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PIA Press Release
2008/08/19

Army troops pursue MILF forces

Maasim, Sarangani (19 August) -- Military troops are conducting hot pursuit operations in "confined places" against suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces.

"Our military operation is not widespread," according to Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago, commander of the 27th Infantry Batallion based in Maasim, whose troops are running after MILF forces who attacked Maasim town Monday.

"We know where they are and we are following them. Hopefully makuha natin yung gumawa ng kasalanan at pananagutan talaga nila. Kung ayaw nilang sumuko, syempre panagutan talaga nila yung ginawa nila (we will capture the perpetrators to face their criminal acts. If they will not surrender, surely they must face the consequences of their deeds.)"

Santiago disclosed this is a military response to the crimes committed by the lawless elements that ransacked some business establishments in Maasim public market and killed two innocent civilians.

Santiago ascertained the armed men were members of the 105th MILF based in Maguindanao and not from the local places in Sarangani.

"We are confident that we can maintain peace and order here in Sarangani because we have sufficient forces and we can address any eventuality that could happen."

"We are in coordination with the local government. They are very supportive with logistics, food, and moral support."

"We are very happy that the community is helping us by giving us information and pointing us the enemy. They are very cooperative."

"Civilians should remain calm. We are doing everything we can in order to arrest the criminals and we will seek justice for the victims." (PIO Sarangani/PIA SarGen) [top]

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