Palace: Govt, MILF to join forces to resolve conflict with BIFF

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The government on Monday expressed confidence that the joint cease-fire committee with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) can help resolve the new clashes with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a Palace official said.
Fighting on Sunday between government troops and the BIFF, a splinter group of the MILF, left five soldiers and 18 insurgents from the BIFF dead.
Quoting a statement from government chief negotiator Miriam Ferrer, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the government is confident the conflict could defused by the Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG).
The CCCH and AHJAG were set up by government and MILF negotiators for proper coordination and implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
The agreement, signed in Cagayan de Oro City in July 1997, calls on the two sides to cooperate in the arresting criminals and terrorists in areas covered by the preliminary truce.
The AHJAG is made up of representatives from the MILF, the Armed Forces, and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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