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Manhunt vs MILF 'lost commands' sought

MANILA, Philippines – A senate lawmaker called on the government to conduct manhunt operations against the forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that conducted series of ambuscades and violence in Mindanao.

In a statement, Senator Francis Pangilinan, chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development, said the government must exercise the full force of the law on the so-called MILF “lost commands” that have been sowing violence in southern Philippines over the past few weeks.

“We cannot simply turn a blind eye to the murderous and lawless armed 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,” he said.

While he cited the importance of pursuing peace negotiation in Mindanao, he said the government must “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 pointed out.

On Sunday, a group of MILF guerillas attacked a convoy of rubber plantation workers and government militiamen in Basilan, killing at least six people.

Another group also ambushed a patrolling government forces in Lanao del Norte, killing at least two soldiers.

Last week, an MILF-initiated ambush in Al-Barka town in Basilan killed 19 soldiers.

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By Jun Pasaylo The Philippine Star Updated October 24, 2011 11:41 AM

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