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Lacson maintains call for all-out war, cites vicious cycle of MILF abuses

Citing what he called a vicious cycle of “rogues" committing abuses and hiding in Moro Islamic Liberation Front “territories," Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday maintained his stance of scrapping a deceit-laced peace process with the secessionist group.

In a statement, 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.

“It has become a vicious cycle: The ‘rogues’ conduct atrocities, kidnap civilians, or attack and ambush our troops then seek refuge within the confines of the MILF encampments or ‘territories,’" he said.

Lacson also advised the government’s peace negotiators to realize that the MILF is posturing likely so it can deal from a position of strength.

He said that even when he headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, he had been told similar stories by his own police forces in Mindanao.

"This is the main reason why our soldiers are losing many battles against the MILF," he added.

Lacson said that in the case of the recent clashes in Mindanao, one can only imagine the frustration of the Army’s Special Forces in not being able to rescue and save the lives of their six captured men, only because they were not supposed to encroach into an off-limits zone.

He said that if law enforcement agents can conduct hot pursuit rescue operations without a court-issued search warrant, soldiers should at least be allowed to do the same to save the lives of their own people.

“Everybody wanting peace in Mindanao is a no-brainer. Pray tell me, how can we have real and lasting peace when we allow an organized group to bear arms and worse, unofficially allow their belligerence status?" he said.

Manwhile, Lacson also advised the government’s peace negotiators to “wake up" to the reality that the MILF is using the "renewed" peace negotiations for posturing.

He pointed out it is a basic negotiation technique to always deal from a position of strength.

“Our peace negotiators should now wake up to that reality. Review history and you will easily see the pattern and timing of escalation of the MILF ‘rogues’ atrocities," he said. — LBG, GMA News
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