Press Release
August 20, 2008

Loren demands surrender of two 'rogue' MILF commanders

Senator Loren Legarda has demanded the immediate surrender of Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) 'loose' field commanders Ombra Kato and Abdulla Macapaar alias Bravo in the aftermath of the bloody rampage perpetrated by them in three towns of Lanao del Norte.

Legarda also said that unless peace and order in Mindanao is restored at soonest possible time and two MILF commanders are put behind bars, the government should not entertain any discussion with the MILF.

"Peace initiative must still be pursued in Mindanao, but in the meantime, the two rouge commanders must surrender first," said Legarda.

"Only when the perpetrators of those criminal and inhumane acts are apprehended and made to answer in a competent court can the MILF come to the negotiating table,' Legarda pointed out.

Muslim leaders had condemned the Moro rebels' horrible rampage, but Legarda stressed that the MILF, if it really intends to show to the world its sincerity, should also effect their immediate arrest so they can be brought before the court of justice.

MILF forces led by Bravo on Monday raided three towns in Lanao del Norte, spraying gun fire and hacking innocent civilians to death in a rampage that left at least 30 people dead and thousands of residents fleeing their homes.

The so-called 'rogue' MILF forces burned hundreds of houses in North Cotabato, and ambushed an Army convoy where Lt. Col. Angel Benitez was killed.

The raids apparently were an utter show of disappointment over the uncertainty of the botched memorandum of agreement (MOA) now pending before the Supreme Court (SC).

Legarda also advised North Cotobato Governor Manny Pinol and other local officials in the Supreme Court petition to request the high tribunal to summon Kabalu to also appear the court.

Pinol and other local officials in Mindanao had petitioned with the Supreme Court to stop the signing of the MOA in Kuala Lumpur, saying it was done without proper consultation.

The SC, which had heard the oral arguments from both panels in the botched GRP-MILF accord, is set to resume its preliminary hearing on Friday. The high court, however, has asked the petitioners to submit not later than 4:30 p.m. today their comment on the manifestation made by Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera.

News Latest News Feed