Gov’t probes Illegal MILF training camp PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:31

A Philippine government ceasefire coordinating body on Friday confirmed an army report on an alleged illegal camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the outskirts of Iligan City in the island of Mindanao.

In a statement, Government of the Philippines-Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (GPH-CCCH) Head of Secretariat Major Carlos T. Sol said that they have already received a report of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Mechanized Infantry Division, on the alleged MILF training camp and that they are already validating the report to immediately undertake measures for dismantling.

“I confirm that the Armed Forces of the Philippines, through the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, has forwarded to the CCCH its recommendation with regard the dismantling of an alleged training facility by the MILF near the boundary of Sitio Limonsodan in Waterfalls vilalge of Rogongon, Iligan City. We received the official transmittal today (Friday) and are currently conducting validation procedures,” said Sol.

The CCCH was created to monitor the implementation of the long-standing ceasefire between the GPH and the MILF. The body is also tasked to resolve ceasefire violation complaints in order to prevent conflict escalation and ceasefire breakdown.

Col. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said he crafted the recommendation due to a complaint filed by Deodato S. Abugan Sr., a chieftain of the Higaonon tribe. The said complaint also cited continued recruitment and the conduct of military-like training exercises by the MILF. Lanao del Norte-based 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion made the pictures of the alleged illegal training camp public, which is not among the several MILF camps recognized under the peace agreement with the government.

Sol also corrected reports that members of the 105th Base Command of the MILF, the unit allegedly involved in the clash with the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces in Mamasapano on January 25, were in the area. The alleged camp of the 103rd Base Command is in Lanao while the 105th Base Command is in Maguindanao, a different province.

“We assure everyone, especially those in Iligan and neighboring towns, that we will do our utmost to resolve this complaint at the soonest time possible. We appreciate the public’s vigilance and we urge everyone to continue helping us. The ceasefire with the MILF has been holding. We want it to continue doing so,” Sol said.