• Group hits killing of MILF vice chairman’s brother

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    SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: A civil society organization on Sunday condemned the killing of the brother of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chairperson Gadzali Jaafar, labelling it as a move aimed at sabotaging talks between the government and the rebel group.

    Philippine National Police (PNP) operatives on Tuesday last week shot dead Jaafar’s brother, Mohaimen Abo, in what the former claimed to be a legitimate police operation.

    However, Alan Balangi-Amer, president of 1-Bangsamoro Movement (1-Bangsa), said the operation against Abo violated a security agreement between the MILF and the government where the latter conceded to the former the authority to arrest MILF members facing criminal charges.

    Abo was also known in MILF circles as Commander Falcon or Ustadz Mohaimen.

    Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, director of the Maguindanao provincial police, claimed that Abo was facing arrest for criminal charges including kidnapping with homicide, kidnapping for ransom, murder, and frustrated murder.

    “He was facing criminal cases in courts in Midsayap, North Cotabato and in Surallah, South Cotabato,” Tello said.

    Citing a report from the municipal police office of Sultan Kudarat, Tello related that when PNP operatives sought to arrest Abo, the latter pulled out a pistol, triggering a shootout that resulted in his death.

    Jaafar, for his part, clarified that under the 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities (AGCH) between the MILF and the government, the arrest of MILF members may only be carried out in coordination with the ceasefire committee and Ad-Hoc Joint Action Group formed by both panels.

    Balangi-Amer said the PNP operatives should have respected the provisions of the 1997 AGCH.

    He likened the PNP operation against Abo to the Mamasapano incident during the administration of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd that resulted in the killing of 44 police commandos.

    He said that like the Mamasapano incident, no proper coordination with the government-MILF ceasefire committee and Ad-Hoc Joint Action Group was made by the PNP when it sought to arrest Abo.

    “We in the 1-Bangsa are calling on all stakeholders of peace not to allow the spoilers of peace to succeed in their grand design to drive away the elusive peace, since the Bangsamoro people in general whether Muslims, Christians, and Lumads are now feeling tired of war in Mindanao,” the 1-Bangsa president told The Manila Times.

    “What we need is a genuine peace for everyone to enjoy and not the peace and tranquility of a graveyard,” he said.

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