Thursday, April 12, 2012

IDPs hit new Army Special Forces outpost in Basilan town

From the Website of MILF

IDPs hit new Army Special Forces outpost in Basilan town

  • E-mail
  • Print
  • PDF
April 6, 2012 – Hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) had been raising complaints on the putting up of a detachment by the Philippine Army Special Forces adjacent to a school in Barangay Baiwas, Sumisip, Basilan recently.

Reports from the area said hundreds of men of the Philippine Army Special Forces had been seen deployed in the new detachment with several military vehicles and armor assets.
“The Special Forces had been deployed there for a month now, more or less, in connection with ongoing pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG),” the report said.

“This operation has been continuing for the past months but this that they put up an outpost or detachment,” it said.

Accordingly, there are already around 1000 individuals, including children, women and aged, displaced by the continuing operations.

But with the recent establishment of the detachment, the IPs had been refusing calls for them to return back to the respective communities of origin.

“Everyone is being seen indiscriminately as members of the ASG,” said, adding that information said the Special Forces have no intention so far to remove the outpost.
IDPs also hit the putting up of this detachment near Baiwas Elementary School, saying it was totally improper and infringement of human rights law.

“These Moro civilians are afraid of military presence due to various human rights violations committed by the military in Basilan such as arbitrary arrests, killings and torture indiscriminately and with impunity, including against innocent civilians who were baselessly accused as members of ASG.”

The MILF CCCH, when sought for comment, said “there was no coordination made on any establishment of a detachment by the Special Forces in Baiwas.”

“Certainly, this action is devoid of respect to the primacy of the peace process and the ceasefire accord between the government and MILF, and international humanitarian laws. Certainly, the complaints and concerns of the IDPs must be considered foremost,” the MILF CCCH said.

MILF doubts peace deal under present administration

  • E-mail
  • Print
  • PDF

March 31, 2012 – “We are very doubtful now whether we can sign a peace deal with government under this present administration.”
That was the statement of Ghazali Jaafar, Vice Chairman for Political Affairs of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), when interviewed after a meeting of the top officials of the Political Committees of MILF from all over Mindanao.

More than 200 MILF political officers from all over Mindanao convened for an assessment meeting with the Vice Chairman and the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel few days ago in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

“The assessment of the political officers under our Office was the recently concluded peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malaysia last March 19 to 21 (2012) was very disappointing,” Jaafar said.

“What the government peace panel headed by Marvic Leonen did in the last talks was never our immediate expectation which is the reason why we are very much disappointed.”

He said the MILF, of course, was not expecting that there will be signing of a comprehensive peace compact with the government during the last meeting but at least there be a significant breakthrough that can strongly move forward the negotiations.
Recalling that the government and Leonen had been blunt in saying to the world their expectation of a peace deal signed with MILF in the first quarter of 2012.

On the contrary, Leonen in his Opening Statement during the last talks forthrightly stated the peace talk is nearing to a stalemate.

Surprisingly or not, that was a 180 degrees spin from the government shallow propaganda of a negotiated peace compact with MILF in the first quarter. “Now the world can see clearly what was mere propaganda and the truthful stand of the government on the peace negotiations.”

Leonen’s statement of a stalemate in the offing was not properly advised for purposes of bluff and whatsoever, Jaafar said.

He said the MILF political officers took that statement as if giving an ultimatum to the MILF, but the response was “MILF is never moved by bluff.”

As revolutionaries, Jaafar said “negotiation is much harder of a task than fighting. Our business is fighting. The Bangsamoro people and our forebears had been fighting injustices and oppression for nearly five centuries now since the time of Spanish colonialism in defense of homeland, identity, freedom, and self-rule.”

Jaafar pointed out, without details, during the last talks, instead of moving forward the government peace panel was moving on reversal on agreed principles and substantial agenda, a clear indication of the insincerity and diminishing commitment to the peace talks of the government.

Since the assumption of President Noy Aquino in 2010, the MILF and the Bangsamoro people was upbeat in optimism for a comprehensive peace deal with the government banking on the fact that he is the son of late Senator Ninoy Aquino and President Corazon Aquino.
“There is really a problem now with the government policy. The MILF just can’t tell with certainty whether it is with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and/or Government Peace Negotiating Panel headed by Dean Leonen, or in other departments of the government,” he said.