Feature: Calls to end war drowned by gunfire
Koronadal City (29 June) -- Hostilities between Moro secessionist forces and the military in Central Mindanao have resumed while calls for an end to the conflicts drown in staccato of gunfires, cannon and mortar blasts, and clatters of attack helicopters the military use flushing out rebels out of their enclaves.
Army officials said this week's encounters in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces erupted only as a consequence of the government's "calibrated police actions" against rogue Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas wanted for bloody attacks on farming communities in Central Mindanao after the aborted August 5, 2008 final crafting by the government and MILF peace panels in Malaysia of the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.
MILF-military encounters were reported to have occurred in the interior areas of Pagangan, Aleosan, North Cotabato; Mamasapano, Maguindanao in the hinterlands at the tri-boundaries of Maguindanao's neighboring Talayan, Guindulungan, and South Upi towns; and Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat.
"MILF forces in the field have no way but defend themselves from the continuing intrusion by soldiers into their camps. Our forces under other command bases of the MILF remain adhering to the cease-fire. They were merely defending themselves from attacks, said rebel spokesman Eid Kabalu. (MCD-PIA Cotabato City) [top]