Palace to review ancestral domain accord with MILF
Cebu City (21 August) -- In spite of the lifting of the temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court against the signing of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Malacaņang will no longer push through with the MOA-AD, Press Sec. Jesus Dureza bared during a radio interview over a Cebu-based radio station early this morning.
Dureza said the palace will instead make a thorough review of the controversial MOA-AD.
The agreement received flak as government's intention was the pursuit of long lasting peace yet some MILF field commanders instead launched attacks and occupied three coastal towns in Lanao del Norte on Monday. These identified towns are Kauswagan, Kulambogan and Maigo while the rebels occupied the town hall of Kolambugan.
Reports have also said the rebels have resorted to criminal acts such as torching some houses, schools and commercial buildings aside from ransacking stores.
Dureza in the same interview said it is very hard for the government to pursue the signing of the MOA-AD when the MILF leadership cannot control its field commanders.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has described as "treacherous acts" the conduct of the MILF field commanders as she ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to hunt down the rebels.
"The President regrets that the MILF's failure to restrain its field commanders reflects the organization's lack of sincerity to push for a successful conclusion of the peace process," Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita read the President's statement.
In Cebu, Muslim leaders expressed their condemnation to the violent attacks by the MILF in Mindanao.
Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA-7) Regional Director Sakiran Hajan said the Muslims in Cebu believe the violence and criminal acts committed by the MILF rebels are against the teachings of Islam.
Hajan further said about 22 Muslim community leaders, 15 Muslim religious leaders and 11 council of elders will meet with the local government, police and military officials today at the OMA-7 prior to their official announcement in condemning the acts of the MILF rebels and their show of support to the police and military operations against the possible entry of MILF in the region.
Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Regional Director C/Supt. Ronald Roderos said the possibility of a spillover attack by communist rebels in the region including Cebu is very remote although they are on a 24-hour monitoring and intelligence gathering against related actions. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]