Sunday, July 27, 2014

Military movement in Maguindanao aimed at BIFF --CCCH chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 27): Military movement in Maguindanao aimed at BIFF --CCCH chief
Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez, chief of the Government of the Republic-Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), clarified on Sunday that the movement of military units in Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi towns, Maguindanao late this week was not aimed at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

He said that this move was aimed at preventing members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) from harassing and attacking civilians in the two areas.

"The movement of troops (helicopter flights) was done as a show of strength against the BIFF so that they will not create trouble in those areas. The MILF misconstrued it (as a possible truce violation) as those areas are near their positions," Galvez said in Filipino.

He added that the troop movements in the above-mentioned towns were done "pre-emptively" so that the BIFF will have second thoughts about attacking, especially during President Benigno S. Aquino III's fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Galvez clarified that the area where the military positioned themselves is not under MILF control, hence the slight delay in relaying this information to the latter.

He also said that the commander of the military units have already visited the MILF positions and explained to the latter's leaders their reason for the movement.

MILF officials accepted the reason for the move, Galvez added.

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