• MILF feared to go scot-free over SAF deaths

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    Criminal cases against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members linked to the killing of the Special Action Force (SAF) members may face strong opposition in an MILF plan to invoke a ceasefire agreement with the government if the cases reach the court.

    Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz of the Abakada Party-list raised the possibility of such happening given MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal’s statement earlier that the MILF would invoke the ceasefire agreement if the Justice department moved ahead with the criminal charges against its members for the death of the SAF members.

    Iqbal did not say with certainty that the MILF would surrender its erring members to government authorities.

    The MILF’s contention is that the SAF commandos ran into a misencounter because they violated the ceasefire pact between the MILF and the government.

    “We can only aspire that they will turn them [MILF] in,” dela Cruz said.

    “What will happen to the cases if the court can’t get hold of the respondents? Justice is indeed elusive,” dela Cruz added.

    Dela Cruz urged the Justice department to also file cases versus the MILF leaders who were responsible for keeping track of the MILF members’ whereabouts.

    “The members who attacked our troops were under the command of the MILF leaders,” he added.

    The Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against 90 individuals in connection with the murder of the SAF members, but has refused to identify how many came from the ranks of the MILF.

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