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Bombing raps vs MILF to be dropped, says Kabalu

COTABATO CITY (22 October) -- The Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) on Saturday said that the government was already working for the dropping of charges against its chairman Murad Ebrahim in connection with the recent bombings in Central Mindanao.

Eid Kabalu, MILF spokesperson, said he and other MILF members were told the charges have not been formally filed in court yet.

"It's only the result of police investigation. The charges were not yet formally filed in the court. The government is doing verification right now and later, the dropping of chairman Murad's name from the list of suspects would be worked out," he said.

Kabalu declined to name the MILF's source but hinted he works with the government peace panel.

Jesus Dureza, Presidential peace adviser, said Malacañang would not get involved in the issue although he had said earlier that he believed Ebrahim was innocent.

He said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was letting investigators do their job to determine whether there was evidence to charge Ebrahim for the bombings in Tacurong City, Makilala, North Cotabato and this city. Six people died in the explosions while two dozen others were injured.

"The logical sequence will take place because we have a due process to follow. His case is being handled by Secretary Silvestre Afable," Dureza said. Afable is chief government negotiator.

Dureza said that contrary to Kabalu's information, the case has already been filed.

"It will depend on the evidence because the case was already filed. But personally, I believe he is not involved," Dureza said.

Superintendent Marcelo Pintac, chief of the police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in North Cotabato, said the police have a witness against Murad.

"A witness told investigators that it was he (Ebrahim) who ordered the conduct of bombings," Pintac said.

But Kabalu maintained that Ebrahim could not have ordered the attacks because the MILF always believed that civilians are not legitimate military targets. (PIA) [top]

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