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PIA Press Release

Commentary: PGMA 'detests' MILF treachery

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (21 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed anger and deep frustrations over the treacherous acts of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The President "detests" the lack of control of the MILF leadership over their base commands, particularly in Lanao del Norte, where thousands of civilians were displaced from their communities in the wake of the MILF rampage, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

Ermita said that the lack of "determined control" of the MILF commanders over their forces on the ground only reflects the lack of sincerity on their part to push for a successful conclusion of the peace process.

This is the reason why President Arroyo has ordered the military and police forces to "conduct full, vigorous and unrelenting " pursuit operations against the so-called lost commands of the MILF, he said.

Ermita added that said instruction bolsters an earlier directive from the President for government forces to take back every inch of territory from these marauders at all costs, prevent their re-occupation, and to ensure that peace, order and security are restored.

He stressed that the President will suspend military operations against rogue elements "if and only when MILF commanders Ombra Kato and Bravo, as well as other commanders with them are neutralized and their hostages released."

"In such occurrences, the government armed forces will not hesitate to act in a manner that is most appropriate and swift to contain these groups," Ermita quoted the President as saying.

Amidst the armed clashes between the military and the MILF in Mindanao, the President has instructed the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Health (DOH), Education (DepEd), Local Government (DILG) and Defense (DND) and other agencies to undertake relief and rehabilitation activities as well as assist the local government units concerned to bring back to normal the lives of the people in the affected areas soonest possible time.

"The President, being a mother and a wife, deeply feels for our people, especially the parents who are with their suffering children in evacuation centers and in need of continuing medical intervention and food assistance, and for the grieving husbands and wives who stand helpless as they see their loved ones in extreme pain or in the throes of death," Ermita said. (PIA) [top]

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