Philippines

Army blames MILF for North Cotabato harassment

Army blames MILF for North Cotabato harassment

PIKIT, North Cotabato (Philippines News Agency) — The military here today said the armed men who stormed a militia detachment in the borders of this town and Aleosan, both in North Cotabato, belonged to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Capt. John Arvin Encinas, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, said the attackers of a CAFGU detachment in Sitio Valencia, Barangay Bualan, Pikit belonged to 105th base command of the MILF under Abdulrashid Ali alias “Commander RP.”

Two of Ali’s followers were killed when village defenders and members of Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) responded to the attackers, Encinas said.

Villagers claimed that prior to the attack, the armed men under Commander RP have demanded shares in the harvest of palay by farmers, a demand they rejected outright and sought for the deployment of militiamen and village defenders.

Encinas said although outnumbered, the para military troops fought fiercely until military personnel arrived.

The Army is preparing to file complaints before the government and MILF ceasefire panel for violation of the 1997 ceasefire accord.

Earlier, the spokesperson of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) denied his group was involved in the Pikit harassment.

Encinas said government forces have been deployed in the communities in the borders of North Cotabato and Maguindanao to prevent harassments by BIFF or MILF, especially during harvest season. (EOF/PNA)

 

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