Govt ready for BIFF urban attacks

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Smoke billows from a side road next to a convoy of media vehicles after a suspected improvised explosive device exploded in the village of Tuka, Mamasapano town, Maguindanao province on February 4, 2014, as the Philippine military continued to conduct hot pursuit operations against remnants of splinter groups of hardline Muslim rebels, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), after capturing their main camps in a week-long offensive.  AFP PHOTO/Mark Navales

Smoke billows from a side road next to a convoy of media vehicles after a suspected improvised explosive device exploded in the village of Tuka, Mamasapano town, Maguindanao province on February 4, 2014, as the Philippine military continued to conduct hot pursuit operations against remnants of splinter groups of hardline Muslim rebels, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), after capturing their main camps in a week-long offensive. AFP PHOTO/Mark Navales

Malacañang on Tuesday said the government has enough forces to defend the people from attacks that may be carried out by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in urban areas.

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Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will ensure the people’s safety.

“Sa lahat na pagkakataon, tungkulin ng pamahalaan na tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng mamamayan sa kanayunan o kalungsuran [At all times, the government has a sworn duty to ensure the safety of Filipinos, whether in rural or urban areas],” Coloma told reporters.

According to him, the military, police and intelligence community continue to monitor the movements of the state’s enemies.

“The government cannot tolerate threats to national and local security and the lives and security of our people,” Coloma added

Meanwhile, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd urged Malacañang to include the BIFF in the ongoing peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The senator said the best alternative to ensure the success of the newly signed peace agreement is stop the fighting between the military and Muslim rebels and search for ways for the BIFF to join the peace process to establish unity.

The senator called on the BIFF and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to support the peace pact with the MILF.

He also stressed the need for government to revisit the previous agreement with the MNLF that led to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) so that all sectors are given the chance to air their side.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the body tasked to draft the organic law, must take initiatives to reach out to the different groups in Muslim Mindanao to get their views in crafting the proposed political entity in order to be transparent in its work, the senator added.

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1 Comment

  1. The majority represent the few. Finalize the agreement process now. Then the BIFF and MNLF factions become an internal problem of the MILF-led Bangsamoro to be dealt with. They can resolve it themselves, using each other’s Islamic approach to diplomacy.