Soldiers nab, disarm 8 MILF fighters responding to ‘rido’

Published April 10, 2018, 3:56 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – Army soldiers apprehended and disarmed eight fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) while conducting high alert road checks meant to avert escalation of renewed infighting between two MILF field groups in Gen. S. K. Pendatun town recently.

Cotabato City Map (Photo courtesy of Google Map)
Cotabato City Map (Photo courtesy of Google Map)

Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Army’s Sixth Infantry Division (6th ID)-led Task Force Central, identified the arrested individuals as Esmael Sampiano, Talipasan Lachali, Duma Lachali, Abubakar Kamactil, Kuradsang, Mohamad Viajar, Tinod Dimaguil, and a certain Kumander Taib Kalanganan.

The heavily armed MILF field fighters were onboard a private vehicle when collared at about 3 p.m. last April 7 by elements of the 14th Mechanized Company under First Lt. Lyle Van Pañamogan at a checkpoint in Barangay Ramcor, Gen. S.K. Pendatun town, Besana said.

Besana said those apprehended were purportedly responding to a breakout of rido or family feud earlier that day between the groups of Mohammad Pausa alias “Commander Baure” of the MILF-National Guard, and Datu Dima

Mamaluba, alias “Commander Paltie”, of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

He did not give details about the nature and extent of the MILF groups’ infighting, saying only that Army troops had heightened checkpoint operations to prevent the armed skirmishes from affecting innocent residents.

After proper verification and coordination with authorities, he said, the Army Mechanized Battalion released the eight persons to Ustaz Abdurahim Molilis of the MILF’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).

But Besana said the assorted firearms and war materials confiscated from the MILF fighters remained in the custody of the Army mechanized battalion.

These included two M16 rifles, one home-made Caliber 50 Barret, a US-made M14 rifle, six 5.56mm short cartridges, one long cartridge, five M14 magazines, 84 rounds of 7.62mm ball ammunition, 18 Caliber .50 ball ammunition, 139 5.56mm ammunition, various uniforms, and bandoliers, Besana said.

Meanwhile, local civilian authorities have urged the MILF top leadership to police the ranks of its field commanders, and prevent them from resorting to clannish feuds over political or territorial disputes that could adversely affect the

Duterte government’s cordial gestures with the revolutionary front.

The MILF leadership had earlier admitted the incidence of “isolated” infighting among its field combat groups in the provinces or Maguindanao and North Cotabato, assuring though that such “minor setbacks” will be ironed out once the 17th Congress shall have passed the Bangsamoro Basic Law creating a new autonomous region.

“There will be no room for extremism and unnecessary bickering” once the Bangsamoro entity is created replacing the 29-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, pursuant to the MILF’s peace accords with government, front First Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar once told The Manila Bulletin.

 
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