Skip to main content

MILF won’t surrender members allegedly involved in Basilan clash

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Tuesday rejected calls from government to surrender MILF deputy commander Dan Laksaw Asnawi and his men who allegedly killed 19 soldiers in a clash in Basilan on Oct. 18.

“We cannot surrender him. Asnawi is accused of something criminal he did in the past. In the principle of justice, it means that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. That means that there must be due process," MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar told reporters on Tuesday.

Asnawi is wanted for his alleged involvement in the beheading of Marine soldiers in 2007. The soldiers were out to serve a warrant against Asnawi and about 10 men, including some Abu Sayyaf members, when the fighting ensued in Al-Barka town.

Philippine Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz said late Tuesday that the Army has lodged a complaint before the ceasefire committee and cited as truce violations the MILF's harboring of Asnawi and his men.

Ortiz said if the MILF does not surrender Asnawi, the Army will conduct pursuit operations.

Earlier in the day, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the MILF should “stand aside" if it does not intend to help the government track down the armed men involved in the clash.

Jaafar questioned government’s motive in “forcing the issue" despite the lack of a court decision on Asnawi’s case. He said the MILF will cooperate with the government once the guilt of Asnawi and his men has been established.

'The process'

“If its validated… that that person committed a crime, the validation is positive, the MILF and government will collaborate to effect the surrender or arrest of that person, that is the process," he said.

Jaafar said the Special Forces troops of the Army “did not coordinate with the MILF, they ignored the (ceasefire) mechanisms, ceasefire agreement… What we should do is investigate the incident to determine who are responsible (for the violation)… There is a provision in the mechanism that calls for the sanctioning of a violation, may that be from the government side. It is stated there who should impose the sanction," he said.

Meanwhile, AFP Western Mindanao Command spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the government will exhaust all means and will work with peace negotiators for the arrest of Asnawi and his men.

“It's actually out of the hands of the AFP already," Cabangbang said. He pointed out that “the MILF is not calling for war, the government is not calling for war. Why is it that the media is discussing an all-out war scenario?"

"We are still prioritizing (the peace process), our priority now is making the mechanism work…The (peace) mechanism is working, both panels are talking. This can be solved if the negotiations are continuous. It’s just a matter of agreeing how it will be carried out," Cabangbang explained. — With Andreo Calonzo/ELR/VS, GMA News

--------------------------

Source

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH


The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

Special Forces Assault Boat and the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation

Special Forces assault boats to beef up patrols in Davao Gulf
Special Forces assault boats will soon patrol Davao Gulf to detect and deter piracy and terrorist threats in southern waters.

Two of these boats were formally turned over by Special Forces Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey to Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Davao City on Tuesday, the EastMinCom said in a statement.

Madrigal said the boats will be “an additional capability in securing the municipal waters in the area of responsibility, particularly Davao Gulf, to preempt terrorists, piracy and other security threats from using the sea lanes in their terrorist and criminal acts. It can also be used for water search and rescue operations.”

The boats have counter/anti-terrorist capability and will be manned by Special Forces Riverine troopers.

The boats will be initially deployed with Joint Task Force Haribon which has the jurisdiction of Mega Davao, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.

Ori…