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MILF suspends ceasefire violaters

Trio told to learn what are the terms of the agreement

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • February 29, 2012
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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) today said it has suspended three of its commanders in Basilan for ceasefire violations last year that left 19 government special forces and five rebels dead.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal announced the commanders were suspended for three months, starting February 11, as demanded by an international monitor headed by Malaysia.

The International Monitoring Team (IMT), tasked to oversee the implementation of a ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF, completed its probe last month and peace negotiators from both sides recently agreed to “drop and close the case,” according to Iqbal.

Armed Forces Peace Process head Colonel Dickson Hermoso earlier said the IMT established that both the military and the MILF committed ceasefire violations during the incident on October 18, and that the IMT recommended sanctions on both sides.

Of the three suspended MILF commanders, Iqbal named only Dan Laksaw Asnawi, as he said he could not recall the two other commanders.

“We suspended them for three months and they were told to undertake education, especially on the ceasefire agreement,” said Iqbal.

Iqbal added that the MILF Central Committee has issued a resolution on the suspension. “The suspension is already running... I cannot recall it [names of two others] but what’s important is one of them is the lead commander, Dan Laksaw Asnawi,” he said.

Like the government forces, Iqbal said the MILF is respecting the findings of the IMT that both the MILF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines committed ceasefire violations in the incident.

“The fact that we punished our commanders is an indication that we also agree that the MILF had violated but I don’t want to go into details because we might be accused by the other side of divulging information,” he said.
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