MILF admits setting up camp in Iligan

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THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) admitted on Sunday that it has a military camp in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

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It made the admission after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) lodged a complaint against the rebel group before the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities for maintaining a training camp in Iligan.

Col. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd mechanized Infantry Brigade, earlier called on the MILF to dismantle the camp.

“It’s a violation of the ceasefire provisions, actually it came to our attention when the local populace made an official complaint requesting the intervention of the military on the presence of armed elements in their area,” Gapay said.

But Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, said the camp in Iligan is not a training facility but is used to orient people on various issues such as the Bangsamoro Basic Law and ceasefire mechanisms.

He added that it is common for a revolutionary movement to set up such facility.

Gapay also earlier said civilians have reported the alleged training of recruits in the camp.

“We verified the report and we found out that there was an MILF training facility at the boundary of Iligan and Lanao del Sur,” he added.

Gapay disclosed that his troops took some photos of the training facility.

“It threatens the people themselves, armed personalities are roaming the area and conducting training and recruitment,” Gapay said.

Under the ceasefire agreement, Gapay explained, the MILF should not establish new camps because there are only two recognized camps–Bilal and Bushra.

“There should be status quo. No recruitment, no force build-up, no capability build-up, no expansion of areas,” he said.

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2 Comments

  1. All Filipinos should respect the rule of law and respect there fellowmen even if they have different religious belief. Economic progress will come if peacefull co-excistense grows.