April 13, 2015

Gov’t Probes MILF Training Camp in Iligan City

MANILA, Philippines—The government will investigate reports that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has put up a training camp in Iligan City, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) said Friday.

If the reports are true and the camp is found, it would be immediately dismantled, the Opapp said.
MILF
The Government of the Philippines Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (GPH-CCCH) will conduct the investigation, the Opapp said.

The GPH-CCCH secretariat head, Maj. Carlos Sol, said his office had received the report of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade recommending the dismantling “of an alleged training facility by the MILF.”

The alleged training camp is located near the boundary of Sitio Limonsodan in Barangay Waterfalls in Rogongon, Iligan City.

Sol said in the Opapp statement that the GPH-CCCH is “currently conducting validation procedures.”

Ceasefire Holding

“We assure everyone, especially those in Iligan and neighboring towns, that we will do our utmost to resolve this complaint at the soonest time possible. We appreciate the public’s vigilance and we urge everyone to continue helping us. The ceasefire with the MILF has been holding. We want it to continue doing so,” Sol said.

In his report, Col. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said he made the recommendation based on the complaint filed by Deodato Abugan Sr., a Higaonon tribe chieftain.

“The complaint also cited continued recruitment and the conduct of military-like training exercises by the MILF. [The] Lanao del Norte-based 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion made the [purported] pictures of the training camp public. [The alleged camp] is not among the several MILF camps recognized under the peace agreement with the government,” the Opapp said in the statement.

Acknowledged Camps

Under the normalization annex of the peace agreement between the government and the MILF, the acknowledged MILF camps are: Camp Abubakar as-Siddique in Maguindanao; Camp Bilal in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur; Camp Omar ibn al-Khattab in Maguindanao; Camp Rajamuda in North Cotabato and Maguindanao; Camp Badre in Maguindanao, and Camp Busrah Somiorang in Lanao del Sur.

The CCCH was created to monitor the implementation of the longstanding ceasefire between the government and the MILF.

The body is also tasked to resolve ceasefire violation complaints in order to prevent conflict escalation and truce breakdown.

Read more News Information at Inquirer.net

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