The Armed Forces will not run after former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander Ameril Umbra Kato even after the rebel group has officially declared him a renegade.
Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez, AFP spokesman, said the military is still waiting for a recommendation from the government even if Kato is facing a warrant of arrest for attacks in Central Mindanao in 2008.
“We give primacy to the peace process so we want to be able to give negotiators a chance and then for them to give us advice on what we can do and what we can’t do,” Rodriguez told reporters in a briefing.
Recently, the MILF Central Committee declared Kato and his Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters as “renegades” and threatened to totally remove them as members should they continue “anti-MILF campaigns.”
“It’s a little bit complicated… as long as nandun pa siya (Kato) sa lugar ng MILF may komplikasyon pa rin ‘yan,” Rodriguez said.
It can be recalled that the government even approved a P10-million reward for anyone who could lead authorities in arresting Kato, who led the MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces’ 105th Base Command in attacking civilian communities.
The attacks by the 105th Base Command in North Cotabato and Maguindanao left dozens of people dead, hundreds of families displaced, and millions worth of properties destroyed.
Meanwhile, Army 6th Infantry Division spokesman Col. Prudencio Asto said technical personnel of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government will evaluate this week the implementation of a recovery plan for those displaced during the 2008 conflict.
The “early recovery program,” hatched in January of 2009 but only pursued when the present ARMM administration took office, set forth interventions designed to help and encourage displaced persons lingering at evacuation centers to return home and start over, Asto said. (John Roson)
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