Senators urge govt to probe Maute links to Moro rebels


THE government should look into the purported links between the Maute terror group and Muslim rebels in Mindanao before it pursues peace negotiations with the latter, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said the government must find out if the connections between the Islamic state-linked Maute group and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) still exist.

“If the government is pursuing peace talks, we should trust our counterpart,” Ejercito said in an interview.
The senator was reacting to the admission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of strong links between the Maute terrorists that attacked Marawi City and insurgents in Mindanao.

AFP spokesman Restituto Padilla Jr. said on Monday the Maute terrorists could have obtained their weapons from relatives who were members of the MILF or MNLF, echoing similar statements by President Rodrigo Duterte last Saturday.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson shared the view, saying the AFP should dig deeper into the possible links between the Maute and the bigger rebel groups.

Lacson, who heads the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, noted that the Maute and other rebel groups have the same objectives.

“Hence, tactical alliance is not farfetched,” Lacson pointed out.

Ejercito said he would not be surprised if the MILF and MNLF had assisted the Maute group, pointing to the January 25, 2015 Mamasapano massacre that led to the killing of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.

He noted that members of the MILF took part in the killing of 44 SAF troopers who were tasked to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir.

“I have been against tapping them (MILF) in this crisis in Marawi,” Ejercito said.

The MILF had helped secure a corridor for refugees and relief goods out of Marawi City.


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  1. dating kriminal on

    It would very naïve for anybody to think that Moro rebels such as MNLF, MILF, politicians such as governors, mayors, relatives, and businesses in Muslim Mindanao, do not know or do not have anything to do with the Maute group in Marawi. Maute group is operating under the banner of IS, and they are well financed, meaning, they have tons of money to buy their weapons and support from Nur Misuari, MILF, Governors, Mayors, Relatives, or any prominent and powerful people that can help them propagate their cause. Muslims help their fellow Muslims and they will extend any type of help to their brothers, weather it is right or wrong in the eyes of Christians. How much more if there is a price involved? My brothers will kill anybody and everybody, especially Christians, getting in their way in achieving their goals, and in this case, they want to establish Marawi as the Islamic State Territory, and eventually, spreads out in the whole Mindanao region.

    At this time, it would be the most stupid thing for the Senate to start their investigation on the involvement of MNLF or MILF, such as giving or extending logistical support to the Maute Group. Logistical support such as resupplying arms and ammunitions to the Maute Group fighters. Mga GAGO pala kayo! Yes it did happened, but to start an investigation now will only make more difficult for the President to do what he was planning to do, and maybe, to talk to other Muslim Rebel Group. The only thing the President want is to KILL all the ABU SAYYAF and these Islamic State (ISIS) followers, at this time. He can negotiate with MNLF and MILF at later date, depending on the progress of Marawi operations. Secondly, The government, meaning the central government is not yet completely in control of the situation in Mindanao. You will not get full cooperation if you are going to start your investigation now. Better yet, Lacson and Ejercito should sign a waiver form, don a flack vest and helmet and go to Marawi themselves so they will have a better grasp and understanding on what they are about to do. Sitting behind their Senate desk and theorizing what they need to do will be the most stupid thing for them to do.