Malacañang is not imposing a deadline for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to surrender the killers of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Thursday.
Coloma, however, reiterated that the government is awaiting “concrete manifestations” from the rebel group to prove its commitment to the peace process.
But he pointed out that imposing a deadline for the MILF’s to comply with all of the government’s requests is “unrealistic.”
“Walang binabanggit na partikular na petsa. Kung titingnan din natin ang kabuuan nito, baka naman hindi realistic dahil ang mga pinag-uusapan ay mabibigat na hamon [No particular date was mentioned. It may not be realistic to set a deadline because what are being asked of the MILF are challenges]” Coloma told reporters.
The MILF on Wednesday returned 16 firearms seized from the SAF members who were killed in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao on January 25.
Coloma said the President has made other requests to the MILF leadership after the bloody clash, and that non-compliance with these “requests” would suggest a lack of commitment on the part of the MILF.
“The other concrete manifestations expected from the MILF are the following: Support for and non-interference [in]efforts to capture Basit Usman; identification and prosecution of those involved in the slaying of… SAF 44; and return of the other firearms and equipment [that]were taken from the members of the PNP-SAF,” he added.
If the MILF does not comply with all of the government’s requests, “then that means they are not fully cooperating with or in unity with our government,” Coloma said.