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Military, MILF at fault for deadly Basilan clash


MANILA, Philippines - Government troops and Moro rebels violated ceasefire provisions that led to a clash that killed 19 Special Forces soldiers and 5 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members in Al Barka, Basilan last October 18, 2011, an international team implementing the truce said.

The International Monitoring Team (IMT) also wants sanctions on military and MILF commanders behind the clash, according to Armed Forces Peace Process Office chief Col. Dickson Hermoso.

AFP officers involved the incident are already facing court martial, Hermoso said.

The 4 officers involved are Col. Alexander Macario, former commander of the Special Operations Task Force-Basilan; Lt. Col. Leo Pena, former commander of the 4th Special Forces Battalion; Special Forces Regiment (SFR) commander Col. Aminkadra Undog; and SFR Training School commandant Lt. Col. Orlando Edralin.

Hermoso said the MILF is also punishing rebel commanders.

"They are also imposing their own sanctions to their immediate commanders but I cannot give details. They are reciprocating also the sanctions that government imposed on our military officers," he said.

The IMT said the military failed to coordinate with the MILF in entering a rebel area to arrest wanted men.

"Both sides committed the same offense. We (the military) are instituting some more measures so that similar incidents will not happen in the future," Hermoso said.
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Posted at 02/23/2012 8:54 PM

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