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A challenge to the MILF

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We have seenhow hostilities can threaten regional peace and economic activities and howthis can lead to the displacement of people from their work places, livelihoodand homes.  We can see only the irrationality of armed conflict when everyquarters. Only those who would profit from war would wish it. We find ittherefore absurd that while the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and thegovernment are in the negotiating table in search for peace, one inadvertentstep in the temporary stay of MILF combatants by the soldiers out to arrest acriminal suspect is enough to provoke war.

We do notbelieve that the MILF would pull the trigger on the soldiers even if theystrayed on their temporary territories. The ceasefire agreement is enforced andthere are mechanisms to avail with should intrusions in their territoryhappens.  Unless the MILF is influenced and overwhelmed by Abu Sayyafelements which find sanctuary in their temporary territory, we believed thatthe firefight would have ever ensued at all.

The Abu Sayyafare terrorists which are being hunted anywhere they go in southeast Asia.They are the terror arm of Jemaah Islamiyah and this is why not a few of theirleaders were either captured or killed in Pakistan and Indonesia.For the MILF to harbor them is actually not tenable.

Our Christianand Muslim brothers denounce the cry for an all-out-war. Decades of conflictswhich resulted in thousands of casualties and displaced their families havetaught them that the resumption of war this time will be more bloody andprotracted. As in the past there will be collateral damage. This is a realitythat the MILF and the government are aware of.

It behoovestherefore for the Muslim Filipinos and the MILF forces to deny terroristelements any form of sanctuary in their communities and territories. If it istrue, as they have publicly manifested, that they will assist the government torun after and neutralize the Abu Sayyaf and their agents of discord then wewant to see this being demonstrated. We are tired of rhetoric. Other criminalelements, among them kidnap-for-ransom syndicates have sought refuge interritories held by the MILF. If they are in earnest to run after these lawlesselements then the MILF should have come to the aid of the government to bringthem to justice. And they could have done this yesterday.

by MenardoWenceslao




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