From the Philippine News Agency-Legazpi Bureau (Bicol) (Nov 12): NPA rebels raid village chief’s house, cart away Php1.5M in cash, 4 guns
New People’s Army (NPA) rebels took Php1.5 million in cash and four firearms in a raid on the residence of the lady village chief of Barangay Mabiton, Claveria, Masbate, on Tuesday afternoon.
A police report identified the victim as barangay captain Karren Bellesteros, 27, single, businesswoman and daughter of an incumbent municipal councilor of the town.
The report said that at about 1 p.m., Bellesteros and her household members were busy watching a television show when about 30 armed rebels arrived and surrounded their residence.
Some rebels barged in, ransacked the house and found the cash inside the village chief’s room.
The communist dissidents took the money and four firearms, two shotguns and two .45-caliber pistols -- all registered in the name the local government unit of Claveria, and casually left.
Bellesteros co-villagers were surprised with what they witnessed and just closed their windows out of fear.
The rebels did not harm the lady village head and her companions.
It also demonstrated the maturity of the leaders of both Fronts to rise above personal and pure organizational considerations in favor of the common interests. Further, it also showcased the OIC’s continuing recognition and commitment to help the Bangsamoro people in the pursuit of their inherent and collective to self-determination.
One outstanding feature of the Communiqué is the creation of the Executive Bureau of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum, which will hold office in Cotabato City. It is composed of three representatives each from the MNLF and MILF and one representative from the OIC. The Bureau has the power to decide on matters when the BCF is not in session, but is required to report all its actions to the BCF in plenary.
MNLF Chair Nur Misuari and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim were not physically present during the meeting, but both have given their blessings to their respective delegations. However, many of the big names in the MNLF were present including Atty. Bong Parcasio, the spokesperson of the MNLF delegation, Moslemin Sema, Hatimil Hassan, Habib Mujahab Hashim, Commander Narra, Abebakrin Lukman, and Abdul Sahrin. The MILF was represented by Mohagher Iqbal, Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, Abdulla Camlian, all three are members of the MILF Peace Panel talking to the government, Sheikh Ibrahim Ali, Hussein Munoz, Jun Mantawil, all members of the MILF central leadership, Atty. Nazir Ynawat, Muhajirin Ali, and Masbod Gaima, the last two names composing, alongside Mantawil, the MILF Secretariat to the BCF.
Of course, there were hard moments during the discussion of the content of the Final Communiqué but since it was not a negotiation but rather a problem-solving exercise among brothers under the guidance of the OIC, everything was settled in the spirit of brotherhood, unity, and accommodation. There were no losers, everybody was a winner. Both delegations came out of the meeting heads high and the OIC achieved what it came for, which is to let the two Fronts come out with an accepted formula for cooperation.
Now, it is up to the leaders of the two Fronts to further strengthen and enrich their working relationships. They can do many things for the sake of all.