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MILF blocking 500 evacuees, truce panel told

The  ceasefire  panel  of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front  has been asked to intervene  and make way for  500 civilians displaced by armed conflict to  return to their homes in Palembang town of Sultan Kudarat.

Zahara Maulana,  municipal administrator of Palembang, said the Philippine Marines, using its six-by-six trucks, have assisted the local government in sending back the displaced families to their homes in the upland village of Napnapon Friday morning.

But tension ran high when Commander Teng Binago of the MILF refused entry for military vehicles with the displaced families into the village.     

“The refusal of Commander Binago triggered tension because there was already an arrangement that the military will escort the displaced families back home,” Maulana said, adding the GPH-MILF ceasefire panel has been officially informed.

The civilians, mostly Moro women and children, fled last month after Commander Binago and another MILF commander figured in a shooting war over land dispute.

Maulana said the local government have extended assistance to the displaced families and many of whom wanted to return home so they can continue farming.

With the refusal of Commander Binago to allow entry of military vehicles forced government forces to bring back the internally displaced persons to the municipal gymnasium where they stayed for more than a month.

Maulana later learned that Commander Binago would only allow the return of civilian evacuees if the soldiers will not enter the village of Napnapon.

But Maulana told reporters in a phone interview that the village is not within identified territories of the MILF that coming into the area would need coordination between state troopers and the Moro rebels.

In Sulu, the  military said it arrested four suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group  after a clash between Scout Rangers and ASG  fighters near  a barangay in Patikul.     

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander,  said  the suspects were arrested around 9:45 a.m. Saturday in Sitio Puti Sapah, Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul.

Arrojado said the suspects were detained and placed under investigation to ascertain their  identities since they had in their    possession several two identification cards bearing   different names.

He noted the suspects were arrested near the clash site between the Scout Rangers and ASG brigands led by Radullan Sahiron on Thursday afternoon in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul.

“The presence of same (people) at the operational area especially near ASG harbor and encounter sites and considering the ongoing operations and fire missions and their place of residence is questionable,” Arrojado said.

Government troopers have launched focused military operations  targeting the senior leaders of the ASG brigands as well as their foreign cohorts in Sulu.

 

 

Topics: milf blocking

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