While mindful of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front assistance which resulted in the neutralization of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) head Basit Usman last May 3, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) hopes that the MILF will go a bit further by returning the remaining firearms of the fallen Special Action Force (SAF) members.
AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said that this is the next "sincerity test" for the MILF.
About 60 SAF weapons are believed to be in the hands of the MILF.
Earlier, the MILF returned 17 firearms to the government.
The firearms were lost during the Jan. 25 mission in Mamasapano, Maguindanao which resulted in the death of 44 SAF men and Malaysian bomber and terrorist Zulkipli Bin Hir alias "Marwan".
"Our next sincerity test to them is for the return of the remaining firearms they took from the SAF 44, they helped us in the neutralization of Basit Usman and our next challenge to them, if they are sincere in the peace process, is to turnover the remaining firearms of the SAF 44," the AFP public affairs office chief said.
He added that the return of the SAF weapons will demonstrate the MILF's strong desire for peace.
"(The return of the weapons) is a significant step towards peace," he said.