ Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense committee, maintained his position of scrapping a “deceit-laced’’ peace process with the secessionist group.

Lacson lamented an “annoying common experience’’ that had cost the lives of many soldiers who could not distinguish between “real’’ and “rogue’’ MILF fighters in the past several years.

NO NSC MEETING, PALACE SAYS

President Aquino is not keen on convening the National Security Council (NSC) to deal with the security tension with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) despite clamor for tougher action against rebels who killed soldiers in Mindanao.

Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) said the President and his cabinet security cluster could effectively deal with the security situation without convening the NSC for the meantime.

The President held an emergency meeting on Monday with the cabinet security cluster led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. in Malacañang following the recent assaults by the rebel group against government troops in Mindanao. (Genalyn Kabiling)

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