• MILF drug dealer slain

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    A SENIOR commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was killed during an anti-drug raid in Sultan Kudarat on Friday.

    The surprise attack coincided with the opening of a high-level meeting in Malaysia between the Muslim rebel group and the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

    Police identified the slain MILF under as Ugalingan Manuel Jr., alias Commander Boyet.

    Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat provincial police director, said Manuel died in the hospital.

    Two of his followers of the MILF commander were wounded in a shootout after they opened fire at policemen and soldiers serving search warrants.

    Ten other suspected MILF members–all linked to the illegal drug trade in the southern Mindanao province–were arrested in the pre-dawn raid on Manuel’s hideout in Sitio Ogis in the village of Marquez, Esperanza town.

    The raiders recovered assorted high-powered weapons–grenade launchers and automatic rifles–and 10 big packets of suspected shabu.

    Friend or foe?
    The MILF has pledged support to Duterte’s war on drugs and even named several politicians as behind the proliferation of shabu in Mindanao but many of its members are also into the illegal drug trade and other criminal activities.

    The rebel group, which signed an interim peace deal with the government in 2014, is negotiating with the Duterte administration the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will govern the Muslims in the restive region.

    The BBL was rejected by Congress during President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s administration over constitutional violations.

    The MILF said it will not revisit the BBL and insisted on the original draft submitted to Aquino.

    Many politicians and residents in the proposed Bangsamoro areas also rejected the BBL and wanted out of the agreement, citing failure of the Aquino administration and its peace negotiators to include recommendations submitted by the provinces in the region.

    The BBL was drafted by the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission appointed by the former president and the MILF.

    Meanwhile, the government panel led by Duterte peace adviser Jesus Dureza and the MILF hierarchy are currently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to tackle the BBL and the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

    He said the meeting will focus on the mechanism that will determine the crafting of the new enabling law, as well as the key provisions in CAB that can already be implemented, including the delivery of socio-economic development programs in Mindanao.

    The President had vowed to implement all signed peace agreements with the MILF.

    Automonous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who is part of Dureza’s team, said “the regional government reaffirms its own commitment to the peace process, and pledges its support to the programs and initiatives that are part and parcel of the panels’ peace efforts. We believe that with the optimism that comes with this new chapter in the peace process, it is important to take note of our gains and build on those milestones we have achieved.”

    WITH MOH SAADUDDIN

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    2 Comments

    1. In Sha Allah (God Permit), If Peace will prevails Mindanao especially the said Areas of Responsibility by the MILF-MNLF, Drug Syndicates will be stamped.