AFP to file criminal cases against Basilan rebel leaders, MILF

October 20, 2011 9:56 pm 

By Teofilo P. Garcia

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 20 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is filing criminal cases against the rebel leaders and their followers who were involved in the firefight against the soldiers in the hinterlands of Basilan province.

Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer said that cases of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder will be filed against rebel leaders Dan Laksaw Asnawi and Long Malat and their followers.

Ferrer said they will also file a complaint for ceasefire violation with the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Since the MILF has already claimed responsibility for engaging our soldiers, we shall not only file ceasefire violations against them but also murder and frustrated murder charges against their members who are responsible for the killing and wounding of our soldiers,” Ferrer said.

Asnawi is the deputy commander of the MILF's 114th Base Command in Basilan province.

Wesmincom spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said that the troops first clashed with the group of Malat.

Later on as the firefight rages, Cabangbang said the MILF joined the firefight “helping their relatives” and to “get firearms.”

Ferrer said the objective of the offensive is the bandit group of Malat, a known associate of Asnawi.

Ferrer said that the site of the clash that took place last Tuesday is four kilometers away from the MILF's “area of temporary stay (ATS).”

Nineteen soldiers were killed while 14 others were wounded when the troops clashed with the rebels last Tuesday in Sitio Bakisung, Barangay Cambug, Al-Barka. (PNA)

DCT/FFC/TPG/utb

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