MILF diffuses tension between warring factions

Published September 6, 2021, 3:55 PM

by Joseph Jubelag

PALIMBANG, SULTAN KUDARAT – The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has diffused the tension between its warring members the past days here and in nearby Maitum town in Sarangani.

Satar Badrudin, executive secretary of Palimbang Mayor Joenime Kapina, said Sammy Almazur, chief of staff of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, the MILF’s military forces, has ordered the ceasefire between the warring factions of the MILF which had caused instability on the peace and security of Palimbang and Maitum towns for the past days.

Sporadic gunfights between MILF commander Mike Binago and Commander Pinda had displaced some 400 families in Barangays Napnapon and Kanipaan in Palimbang and Barangay Mindupok, mMaitum.

Jun Mangulamas, operations officer of Palimbang municipal disaster and risk reduction office, said the tension between the two MILF factions had been triggered by the killings of Macky Sumail and Bapa Pelaez, both members of the Moro National Liberation Front, in separate incidents last month in Barangay Napnapon, Palimbang.

He said the killings were believed carried out by Mike Binago and his group.

The victims’ relatives from the MILF faction led by Commander Pinda launched retaliatory attacks against the MILF members belonging to Mike Binago in Barangays Kanipaan, Palimbang, and Barangay Mindupok, Maitum.

He said one MILF member belonging to Commander Pinda was killed in an encounter with the group of Binago in Barangay Mindupok. Two civilians, a mother and her 13 year-old daughter, were wounded after they were trapped during the firefight.

Tension was even higher after some 100 armed MILF members from Maguindanao and Cotabato CIty arrived in Barangay Mindupok, Maitum to reinforce the group of Commander Pinda.

Brig. Gen Eduardo Gubat, 603rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the military had earlier launched mortar shelling and air strike to disperse the warring MILF groups.

He said the gunfight between the warring MILF members had stopped after local officials sought the intervention of the MILF leadership to meddle in the conflict between the warring MILF factions.

He said the warring MILF members heeded to the directive of the MILF leadership that warned to dismiss from its ranks those MILF members who refuse to abide with the ceasefire.

He added that the warring MILF factions had already withdrawn their armed forces from the conflict-stricken areas.

 
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