• Army clash with ex-MILF rebels averted

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    COTABATO CITY: The Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6th ID) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) averted what could have been a bloody encounter between soldiers and former rebels deployed to hunt down high-value target drug trafficker Mokz Masgal in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

    The MILF rebels, the same forces who killed foreign-trained bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman last year, eventually broke through the Liguasan Marsh in Midsayap from Maguindanao after a three-hour delay caused by a coordination problem between their leader, Ustadz Wahid Tundok, and Army infantry and mechanized units positioned along their routes.

    An operation to arrest Masgal had been approved by the Army’s 6th ID hierarchy and the joint ceasefire committee but poor telecommunication connections got in the way of how the former MILF members are to link up with the ranks of the Army’s 602nd Brigade waiting for them in Midsayap.

    Tundok and the new 6th ID commanding general, Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., restrained the soldiers assigned near the proposed bivouac area of the MILF, enabling them to link up with Col. Nolly Samarita of the 602nd Brigade.

    Galvez and Tundok resolved the coordination issue via mobile phones.

    They agreed to immediately notify their respective subordinate-commanders of the exact location of the MILF guerillas from Maguindanao who are usually armed with shoulder-fired rocket launchers and who are helping the soldiers hunt Masgal

    The joint Army-MILF anti-narcotics operation on Wednesday resulted in the arrest of Masgal’s son identified as Kamarudin Masgal, and his nine relatives engaged in drug trafficking.

    Local officials said Kamarudin helped Masgal, alias “Commander Madrox,” supervise their followers in the distribution of shabu in the North Cotabato towns of Midsayap, Aleosan and Pikit.

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    1. General Gálvez former member ng secession of hostilities ng AFP at MILF Peace Process. Remember SAF 44! BFF Nya ang mga MILF dyan Sa Mamasapano! Bakit dyan pa yan pina upo? Puede naman Sa Jolo! Conflict of interest yan!